New Year’s Eco Resolutions: My New ‘R’ in the Mix – ‘Refuse’

TRACKING TRASH: Keep up with your 2012 eco resolutions through Girl Scouts’ Forever Green website. Check it out by scanning the QR code with your Smartphone or by logging on to

Whoever said that on Jan. 1 we would all somehow magically become excellent at working out and organizing our homes was seriously out of touch with reality. I think I’ve gained weight, gotten messier and I feel more unorganized than ever.  So, I choose to focus on attainable resolutions, which is now possible through all the free time created by admitting I will not be going to the gym.

First Eco-Resolution: Refuse. I want to extend my list of items I will refuse as a consumer: one-time-use plastic water bottles and grocery bags, but also I will refuse to purchase products that contain a lot of packaging.  For example, most cereal contains two packages, the sealed bag and the box. Instead, I’ll purchase bagged only or bulk cereals.

I will refuse unecessary to-go packaging. For example-my favorite to-go sandwich comes wrapped in plastic, placed in a Styrofoam container then set inside a plastic bag. I now refuse the Styrofoam and plastic bag. They don’t seem to mind.
The simple resolution to refuse will create less waste and less for me to deal with later.  It’s very empowering to realize I do not have to accept what is handed to me, that I have the power to refuse. While this sounds simple enough, as a southern gal, this is a novel concept.

Second Eco-Resolution: Repurpose.  I will take my old cameras, cords, phones, computer monitors and to Natural Evolution in Tulsa. Their mission statement reads, “To provide recycling services to our cities and clients handling their electronic waste stream in the most efficient, effective way while minimizing its carbon footprint in a Zero landfill, Zero incineration & Zero international dumping process.”  Sounds good to me.

Third Eco-Resolution:  Renew.  For me, something about recycling renews my energy and brings pep in my step whenever I am blue. This year, as Marketing Director for Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma, I get the opportunity to tell you about and participate in Girl Scouts’ Forever Green Project. 

Track your year of green effort, get e-tips and local join-in dates and, who knows, possibly get inspired to join Girl Scouts and continue Forever Green in your area. Go to to learn more.

Also, in case you are interested, you can sign up now to become a Tulsa Master Recycler. Spring class begins Feb. 15, lasts 10 weeks and costs $20. Classes will be held from 6 – 8 p.m. on the O.S.U. Tulsa campus at 700 N. Greenwood Ave. in Tulsa. For more information, email Okay, marketing hat removed. Thank you for listening.

The year ahead is an exciting one, full of possibilities and opportunities.  However, it’s easy to become overwhelmed and listless. So, I share with you my motto for the year.  Mother Theresa said it best, “We can’t all do great things. But we can all do small things with great love.” Here’s to a great 2012.

Updated 01-25-2012

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