Make any New Year Resolutions? It’s not too late.

But this year, instead of joining a gym or diet plan, what if your new year resolution was to do something good for the environment?

It can feel overwhelming to think about the global environmental issues, especially when most of us (hand raised) are everyday offenders. But that doesn’t mean that we can’t improve.

About ten years ago my husband and I decided that with every new year we would try to make one change to limit our impact and help the environment. We are still a long way from being off-grid organic farmers, but we have made several decisions that over time make a difference. One year we exchanged our gas guzzler for a hybrid vehicle, another year we took advantage of tax rebates to install solar panels on our roof. We made the decision a few years back to try to eat more local and organic food and the next year my husband took up hunting to try to provide sustainable grass fed meat. One of my favorite practices was starting a nature journal to learn local flora and fauna. We also try to use native plants in our landscaping and this past year we introduced goats to our family as a natural form of vegetation management on our acre of land. We skipped a couple of years of trying to make the world a better place because we had foggy baby brain and other years our contribution was as simple as a donation to an environmental non-profit. And that’s okay. Something is better than nothing and trying and falling short is better than apathy. This year, we are looking at our businesses, Blue Ridge Hiking Company and Jennifer Pharr Davis LLC, to see what sustainable changes we can make within those organizations. We have some good ideas so far and we welcome suggestions, so let us know if anything comes to mind.

Thinking about how to care for our backyard (literally and figuratively) and making changes one-step at a time has allowed me to move in a positive direction over time without feeling overwhelmed or hopeless and helpless.

So this year, at a time when most of us focus on goals for our waistline and bottom-line, take some time to consider what tweaks and changes you can make in your everyday life to improve the world around you. Because, as any hiker can attest, small steps add up.