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Dearest readers,

This year, oil spilled, Russians spied, and an octopus predicted sporting outcomes. Hard to believe 2010 is nearly over. And with it, a decade is in our collective rearview mirror. Remember when Y2K didn’t happen? And how we partied like it was 1999 with those 2000s glasses, their zeroes like peepholes into the future? That spectacle of spectacles lasted longer than the years were shaped for — from 2000 to 2009, and even awkwardly to 2010. As this century movies into its tween years, how will we see through 2011? (Seriously, how will people be able to peer through two number ones?!)

Scrabble Happy New YearPhoto: Sally Mahoney

What I’m really interested in is your vision for the year ahead. In this time of clichéd New Year’s resolution making, what more do you want out of 2011 than to exercise or lose weight? How about making your New Year’s resolution be to have a year that’s full of solutions? Let this be the year we look back on and remember as the year we all started doing things that make better sense. We’ll call it “The Year of Making Sense.”

This year, let’s do more than ring in the new. Let’s ring in the true!

And the truth is, there are things we can all do that make sense for creating a more sustainable and just world. Small behavior changes, added up individually over time and taken collectively, make an impact in resource use. Possibly more importantly, these changes impact our values.

Writing down your goals is one of the most important steps in actually achieving them. What are your solutions? Here are some suggestions to get the New Year’s ball rolling:

  • Drink more local sparkling wine.
  • Support local agriculture and join a CSA and/or shop more frequently at a community Farmer’s Market.
  • Share, barter, or trade more of the things you use, to become more collaborative as and powerful as consumers.
  • Fix the things that are broken rather than throwing them away. 
  • Go Meatless on Mondays.
  • Try canning with the help of Canning Across America. Or if you already can and preserve, teach someone else how to.
  • Cut back your air travel by at least one flight this year.
  • Carpool, telecommute, walk, take transit, or bike one day each week to work.
  • Cut back on unwanted mail like credit card offers and catalogues through CatalogChoice.org or by calling 1-888-5-OPT OUT.
  • Compost on your countertop. (Check out the Worm Factory, it kind of rules.)

What solutions are you committing to this year? Share your ideas in the comments below. And let us know what you are hopeful about in this new decade.

I raise my glass to you, readers! Thank you for another great rotation around the sun together. May you be steadfast and resolute in your solutions. And may you have fun and create a multiplier effect of sustainable sense-making. Happy New Year!!!

Annually,
Umbra