Tuesday, January 29, 2008

12 Resolutions: January update / February Kickoff

End of my first month of resolutions… and I’m nervous to tally up the final number (probably have to wait a few days before the big reveal to allow all my bills to reconcile). I think I did a lot of little things that might add up: paying cash for gasoline saved bank fees every time (and the usual place is cheaper because they only accept cash or debit cards anyway). I implemented a new plan of power for my electronics, plugging them all into a power strip that I can shut off all day until I want to use it, eliminating “phantom loads”, where things like the TV and VCR continue to draw power even when they’re turned off. And paying cash for everything really makes you much more conscious of how much you spend. It’s really easy to throw down your credit card, but it’s a true test if you have to plan your purchases based on what you can afford with what’s in your wallet. I’m gearing up for month 2 of the 12 Resolutions, which is going to be an attempt at going vegetarian. It’s probably not an accident that I picked the shortest month of the year to give it a try, because it’s no secret I do enjoy a good In-n-Out Double Double…and ham sandwiches…and the occasional hot dog…and all things chicken. But the truth of the matter that meat for food production is environmentally intensive—it takes 12 times as much land to raise cattle than it does to grow wheat. It takes 3,500 gallons of water to grow a hamburger and livestock …uh “tailpipe” emissions are one of the leading causes of global warming. So I ask myself every once in a while, “What would it take for me to stop eating meat?” I don’t eat nearly as much as the average American, (who consumes 111 pounds of meat a year) but if I’m eating out, chances are I’m heading to the pollo column on the menu. So we’re gonna give it a try for 29 (damn you leap year!) days and see if we can manage it.

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