It is widely acknowledged within my family and friends that I’m a bit odd. I have very weird ideas about stuff. Stuff like how to be green, how to minimise my carbon foot print and do the right thing. The problem is doing the right thing is a tricky business not just because it’s a minefield of decisions to make but also just following through on your principles.
I’ll give you an example of the minefield aspect though. Apples. Imagine you’re standing in front of the massive display of apples in the supermarket. Do you:
a) Not buy any because the are not in season.
b) Only buy organic – whether from UK or abroad.
c) Only buy fairtrade – whether from UK or abroad.
d) Only buy British organic.
But if you buy British have they been cold stored therefore using power to keep them from going off?
See, what a minefield the purchasing of a fairly staple item like an apple can bring? We do have our own apples so at least for a couple of months I know my conscience is really clear.
And waiting for them to ripen up is part of the fun of having a fruit tree. I also have another option apart from growing our own and that’s Riverford. (or Riverford on Home Farm up North) I can’t recommend them, highly enough.
I have too many of these principles – vegetarian, organic, fairtrade, no palm oil in biscuits, no leather shoes, not air freighted flowers.
I’ve stopped buying flowers for the house because most are air freighted and you never know if the workers are paid fairly (this goes for anything you buy of course) And then I understand that lots of flowers are grown in hot houses anyway, even ones grown in this country. Like I say, minefields.
Here’s another example. Since last Christmas I’ve been searching for furniture for the living room. I want pale wood, a coffee table, tv unit and a book case. I want the wood to be sustainably sourced and FSC if possible. And it took 5 months of searching the internet to find anything that I liked and ticked most of the boxes. And in the end I’m having two of the pieces made specially anyway.
However, we have made in roads (no pun intended!) on the greener front when we recently went from two cars to one car and that car just happens to be a Toyota Auris hybrid. Go us. Or rather go Gav because it was all his idea. Learning to drive it is a challenge but when you get to your destination and the little readout on the dashboard flashes excellent at you and declares that you got 65 miles per gallon during the trip you do feel rather smug.
I know most of my attempts to do the right thing end up not quite working out and I know I drive Gav mad with my constant mutterings about doing this instead of that because it might be greener. I don’t have all the answers but I’ll keep trying in my inimitable way.