January 2020: Setting Green Goals

Tuesday, January 14, 2020 at 7 PM – 8 PM
Corner Coffee (Uptown)
1414 W 28th St, Minneapolis, Minnesota 55408

As we turn into the new year and new decade, this is the perfect time to assess goals and reset priorities, especially as it relates to our planet.

Although many of us, almost 50% of Americans make New Year’s resolutions according to U.S. News & World Report, only 8% of people follow through with them. Despite all the good intentions, there are a variety of reasons for why we come up short in achieving our resolutions, including setting restrictive goals that are not realistic for our lifestyles.

Reflections on last year

If you’re wanting to change that for 2020 and set goals that will stick, a great first place to start is to reflect on the previous year. What went well or not so well? What were you unable to accomplish and what were the barriers? What surprised you?

This will help you:

  • Acknowledge your accomplishments
  • Realize the lessons you learned
  • Understand your mistakes
  • Figure out what else you can try
  • Bring out what you’re truly passionate about

If you’re feeling stuck, use these 50 year-end reflection questions to help you review 2019 to spark your thinking.

Ideas for green goals

While results from a survey showing America’s top new year’s resolutions for 2020 put “be more eco-friendly” in 8th place, all of these resolutions are related to the environment in one way or another. Take the top two – managing finances better and eat healthier – for example. In managing finances better, we may question our purchases to buy only what we need and love to cut down on spending. To eat healthier, we may choose to make more home-cooked meals or add more veggies and natural foods to our meals.

For the more eco-conscious, below are ideas for resolutions/goals that are related to being more eco-friendly. As a good practice, the more SMART (Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, Time bound) you can make your goals, the more likely you are to achieve them. You can tailor these examples to fit your needs.

  1. Recycle more (or better)
    • Set up system for collecting recycling at home and bringing it to bin once a week starting March 1st
    • Look up recycling rules or attend a Recycling 101 class by March 1st
  2.  Compost
  3. Eat more natural food (or grow them):
    • Add one plant-based meals to my week starting on March 1st
    • Set up veggie garden with zucchini, carrots, tomatoes, etc. in backyard by May 31st
  4. Use reusable shopping bags
    • Bring reusable shopping bags on shopping trips at least 2 times a month
    • Place reusable shopping bags in handy location (entryway, passenger seat, purse/backpack, etc) after each use
  5. Use a reusable water bottle
    • Bring reusable water bottle to work at least 3 times a week
    • Bring a kit of reusable water bottle, coffee mug, straw, utensils, napkins, etc to work at least 3 times a week
    • Join the Last Plastic Straw Challenge by printing a card you can leave withyour bill at restaurants to encourage them to only provide straws when customers request them
  6. Do second-hand
  7. Spend more time in nature
    • Go on a walk/run/hike every month
    • Take a paddle boarding class in June
  8. Take public transportation to work
    • Ride the bus/light rail to work at least once a week
    • Bike to work at least once a week
  9. Consume/buy less
    • Bring a list of items needed when going shopping, and only go “off-script” with one additional item 5 times during the year.
    • Reduce Amazon purchases to only 5 times for the year
  10. Travel smarter
    • Buy carbon off-sets for at least one trip traveled by airplane
    • Swap all vacations to staycations

For more ideas, check out these articles:

Best practices for achieving goals

Below are two resources to help you think through what you want to accomplish and set goals that will be successful.


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