Hello Peeps!! I hope everyone has had a good week. Was it productive? Was it kind to the planet? Can it be both? I'm just ruminating on things today.
At my temp job, I've been instigating some recycling. I've even made a cardboard box into a recycling bin, neatly labelled: "PAPER AND CARD RECYCLING". I glare at people when they chuck their paper in the regular bin. When I leave, they will probably recycle the bin and that will be that. They do recycle their printer inks and toner cartridges though, which is awesome.
When I use produce that's been packed in plastic, I can recycle the plastic easily, in this great town. But it has to be washed, using gallons of precious water... The south of England is in a drought these days. You might think "But it's always raining in Dorset," and you would be right! But It's not real wet rain: Two inches in April, the wettest April EVER. In the tropics, two inches falls in half an hour. When we were in Trinidad in December, five inches fell in a day. When you think about just how many people live in Dorset, and how many inches of rain each person needs, you begin to realise how dire the situation is.
We all want the best. We all want stuff. I really want some new clothes so that I don't look like I'm wearing hand-me-downs at work (often, I am). Luckily, I'm broke, and the boys actually grow out of theirs, so they NEED new clothes. I can wear the same stuff for ever until it falls off of me. When I invested in clothes in the past, it was good quality stuff. Expensive, but on sale. So it lasts. Max wears lots of his older brothers' hand-me-downs. That's pretty green.
There's a huge market for Green Living, have you noticed? If you decide to save the Earth, and check the internet for tips or buy a magazine for Cruelty-Free or Sustainable living, there are all of these things that you NEED to BUY right NOW!! Apparently, instead of just wearing the clothes I have, I should throw them away and buy lots of organic recycled cotton stuff. I should throw out my cleaners and buy eco cleaners and a hundred pounds of baking soda. I need to buy a water bottle, even though I have sixteen of them in the recycling bin. Kids should have organic, wooden, bpa-free toys even though they will STILL just play with the box. Someone ought to sell organic recycled cardboard boxes for kids, they will make a fortune.
Okay, I am exaggerating. A little. But it irks me that many people, in an effort to live more gently on our planet, immediately spend a heap of money and raise their carbon footprint by a zillion percent. We CAN save the world, simply by not buying more stuff.
But it takes thought, organization and inspiration. And that is hard for a busy family, isn't it?
We've been changing our eating habits at home to 'Almost Vegetarian'. It's weird, how easy it has been for me to return to vegetarianism. I was a fairly strict vegetarian and sometime vegan for fourteen years before I got married, but started cooking and eating meat for a few reasons. Recently I had this revelation that actually, my reasons were dumb. So I stopped! I told the boys that they were welcome to fry bacon or sausages for breakfast, and have meat at school or when we went out, and they were cool with that. In an adolescent boy, eye-rolling, sarcastic kinda way. And it's pretty interesting, the boys have been eating more vegetarian food outside of the home as well, going for the less-meat option or the fish or the downright veggie. They have also become very fussy about the meat and fish they do eat. It's got to be really fresh and cooked to perfection. The bacon is sitting uneaten in the fridge, while haloumi and mushrooms disappear in a breakfast fry-up. I don't think I'll buy bacon and sausages any more. We're going Veg in this house.
So, while my attempts at green-ness may not be completely perfect, our diet and lifestyle are fairly Earth Friendly. I spend quite a lot of time thinking about it, and making small changes. There is so much every person can do, if they change a few habits.
What small changes can you make to go greener?