Half Year Resolution to be Greener

There's something that happens to me on December 31 each year. I'm not sure if
it's the lingering effects of tryptophan or my overindulgence in eggnog of the
spiked variety , but I always fall for it – the idea that come January 1 I am
going to turn a new leaf. Eat less, exercise more. Spend less, save more. Focus
on my career, but carve out "me time". Stop watching Gossip Girl (seriously…
this should be easy). You can be sure that I've declared all of these
resolutions, and oddly enough, believed them.

Within a
week or two I've generally written them off, convincing myself that ice
cream is healthy when paired with fruit, that I will start saving more
next month, and that as a marketer, watching Gossip Girl helps me better
understand the fashion market. I can be very convincing.


So if this is a
trap and my resolution destined to fail, why am I setting myself up to fail once
again? To be honest, I'm convinced this time will be different. Why? Because in
January resolutions are all or nothing – eat less, exercise every day, cut a
beloved guilty pleasure cold turkey. This resolution is my halfolution… less
of a crash diet so to speak and more of a commitment to make small and
consistent changes.


For awhile I've
been evaluating my lifestyle and trying to identify where I can green it up
more. I use low energy appliances equipped with efficient parts, I bike and take public transit most places, I carry a water bottle, coffee
mug and shopping bags with me everywhere, I use low energy appliances…


But I have one
less than green habit… shopping. My boyfriend, a very patient man who quietly
accepts his shrinking corner of our shared closet, can attest to this minor


So if crash diets
aren't my style – going cold turkey and cutting up my credit card is destined to
fail, what to do. That's where my halfolution comes in. On July 1 I am
resolving to quit shopping except for products that are so-called
green… and I'm challenging myself to learn a heck of a lot more about what
that means beyond what's on labels.


Right now I know
it will include locally-made, upcycled, or made from sustainable fibres that
were not processed chemically… but truly understanding the eco-footprint of
any new pair of pumps will need to go well beyond just reading labels. I have a
lot to learn on this journey but am committed that this will be a long-term
change rather than a fleeting resolution set to fail. Join me as I learn how to
replace all my conventional buys with eco options (and probably cut a few items
out altogether!).


Brenna Donoghue
is the President of Marketing and Sales for Ethical Ocean (
a North American retailer of eco-friendly, organic, vegan and fairly-traded
products. Previously Brenna headed up marketing and fundraising for Engineers
Without Borders, the opportunity that got her hyped about the possibilities of
fair trade.



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