Do you have a green resolution?

We’re more than two weeks into the new year. How are the resolutions coming? If you’ve slumped off your diet already or missed a trip to the gym, there’s still time to add a green resolution — one that’s relatively effortless to keep (at least compared to losing those last 10 pounds) and that will make you feel great.

If you’re floundering for what to choose, this past week, Verda Vivo wrote about 10 green resolutions you can keep. She has a great list, and I’m happy to say we do all of them, with the exception of regular use of public transit. (Fortunately, we still drive less than average. But Little Cheap’s school is not walkable, and Mr. Cheap lugs a lot of stuff to work with him as a teacher.)

As for me, I have a resolution that is both greener and cheaper:

Leftover night.

Some of you are probably scoffing, eating leftovers all the time. I, however, am really not a fan of leftovers. Especially if I didn’t love and adore (we’re talking it’s-one-of-my-favorites, lifelong-passion kind of love) the meal the first time. And I am a lazy cook. Meaning given my druthers, I would eat popcorn (organic! air-popped! with organic butter and organic salt!) three nights a week for dinner.

Fortunately, Mr. Cheap is an excellent cook. Fortunately for him, he likes to eat enough that he is more than willing to whip up dinner after a hard day in the salt mines classroom. So he cooks, and I eat. But we have different tastes, so usually the dinners — while delicious and appreciated — do not meet my “love and adore” criteria, and the leftovers sit.

Often, Mr. Cheap takes the leftovers for lunch. Very often. It’s a great way for him to enjoy good food inexpensively. I work at home, and sometimes I eat leftovers for lunch; other times I have something simple and inexpensive. (Not popcorn, I swear. Well, maybe sometimes.)

But the other day, I cleaned out the refrigerator, and I threw out 8 containers of food.


Truly, this is not typical for us, but it was alarming.

Thus, leftover night. It’s a good solution for using things up rather than tossing them in the compost. It will make life easier for us both. And it will test my creativity as I find new ways to make something old into something new, or to combine leftovers to make another good meal.

We started last night. To appease the troops, I bought some more organic chicken bratwurst to fill out our leftover choucroute (sauerkraut) and potatoes. It tasted great.

Making this kind of change also goes right along with One Green Generation’s post last week about the one thing (or several things) that are really hard to change on the path to sustainability.

What about you? What’s your resolution?


12 thoughts on “Do you have a green resolution?

  1. Mr. Stokes says:

    Thanks cheap for the link to those green resolutions. We do most of those in the Stokes household. I have so far been able to keep my resolutions and goals for this month. Lets hope that the momentum does not get lost along the way.

    $10,000 savings by next January…. here…I….come!!!

    -Mr Stokes

  2. badhuman says:

    For the year we would like to finish purging all the excess stuff we have from combining households and well being complete and utter packrats. We also want to reduce our recycling by composting more and buying items with less packaging of any kind.

    We would also like to save money. We have put ourselves on a pretty strict budget in the hopes buying 10-30 acres and building a green dream home. But that’s a five year goal.

  3. Chile says:

    I love soup in the winter so it’s my standard solution to leftovers. As long as one is careful about combining previously seasoned dishes, the soup always turns out delicious.

    My one resolution this year is to make better choices each day. That has positive benefits in all arenas – finances, health, the environment, relationships, etc.

  4. Christine says:

    We don’t have a green resolution for the new year so much as just trying to remember to do this one thing I always forget about: stop buying condiments in plastic containers. I can never remember, especially when confronted with bulk containers at the store.

    We do pretty well on the rest of the stuff, although I wouldn’t mind instating a leftovers night.

  5. Shannon says:

    I just made some net produce bags, so I’m trying to finally stop the influx of plastic bags into the house. I’ve also decided to go without paper towels for a year. Especially since I only ever bought them because other people expect you to have them.

  6. Martin says:

    The best way to avoid having eight containers of dubious leftovers in the fridge is to avoid having eight containers. We can do things differently than many people because we don’t work outside the home. We typically get very motivated to do something with leftovers because we need the pot. Having three ravenous teens helps keep the fridge empty as well 🙂

  7. L'an says:

    I’m with you on not being a fan of leftovers. Something about the family leftover night every 10 days or so when I was a child kinda scarred me on the whole concept (not to dissuade you from your own leftover night!)

    But, I have taken to always planning to have leftovers from the dinner before for lunch the next day. My problem is when we have it for more than two meals in a row. Especially when making soup. So the solution this year has been to parcel out just what we need for dinner, for the next day’s lunch, and then to freeze the extra right away so we’ve got a quick “fast food” option for some night when we just don’t want to cook. (Again, a great option for the soups.)

    I do think that one thing which helps a lot with leftovers is to pair the leftover with something new–leftover soup with a side of newly-cooked grains, or a salad instead of biscuits. Then it doesn’t feel quite so… recycled.

  8. erin says:

    We always take leftovers to work for lunches the next day (or days). Tonight, due to our inauguration party and some mad Indian cooking on Sunday we are having our own left over night. Luckily I am married to someone who is on top of the leftovers so spoilage is kept to a minimum.

    I don’t have a green resolution, per se, for the year. My resolution is more about getting exercize which is going pretty well.

  9. robj98168 says:

    I just bought some Tiffin’s thanks to Fake plastic Fish- she directed me to a 40% off coupon from togo ware. I love them. I take leftovers everyday to work. And the 40% of coupon made them very affordable. And just like FPF said- they were sent in a simple box with no ridiculous bubble wrap or plastic peanuts!

  10. cheaplikeme says:

    @rob, I just bought some of those too – love them! The only bummer is that the clasp is too tight for my 7-year-old to open by herself … I had hoped she could use one. 😦

    I really plan to use the top one to take to restaurants to bring leftovers home — I have a hard time remembering and wind up with styrofoam sometimes.

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