Last week we asked you what your plans are for the new year. Missed it? Like magic, here you go. We gave 17 options (cuz 2017), mixing up traditional resolutions with some (subliminal) sustainable suggestions. Happily, you chose a lot of sustainable suggestions!  The results tells us a lot about you. (Note that what follows is entirely based on my glance at the results at precisely 3:45 pm on Wednesday).

Drum roll please…

Tied for 4th with “spending more time with family and friends” was “I will always turn off the lights when I leave an empty room”. Thank you! We’ve been encouraging staff to show a little TLC for ages! Our save-energy slogan since Fall 2015, “Turn it Off Before You Go Go”, has been tinged with sadness. The late George Michael was one of the many musicians we lost in (terrible, horrible, no-good, very bad) 2016.

"Turn it off before you go go" has been our catchy way of encouraging lights-off behaviour. We'll keep it going to honour the memory.
“Turn it off before you go go” has been our catchy way of encouraging lights-off behaviour. We’ll keep it going for George.

Considering how rough this past year has been, there may be the collective temptation to lower expectations. Susanna Wolff pledged in The New Yorker to make far more reasonable resolutions than last year:

2016: Declutter your home. Really get organized and start the year off right!
2017: Buy a new shower curtain.


2016: Start exercising and eating right. Lose some weight.
2017: Stop standing in front of your open refrigerator eating cheese. Maybe put it on a plate and shut the door.

Now we know you, our dear Talkin’ Trash readers, would never loiter at length in front of an open fridge but you may want to quickly check your crispers. We are delighted that your third most popular resolution was to “eat more veggies and fruits, especially the local ones”. There’s a whole lotta good in this for your health and the health of the local farmers and food systems around you. Recommended reading: Farm to (hospital) table – heading to the market, preferably while crunching on an heirloom carrot wrapped in black lacinato kale.

The Farmers Market is a great way to buy and eat local veggies.
Farmers Market = great way to buy and eat local veggies. Look … kale!

The second most popular resolution was to “organize my closet and donate old clothes, toys, stuff”. Good for you! Can you come over to my house please? Recommended reading: See It Shine … Around the World as well as the City of Toronto ReUseIt Site. Here’s to giving old clothes, furniture, electronics, housewares and sporting equipment and new life with someone else (and not in landfill).

There were some very popular options that didn’t make the top 4, but are worth noting (and not just to build suspense for number 1, though what a lovely side effect):

  • 5. bring my lunch in reusable containers
  • 6. recycle more
  • 7. give more to charity or volunteer my time somewhere worthy
  • 8. lug a mug to every coffee shop (and grab my discount for doing it)
  • 9. repair my appliance, clothes and stuff that’s broken

And the number 1 resolution was … to exercise regularly. That may not seem like the greenest idea, but it does feed nicely into our sustainable transportation mantra, especially if that exercise gets you where you need to go. If you exercise in nature, enjoy a bunch of bonus effects: improve mood, trounce depression, zap stress, axe anxiety, get energized and rejuvenated. Now that’s a great way to start a new year! Our friends at Wellness have even more thoughts on the matter.  Recommended reading: The Solution is Right There at the Bottom of our Legs, and Take 2 Trees and Call Me in the Morning, preferably while standing under a tree or sweatin’ it out on treadmill.

May your year be filled with double rainbows (image credit: Wikipedia)
May your year be filled with double rainbows and happiness…
(image credit: Wikipedia)


May you ride triumphantly through 2017 image credit:
…And may you ride triumphantly through 2017!
(image credit: