After a somewhat mixed year in 2020, what is my key 2021 focus for our family footprint project?
As I said last year when I wrote about my goals for the year, while I admire people who can make sweeping changes to their lifestyle, that doesn’t work for me and my family. This will be the third year that I have chosen particular areas of focus for our family footprint project. Alongside these, I’m always trying to stay aware of changes we can make but I like having a focus.
I’ll actually be keeping a couple of the same foci as last year. As I did not manage to make much progress on them in 2020, they get another shot in 2021. I’m throwing in a new one though, to keep it interesting!
2021 Project Focus Areas
Use Ourselves for Transport
I had hoped to work on using our car less in 2020. We did, in fact, use the car much less for a time – the time when we were all in lockdown. Plus COVID has meant we haven’t taken a holiday nor even many weekends away this year. However, what I want to work on is getting us all to use ourselves more transport. Be it by foot, bikes or scooters, as well as utilising public transport, the aim is to reduce car dependence.
My husband had thought he would buy an electric bike for commuting. By the time he returned to working in the office, his plan had changed. Now the idea is to buy an electric scooter. On it he can travel to the tram stop (a 25-30 minute walk from our house) and from the tram to his office. It looks like this is the plan we will execute in 2021.
But a Second Car Might Still be Necessary…
Despite this, it does look like we will buy a second car. We have been managing with one car since our second car was written off in the Canberra hailstorm. Between my husband and I, we manage easily with only one car. But we have three teenagers, one of whom drives and another on his Ls. They are agitating for a second car and I’m beginning to be convinced by their arguments. The eldest is of an age now where she doesn’t always want to come away on breaks with us so, when we take the car, she is left at home without transport. Our Canberra weekend public transport service is sorely lacking.
While I would love to stay a one-car family, it does make sense to in some ways to have a second one. I think we will be buying a small, secondhand runabout sometime soon. I’d love for it to be electric but I don’t know if that is in our budget. They seem to hold their value and even the secondhand ones are expensive. Ah, one-car-ness was nice while it lasted…
Despite this, I still want to encourage all five of us to walk, ride a bike (or scooter) or take public transport whenever this is feasible, especially for trips within a 5km radius of home. This will be one focus for 2021.
It does seem like a lot of the change yet to come at our house depends on the motivation of the younger members of the household. Soft plastics is one such area. There is no doubt, I could do more shopping at my local bulk foods store and be more conscientious about making things from scratch that we tend to buy in plastic packaging. The soft plastic collection at our house, though, does contain a lot of snack food wrappers that the kids bring in. If we are going to succeed in reducing our soft plastic consumption, it needs to be a whole family effort. Since watching David Attenborough’s “A Life on Our Planet”, they are more motivated so I hope to capitalise on that in 2021.
Mostly Plant-Based Diet
The other area for focus in 2021 is our diet. Again, spurred on my David Attenborough, the family is motivated to eat less meat. We were actually eating meat infrequently at home already, with one vegetarian out of the five of us, but we will move further in this direction in 2021. My aim is only to cook sustainable meat such as kangaroo mince and local free-range pork at home at all in 2021, unless it is a special occasion. Our dairy consumption will also be under scrutiny.
So, they are my areas of focus for 2021. I hope this year doesn’t hold any big surprises like last year and I can focus more on our plans. What are your family footprint plans for 2021? Have you set a 2021 focus?