For the last few months I have been researching a post about palm oil (long story don’t ask) and so I have perused an awful lot of ‘green’ websites. I’m not going to criticize them or the people who have written them, many dedicating their lives to environmental issues, BUT and it’s a big but I came away feeling very overwhelmed by all the information, wanting to do the right thing, but without having to sacrifice my life to trying to save the planet or try to live my life by a set of unattainable rules .
I guess I have more time than most women my age; I could even describe my self as time rich as I don’t work or have children so I have no excuse not to recycle or cook from scratch and all the other little things environmentally aware people are meant to do but I fear that there are more people out there being turned off by what has become a middle class pursuit of saving the planet.
It’s very easy to become smug and judgemental about other people’s life choices. Yesterday for instance I did my food shop in M&S. There was a time when I was always in there buying dinners and over packaged everything, but these days I rarely visit. I had decided to go there as I have to do a lot of painting this week and I know I won’t be able to prepare and cook all our food form scratch as well ( chronic health problem in case you’re wondering). Also I had run out of carrier bags that I use to put our rubbish in so I didn’t take my bags for life with me. The lady at the check out was very keen for me to purchase some bags for life so I explained to her that I had purposely left my already generous supply of said bags in the car because I wanted carrier bags to reuse other wise I would only be buying bin liners made from plastic to fill up with rubbish so although I agree that carrier bags are bad if you just thrown them away when you get home they aren’t if you reuse them.
This is why we all need to think about our own circumstances and make our choices based on sensible logic.
Green products are big money and it’s easy, very easy to get sucked into literally buying into it – we all love to buy things, now we justify spending more money to acquire ecco friendly products when what we really need to be doing is not buying anything!
This is why I am making my own manifesto for green living – I’m not advocating you adhere to it as your circumstances may be and probably are completely different to mine.
I urge you all to be interested in environmental issues, but question what you read and perhaps discuss it with your friends and family, don’t just do it with out thinking – for instance Ecover products - I did my unscientific experiments with them so you know I don’t rate them particularly – do you buy them (if you can afford them) or could you actually use the extra money on something else that might help the environment more? Discuss.
I do some very shameful un-green things – shall I confess? Since Harry has changed to ‘wet’ food(skin problems long story don’t ask) I can’t recycle his empty tins of Butcher’s Tripe because if dog(or cat)food touches my fingers I retch so I can’t clean them out to put them in the recycling bin. 1 tin a day, 365 days a year – he’s 10 and probably has another 5 0r 6 years so that’s 2,190 tins that will be going into landfill because I am squeamish about dog food!
I don’t have a compost heap – yet - as the smell of rotting food makes me….. retch – there’s been a few sticky moments when my neighbour has been showing me her wormery which isn’t always odour free as those naughty worms have been slacking. But I am trying to become a light consumer of? well everything. My role models are the population of Great Britain during the Second World War. Everyone rich or poor had to change their consumption of resources whether it was food, clothes, heating – everything was measured and rationed and the majority of the population were the healthier for it.
It is much more difficult today – a self enforced reduction of what is now cheap and plentiful but at what cost? I am about to generalise here but it is hard to find something not made in China these days – yes Primark make cheap clothes made in China – M&S oh yes China, Burberry? China.
Chickens – if I think about them for too long I cry. What the hell are we all eating?
Gigibird’s personal Manifesto for a greener life and making her footprint small
• Before I buy anything I ask ’do I really need this?’
• How does this purchase impact on the environment?
• Can I make this myself?
• Recycle as much as I can
• Can I reuse this?
• Buying home-grown seasonal food
• Buying free-range meat, but not using too much of it
• Can anyone else use this now I no longer use it?
• Can I help other people discover the pleasure and joy of becoming environmentally responsible?
Over the next few weeks I will be focusing on a few of these issues in depth, so if there is anything you'd like me to pontificate on let me know and maybe we can discuss them together!