So what's all this about going green? Are we all turning into hippies and opening a commune? Yes! FREE LOVE!
Only kidding, but I guess "think hippie" is not a bad mantra! The essence of going green is, I suppose, taking responsibility for your affect on the world. This is not meant to be preachy in anyway, not at all, the idea of being green is not to use it as a crown to strut about in. Being green is a choice but I do feel it is something to be proud of! We are doing our bit, and there is no reason it can't be something we enjoy too!
You say 'Green' to most people they think or recycling, its the biggie! But being green, for us, is not just about recycling, although that is part of it. It's Recycle & Reuse. It's self sufficiency & sustainability. It's thinking about what goes down the drain even! Saw a great quote which said when you throw something away, there is no such place as 'away'. It all ends up somewhere. And its true, we want to look at what we use and where we can make adjustments to the advantage of us all. It's not a sudden change we intend, just a look at different aspects of our lives and see where we can "green it up"! I'll have posts on each thing we do, big and little, as we do them.
But part of what I want to do is to try and show that it is easy for everyone to do something to help themselves be more green (if that is their want) and I hope that by reading along you might spot things you already do and things that you may be able to try! Some of the things we will attempt are obviously going to be more suitable to the situation we are in but hopefully you may at least get some good ideas, and if not here's hoping it gives you at least a good read!
Lets have a look at the kind of areas we are trying to tidy up our lives...
Recycling, of course. This seems like a no brainer, and it is highly likely that you do some kind of recycling yourself already, with council run schemes, whatever yours may be. Our is very simplistic one blue bin, everything recyclable except glass, the end! But I think I can add in here a bit for all you gardeners, composting, wormeries and the like. To me this is recycling turning one thing, garden or kitchen waste, into something else, plant food! Got hens? Kitchen scraps to eggs! The ultimate in recycling!
Reusing. This is much as it sounds, if you can use an item in some other way then go for it! Whether this is some huge project where you plan to build a hen house from stuff you find by the roadside or you simply keep and refill old jars with your own homemade jam, it all helps keep stuff out of landfill and therefore reduces the impact on the planet (there's the hippy bit!). Or perhaps simply giving a home to something someone else no longer needs but is just what you are after!
With reuse in mind I'd love to draw your attention to Freegle, it is a great forum style site where you can go and advertise stuff you may have and are wanting to get rid of or look for things that you need that someone else may be giving away. There is only one rule: it has to be given away free. The main idea is to allow people to clear clutter without having to resort to drastic measures!
I am a moderator on our local group but I am not paid, this isn't a funded plug, it is just a system I truly believe in and urge you to check out your local group. If you are interested then follow the link to the main site and find the most appropriate group for your area.
Car boot sales and markets should probably come under here somewhere, it isn't free but it once again keeps from adding to general waste and you can probably pick up a few bargains umm.. into the bargain!
Self Sufficiency. Again, somewhat self explanatory but not something to run from anyone can be self sufficient to a small extent. Self sufficiency relates to not only food, the first thing you think of, but also energy, think solar panels. Again not everyone's cup of tea but never the less something that we aim to look at on both levels.
Sustainability. This is the one that might need a bit more explaining and is probably the most 'preachy' of the ideas. Sustainability, to me, is looking at your impact on the world as a whole and basically saying am I personally sustainable? Kind of grim reading huh? It is really the green idea as a whole.
As I go about my daily routine how is what I am doing effecting the environment around me. Let me give you an example: I have just cleaned the sink, I used bleach. Is there something else I could have used that wouldn't have been so harsh once it had left my drain?
This is one of the first lessons in green that I learned when moving to the farm and not because I intended to become an eco warrior!, just simply because we have a septic tank and you can't use any bleachy type products into a septic tank or you, essentially, break it. We were forced to rethink how we cleaned everything, looking for the "suitable for sceptic tanks" on the back of every product. Believe me THAT gets old fast!
So there it is, a flying trip through what we are getting ourselves into. We're completely nuts!