After a fabulous New Year celebration with old friends, new friends, much food and feasting, much elderflower champagne and possibly some unconfirmed reports of dancing on tables I once again found myself in sleeping in a tent on a soft airbed, but it didn’t really matter. The New Year was upon us and if it is half as good as last year, it is going to be a fabulous ride. So as the sun rose high in the sky, clearing the foggy haze in my head, I found clarity in what I must do this year. I need to go on a bit of a mission to improve our lives for the good of the whole world! How grand does that sound?
I am going to green up our lives. I had a bit of a revelation when I saw we were using the recycle shopping bags for everything but shopping and our house was awash with plastic bags. When did we stop using them? Had our ideals slipped or did we just get lazy? So I am going to whip us into shape and then once a month I shall do a bit of a roundup of how we are going. I do have quite a bit on my plate and so I don’t imagine we will forgo the modern conveniences or going off grid, but instead I’m going to introduce things that help and enhance our lifestyle not hinder it.
On a daily basis there is much that can be done to improve our existence and make the world a better place and after a lot of intensive researching, I have found we are already doing a good job – so I have discounted these for various reasons. We eat mostly whole foods and cook from scratch. We are pretty much, but not strictly, avoiding processed foods using the philosophy “if your grandmother wouldn’t recognise it as food then don’t eat it.” This can be hard to come home from a hectic day with nothing in the cupboard to instantly zap, or anything to zap it with for that matter. Fresh is best and knowing where most of our food comes from is a real blessing. Having said that we aren’t completely obsessive about this – we will eat some “naughty’ food, but it is a treat and far from being included as part of our regular diet. We are looking for quality of life, not a life of hassle.
I am a bit of a skin flint and so we just don’t buy bottled water, the stuff in the tap is perfectly fine. Using public transport is out, and walking to work is a given, and not really a reduction in non-sustainable activities as home is our work place and it only takes a few dozen steps to get there.
Within the circle of life there are many options however it is too late to have a green wedding as that is a distant but memorable memory and it was perfectly lovely at the time. Having less children is another suggestion for a sustainable life, however it is not something I need to weigh up as a way to save the planet as I am not willing to put myself through the nappy years again. And speaking of nappies, I did do my fair share of cloth nappies, and just as they were no longer needed in our household the cool faux disposable looking cloth nappies became affordable. This caused mixed emotions as I looked on enviously at the ease my friends with younger children embraced green nappies, yet full of relief that those days were in the past and fancy nappies in bright colours weren’t enough to return me to the endless cycle of poop removal.
With the turnover of yet another year I shall refuse to consider a green funeral. Not because it isn’t a great idea, and you never know when you need it, but I am at a stage in life where it seems to be picking up speed and I want to live now and make each day count for something and embracing that would seem a little too much like fast forwarding. I know it isn’t all that responsible if I want to be truly sustainable, but it seems one step too far. I have a will – written when I thought I would live forever and so that will have to do.
And of course all the gardening stuff generally suggested is covered. I grow my food, I compost, we recycle, the kids know where their food comes from. It is fresh and you can’t get much smaller air miles.
I am looking forward to this adventure. It will highlight what we are doing well, but will hopefully bring a new element to our idyllic if not somewhat chaotic lifestyle. Of course my resolutions will also include the standard “stop procrastinating” and “make every day count for something.” These are brought forward from last year as it is so easy to have the days slip away from you if you don’t keep a tight eye on them.
Come again soon – the garden is growing great guns with scant attention in the holiday madness.
Sarah the Gardener : o )