• Jenny Hill

Think Small in 2022

Are you considering some changes towards a more sustainable life for 2022? What are some small changes that could have a big impact towards self-growth as a good steward of our planet?


Small Timely Steps


With an eye on the calendar, let’s first talk about holiday lights. If practical, it’s most sustainable to store them away for re-use. If you are making the switch to longer-lasting LED lights and have incandescent ones to get rid of, check out this link for light recycling in the Crow Wing County, MN, area or search by your area for Christmas lights recycling.


Throughout the year, there are simple tweaks you can make in your everyday routines to incorporate more sustainability. Small daily changes that save energy, use less resources or use resources more strategically all add up. Here is a great list of things to try from Heifer International.


Small Steps with a Buddy


Maybe you’re ready to take a step toward learning about a new sustainability topic. You don’t have to do it alone! As part of our 16th annual Back to Basics, we are happy to be bringing you 14 workshops that will meet at the Pine River Backus School on select weekday evenings starting January 24.


The workshop line-up includes real-world gardening tips and instruction, keeping chickens, canning, self-empowerment, rain gardens, soil health, making your own lotions, needle and soap-felting, beekeeping, Ayurveda, and outdoor play. We know from past years that the engaging workshop presenters and fellow attendees at Back to Basics often provide inspiration for sustainable changes. Get the full scoop on In-Person Workshops here.


Another “buddy” option might be getting involved in a community group. The Buy Nothing Project promotes a no-money-exchanged framework to “buy less, share more.” There is an extensive website as well as an app, but the emphasis is to build a community where you are. Over 5 million people worldwide have done that. Learn more about it here.


Small Steps on Your Own


Want to learn something new, but not comfortable meeting in groups right now? Many virtual options exist. For a small fee, you can explore classes like this one on Forest Bathing from the University of Minnesota Extension Service.


If you want to “keep it local” (but still virtual) the virtual workshop line-up for 2022 Back to Basics features 25 workshops ranging from planting native vegetation, gardening & sustainability and homesteading. The offerings in food include sourdough, super foods, dutch oven, cooking, meal planning and pizza making.


There is a deep selection of Back to Basics workshops in the areas of health and wellness: foot health, herbal remedies for colds and flu season, exercise, hydration and sleep, varicose veins, the lymph system, vaping, and cell health. You’ll also have the chance to learn about T’ai Chi, Yoga Nidra, phenology, fermentation and cordwood construction.


The $30 registration fee ($25 for seniors or students) gets you access to all 25 pre-recorded workshops between January 22 and February 6. Learn more about the virtual workshops for 2022’s Back to Basics here.


Also, the recording of the 2022 Back to Basics keynote speaker, Diane Wilson, is included in the registration fee. You can see and hear the virtual keynote live on Facebook on Saturday, January 22 at 10 a.m. Wilson will be speaking on “Growing Justice and Equity in Our Food Landscape.”


The urge to make sweeping changes in a new year can be inspirational, but it can also be overwhelming. By paying attention to what feels right (but also attainable), small changes can have a lasting positive impact on not only your life, but also our physical environment.