Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Summer Goals

Classes are over; I've (mostly) recovered from the trial-by-fire final project from one of them.  After a research presentation on Wednesday and moving on Friday (!), I'll be set to roll into summer.  40 hours of research a week, and chilling out the rest of the time? Seems good to me.

Except I won't totally be chilling out.  I've got Things to do.  Here are my goals for the summer, both work and personal.  Some are lofty, some are mundane.  All are probably too general, but for now...

1. Work hard and efficiently at research.  This is why I'm here.  Subgoals:  Get the paper from my undergrad project submitted and through revisions (that depends a bit on collaborators and reviewers).   Get the paper for my current project finished by the time I go to a conference at the end of the summer (in France!)

2. Get my NY residency squared away and transfer all my mail, etc, up here.  I'm no longer a dependent on my parents for tax purposes, so I'm ready to transition away from MD being my primary residence.

3. Get my savings in order.  I set aside some money throughout this year, but didn't do anything with it besides stick it in the bank.  I have a mutual fund that is wanting for contributions, and I want to open a retirement account.  Subgoals: talk to HR since they sent me a letter about retirement plans, and research said plans.

4. Sort some personal stuff out that's currently keeping me from dating anyone, and some other stuff that's screwing up my relationship with my parents.  These might be the same stuff; I'm not yet sure.

5. Eat or preserve everything in my CSA share each week.

I plan on posting about 2, 3, & 5, for sure.  The CSA starts in 2 weeks; I'm probably most excited for that.  2, 3, & 4 are about me trying to figure out how the heck to be an adult.  Should be a fun Summer! :)

Friday, May 3, 2013

Thank You New York!

A friend just alerted me to some fabulous news that came out last week.  I'm a bit behind the times, but nonetheless I'm excited - NYC will now recycle all hard plastics!

I know recycling isn't the answer to all of our waste problems.  The cycle can only operate a few times on any one piece of plastic.  But nonetheless, for things like yogurt tubs that only come in plastic, I'm happy to at least be able to recycle them a few times around.  This will still reduce the amount of waste that's sent to landfills, and New York (and the world) need that reduction badly. 

I simultaneously worry that this recycling program will make it easier for people (including me on some days) to choose plastic packaging over metal or glass or no packaging, because the guilt over throwing the plastic away could be assuaged by being able to put it in the recycling bin.  That issue will take much more effort and education to resolve, but for now this is a step in the right direction. 

Another exciting part of that announcement, which should have been more than a blip in the middle, is that the city will also increase their composting ('organic recycling') programs at public schools.  Even less landfill waste, and more dirt.  I like it.