Welcome to 2020 folks.
I have always said that I do not do “resolutions.” Except for the year I told people that I was going to take up smoking, gain weight, and drink more. Granted, I failed on all three but I made some resolutions. However, I will make some goals.
The reason I publish these goals and cadence them on this blog is that I have found it is hugely effective in getting me to execute. The power of accountability. What follows does build on what I wanted to achieve in 2019.
Here are my goals for 2020:
- Deeper decarbonization: It is one thing to put solar panels on your roof and buy an electric vehicle. That is just the start. As I look at my household energy use holistically I can see several opportunities for deeper decarbonization. A couple of examples: replacing an aging gasoline powered lawn mower with an electric lawn mower; replacing an existing natural gas fired water heater with an electric air source heat pump “smart” water heater.
- Replace 500 Vehicle Miles with Human Powered Transit: It is one thing to replace a gasoline powered mile with an electric powered mile, but it is an even better thing to replace all of these miles with human powered miles. Why? While an EV is orders of magnitude more efficient than an ICE vehicle, both pale in comparison to the efficiency of human powered transit. It is not just about the direct energy costs of delivering a human being to their desired location, but the embodied energy of the infrastructure required for cars.
- Ride 2,500 Miles on my Bicycle: Last year I rode over 3,000 miles. I am keeping the goal the same for this year because I am looking to incorporate more commuting into my summer riding and I am going to try and branch out with some different riding. Maybe I will even get back into mountain biking after almost a decade out of the saddle.
- Ride 2 “New to Me” Trails: There are so many potentially amazing trails just in my region that I have not ridden. It is easy to become complacent and ride the “usual.” I am going to try and break out of the rut.
- Local, Direct, and Packaging Neutral Beer: It is one thing to buy local beer, but it is better to buy it directly from the brewery without creating packaging waste. Combining all three is like the holy grail of beer consumption.
- Read 40 Books: Last year I read 51 books against a goal of 25 books. I guess that I was sandbagging a little bit. Moving the goal up to 40 books, but there are a lot of thick and dense tomes on my book list. Like Capital in the Twenty First Century dense.
- Reduce Lawn, Increase Landscape Variety: There is too much grass. Our lawns are giant monocultures that are crying to be diversified. The goal this year is to take some of that grass out and replace it with diverse plantings that are beneficial for both the environment and wildlife.
- Maximize Local Food: Month in and month out, food is the second largest expense in my household after a mortgage payment. Directing as much of this money as possible to local vendors and producers is the single biggest change that I can make in 2020. I have about three months of detailed information from the end of 2019 when I began thinking about this as a baseline, so I think I will know if I am doing a decent job.