Good News, Procrastinators! It Isn’t Too Late!

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Have you made a New Year’s resolution? Are you thinking about making one? If so, you’re among the 44 percent of Americans who, according to a December 2014 Marist poll, say they are likely to make a resolution for 2015.

The Marist survey asked: “What is it that you will resolve to do or not do in the New Year?” (Here’s a link to the poll in case you’re interested in analyzing the data: http://maristpoll.marist.edu/wp-content/misc/usapolls/us141203/Holiday%20Shopping_New%20Years/Marist%20Poll%20National%20Holiday%20Shopping_New%20Years_Tables_December%202014.pdf#page=4).

The results of the poll show that some of the most common resolutions involve consumption reduction of one kind or another. While the most common vow is to lose weight (that is, to eat less), resolutions to spend less money, stop smoking, and stop drinking are also popular. Absent from the survey are resolutions to achieve materialistic goals. Apparently, Americans aren’t resolving to become rich and famous in 2015—or, if they are, they aren’t admitting it.

In addition to resolving to cut their consumption, people are vowing to improve themselves (by exercising more, being a better person, getting closer to God, going back to school, setting goals, and getting a better job) and to spend time in better ways (by increasing family time, worrying less, enjoying life, being kinder to others, and getting politically involved). Worth noting is the fact that, with the exception of 1% who are resolving to get a new house and another 1% who want to travel, Americans are resolving to do things in 2015 that are either environmentally benign or environmentally beneficial.

So let’s seize the moment.

It’s January, and now, with the super-duper, holy-cow(!), consume-like-there’s-no-tomorrow season behind us, a lot of us are thinking about reducing our consumption of food and other stuff. It isn’t too late to make a New Year’s resolution. Let’s resolve to think about the environmental costs associated with the stuff we buy and then cut back the amount we consume throughout the year.

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