While in a completely relaxed state of mind I plotted and planned to become more sustainable this year as my New Years Resolution. Then I announced it to all and sundry. So now I have to see this through to the end of the year. Normally my resolutions are started with a whiz and a bang and then promptly forgotten, but they were more made because that is what you do on New Year’s Eve rather than from a great desire to make change.
This year is different, because I really feel we should be reducing our impact on our environment, especially as you see the issues our planet face are no longer regarded as the wild rantings of crazy folk, but turn up in the mainstream news as very real problems. But at the same time we are busy people and have things to do and places to go. So I am trying to achieve sustainability at a level where change is being made, but at a level that can easily fit into the everyday comings and goings of a busy family. So we aren’t about to go off grid and make everything we need ourselves. And if we can manage it, then anyone can.
You need to be sensible about these things and work to your own strengths and so if someone local is making sustainable well priced things then it doesn’t make any sense to try and do it yourself. I have discovered time is just as much an important resource as anything thing else and if it is wasted doing the wrong kinds of things, then opportunities to do good things is lost.
The other interesting thing about this resolution is I couldn’t do it by myself. I have had to get the whole family to join in. If wouldn’t really work if I was busy being environmental and they weren’t. They outnumber me three to one. So this last month we have being very busy. I’d like to say ‘we’ but to me honest I think it might be ‘me’ but I’ll use the ‘royal we’ for this confession. ‘We’ can get ourselves into a bit of a muddle and clutter builds up. Things we don’t need get jumbled all together with things we don’t. This month we have been ruthless. We have worked our way through the place with a large broom and cleared all the clutter. We have taken loads of stuff to the Op Shop and to be honest a lot was thrown out.
This sort of made me feel a little guilty as we shouldn’t be adding to the landfill. But we needed to clear things out so we could assess our lifestyle as it stood. There is still a few piles that need a little attention but we are mostly there. So going forward we can be more discerning about what comes into the house and what is allowed to stay.
During January, I also purchased a new set of reusable shopping bags, and I can proudly say we have used them every time we have been grocery shopping. I also find myself feeling internally convicted with the decisions I make in the store and without going overboard at this stage, some things have been returned to the shelf as my conscious wouldn’t let me bring them home.
I have also stopped using the drier. This is a big one for me because my energy levels can be a bit unpredictable from time to time due to my MS and I prefer to use my good times on the garden, not the laundry. So it was so much easier to haul it from the washing machine into the drier in one swift movement. Job done. But now I have taken the time to hang it out on clothes racks and the sun dries it. Our electricity usage has dropped dramatically as a result. We are making a difference. I just need to train the kids to do it and things will be perfect.
And of course we are growing our own veggies. The garden is doing really well and the list I easily threw together when I was making my resolution has been well taken care of. Some things are done and others are under control with plans afoot.
- My irrigation system. I’m nearly there. – 99.9% there, but then we had a good rain.
- The long grass in the orchard – I paid someone to sort it out. It looks lovely now.
- The new garden fence – I put in a trial fence to see how I like it. The actual fence will have to wait until autumn when the soil is soft again to dig post holes.
- A proper compost system – This will come after the fence – wait and see, it will be awesome!
- Tidy the greenhouse and shed – Done. Nothing like having a garden visit to sort that out!
- Pickling and preserving – I’m on to it, but I need new lids.
- Deadheading the lavender around the deck – Done and now the new flowers are looking lovely.
- The grounds beyond the garden – We got a lawn mower man in. This has motivated us to look beyond the long grass and tidy things up. Definitely taking a move in the right direction.
- Passionfruit – Done. This has been sorted out and I found 4 fruit. Hooray!
- Outside shelving – And done.
Look at me with the action around here. We have been so busy. But we can’t let the momentum drop so for the month of February we will continue with what we have been doing but will also be cutting down on what we throw out as rubbish, make sure we recycle well and avoid bringing anything into the house that has more packaging than necessary or is disposable or single use when there more sustainable option available.
Come again soon – change is good.
Sarah the Gardener : o )
Check out the garden this week: