I set myself some lofty new year’s resolutions this year.  Time to review them, and readjust for the second half of the year.

I didn’t drink anything between 1 January and 16 March.  That was 75 days (but who was counting?).  Then we had our tenth wedding anniversary and bought a new house.  In the interests of having an eleventh wedding anniversary I thought I should join in on the bottle of champagne.

The major pitfall was that I decided Foodbanks went against my principles.  They do a great job, but someone else should be doing that job (i.e. the government I pay taxes to).  If the current government wanted to save some money to put into programmes of social uplift they could stop funding an elite group of killers called the SAS, take away any money from the ridiculous Team NZ super yacht (etc, etc..).

By far my worst failure.  No excuses.  The only compensation for my brain has been getting an i-pod and listening to podcasts on the way to and from work everyday.

Actually, moving house threw off the shower head thing, but I did review our cleaning products and we now use eco-store stuff for our dishes and clothes.  Unsurprisingly it works fine, and is more upfront about what is in its products.

Once I got started on this I couldn’t believe the scale of the problem.  If I include everything I buy that comes in plastic we are talking about a tidal wave of plastic.  Last year I stopped using gladwrap/cling film on my lunches.  Recently we stopped using packets of cheese slices for the kids (20 slices of cheese, each one wrapped in plastic and the whole lot… wrapped in plastic).  Now I’m trying to deal with biscuits in all their plastic wrapped goodness.  On Sunday now I make a batch of biscuits with Eleanor.

When my friend died I pulled out of a lot of things.  This was one.  I need to spend more time with my family.  Later in life I can come back to this.

I still walk to and from work.  It’s good.  The car will be sold in ten weeks.

A little lull on this one recently, but about to resume.  It requires quite a lot of forward planning to make sure you don’t end up with ten plastic bags at the end of a trip to market which is pretty irritating.  Still, I like the seasonality of it.

Work in progress.

I have given up ham sandwiches for lunch.  This means I quite often have vegetarian days.  Eat food.  Not too much.  Mainly plants.  Michael Pollan says this.  It’s pretty good advice.

So where does that leave me for July to December?  I came to the conclusion a few years ago that in the West the next revolution will be against governments who pursue capitalism, and refuse to seriously and profoundly deal with the challenges of environmental degradation and resource depletion.  With that in mind I have paid my money and joined the Green Party of NZ.  The Labour Party doesn’t believe in anything.  The Green Party does.

There is no question that I will bore you with the details later, but this is a bigger step for me than it might appear on the surface.  I dislike all organised groups and have never joined anything like a political party before.  This is actually a highly radical act for me, and signals high levels of unease.  It also is related to that line that has haunted the left since Yeats wrote it: “the best lack all conviction…”.



19 thoughts on “Unresolved”

  1. I’m a big fan of Michael Pollan — but I have the worst time with the “mostly plants” part. Then I start telling myself that plants are included in bread and potato chips and that’s how I rationalize my “mostly plants” choices.

    I began bringing my own tote bags to the grocery store three years back — but I cannot seem to avoid all plastic bags either. They’re everywhere and on everything.

    Happy half year — you’re doing great!

  2. Ah, I don’t make resolutions… truthfully, I don’t see much point… if something is worth doing, I shouldn’t be waiting until January 1st to make the change… but I admire your spirit… you’re certainly doing more than I, to be honest 🙂

  3. Ah yes, William Butler, my favourite poet.
    Apropos of your resolution #1, Yeats said:

    “The worst thing about some men is that when they are not drunk they are sober.

  4. Looks like some good progress! 🙂 The plastic one is especially hard. Once I started paying attention, I use so much plastic! I also use way too many paper towels. I’m not sure if it is worse to do more laundry and use the water to wash the dish towels, etc. or if it is worse to throw away the paper.

  5. The Omnivore’s Dilemma was pretty depressing. It certainly put a nail in the coffin of fast food family restaurants for me. Chicken nugget anyone? Blergh.

  6. You have done admirably well in progressing your new year’s resolutions JP. You set yourself some huge challenges. Mid year is a good time to evaluate. Making goals and resolutions is great but sometimes life gets in the way of letting us achieve those goals.
    I don’t hink I could eve give up wine completely. It helps me celebrate the big and little achievements wiht my family and has helped sooth me on those dark days. I to have lost some significant people out of my life this year too. A dear friend gone too soon tomelanoma and a dear lovley Uncle who passed a few weeks ago at 92. I just realised I now have no Uncles left! My family circle is decreasing sadly, such is the way of life. However I am always meeting new people and some will become good friends.

    Keep up the good work on your goals and keep enjoying those good time with your family.

  7. I read his newer book, In Defense of Food. And now I have to try to shop for food like I’m my great-great-grandma, not recognizing anything processed as actual food. Which means I also can’t buy penicillin.

  8. Ah, the ubiquitous plastic bags. I try to limit them, too. When I realize how they swarm my house and then think about them multiplied by millions, well, then it is less of a pain to bring my own bags.

    Good job on your resolutions. Mine usually bite the dust by mid January.

  9. The best thing about wine as a medicine is that bottle stores have more flexible hours than chemists.

  10. Plastic bags actually do breed. About as fast as socks fall out of love, break up, and one disappears somewhere down the back of the washing machine.

  11. i couldnt find a like button or a follow button, i am adicted to clicking butons and now i cant! 🙂 good post i admire anyone who can make resolutions and take the time and effort required to follow through on them so you have my respect , with the bags they are the devils works i agree but i find a zillion uses for them so i feel better than if i just used and threw away plus with all the uses i find for them it does in fact save money, have a great day xx

  12. Thanks. Click your fingers if there is no button on hand. Makes me feel like Frank Sinatra.

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