Belated Earth Day thoughts

I didn’t expect to be posting so soon again, particularly with the trip looming, but Lolly has been making me think after her post on going green. Being in the UK limits my energy supplier choices quite a bit – sadly I don’t think we have any electricity suppliers who work on wind or water supplies only. We do use those low energy bulbs and we’ll be getting a stove installed to cut our gas consumption, feeding it mainly with newspapers from work, so we will be smoke free while we burn. We don’t drive, which will help our footprint in one way, but as we live in the sticks, it makes it harder to transport items for recycling, and our council, while providing green wheelie bins for some residents, can’t supply our row of houses with one because of the way they are built (there is nowhere hygienic to store them, and the bins would have to be brought down a steep set of steps). They gave us a composter for free though, which doesn’t seem to be breaking down very well, so we ended up throwing things away more often than putting them in for compost. Plus there are a lot of fields here, and fields = rats and foxes, and a lot of cats, which makes it difficult to leave food around when they could probably lift the door on the composter and nab things they shouldn’t. Any tips on making composting work while deterring animals without harm? I’m growing potatoes this year, which I’m really excited about! I’ve heard that planting Marigolds (I think) can help reduce certain pests like greenfly or similar to help protect your plants, and I try to use green garden products at home. Luckily, some plastic stuff we buy is degradable (like sarnie and bin bags), and we use recycled kitchen and toilet roll. We gift to charity shops wherever possible, and use local suppliers for some foods like eggs, but again, transport restrictions mean we can’t always buy local veg :( The farm shop is only 20 mins away, and yet we don’t shop unless we have some help from a car owner as it gets too heavy to carry back across the hills :(

My yarn consumption is hardly wonderful with overseas purchases too (although does that mean I should order big when I do order ;D), and travelling by plane to Barcelona on Saturday is naughty, even if it is ultimately for DB’s work.

Nobody ever said improving your footprint was easy, and DB and I are making baby steps towards it, which can only be a good thing. All we need is the gumption to decide to change something and my library school skills to find the help online to do it. And to stop being so lazy about carrying things from the shop ;D Thinking these things through in public really makes you think about whether ‘can’t’ actually means ‘won’t’ and how much power you have over yourself to change things. I’ll certainly think twice now about where I get my frivolous purchases from, and how I shop for food stuff…


 

5 thoughts on “Belated Earth Day thoughts”

  1. Freecycle.org, for giving away and asking for stuff you need.
    marigolds keep pests off tomatoes, chillies and peppers.
    some electric companies and energy organisations give free light bulbs. If you burn wood, no coal with it then use woodash for your garden and plants. You can grow tomatoes, chillies peppers and herbs on window sills
    add more cardboard and newspaper and junk mail (minus plastic bits) to your compost, we found we didn’t have enough of this in with the foodstuffs so it didn’t break down quickly. Shred what you put in and don’t forget to fork it through to turn occasionally. Oh and Mr Mog says don’t forget to get your DH to wee in it, apparently urine is wonderful for breaking it down. Oh and he says if DH wees around the area (or you put wee around) it keeps foxes away
    Hope that helps. If I think of anything else will email
    amber

  2. I am on N Power’s green tariff – they promise that all my electricity comes from green sources – I signed up online through USwitch.
    Compost – ah yes! I also have a green bin from the council, and it doesn’t appear to be doing much – but you ARE supposed to turn it regularly (I never have!) and add equal parts “brown” waste (paper and cardboard) to the “green” sort (veg scraps, weeds).
    Courgettes seem to grow anywhere – even a windswept Aberdeenshire plot! And they are incredibly prolific – two plants will keep the two of you in courgettes all summer, with some to spare! You can grow salad leaves in a grobag on your back step. Herbs on the windowsill! How about keeping a hen?! No, really, I am serious!

  3. Good Energy uses 100% renewables and it only costs us about £2 a month more than n-power used to. http://www.good-energy.co.uk/

    I left a comment here ages ago, I’m the one who used to go to Wrenthorpe guides, I added you to my Bloglines but I’ve been crap at commenting since – sorry! Anyway – if you decide you want to switch electricity suppliers, email me for my postcode so I can refer you and we both get a free bottle of organic wine :)

  4. Some interesting thoughts there Bryony.

    I am realising that having no money is both good and bad for the environment. Good because you have to be so careful about waste, bad because it is difficult to afford Ecover, Organic anything and things from the Farmers’ Market.

    I do recycle. As my garden gets going I will be composting again – and growing my own veggies. I adore re-useable bags, and have quite a collection.

    I think the key is just to do what you can, as often as you can – and to keep reviewing what you can do.

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