I’ve always “done my bit” for the environment. I recycle everything I can, even taking things to the tip which aren’t collected from the kerbside. I used cloth nappies and wipes on my little girl and I can’t remember the last time I used supermarket carrier bags – oh, except for those times when I nipped into the shop and forgot my bag. I guess I have been something of an “a la carte” environmentalist, and I have always been pretty secure in the knowledge that I was “doing my bit” – and felt pretty smug about the fact that it was probably a lot more than some people.
But my perspective has changed of late. I don’t watch much TV or listen to much news, but have been aware recently of the growing tide of concern about the impact of humans on the planet, particularly with regards to waste and our throwaway society. At the exhibition on the Wildlife Photographer of the year, I tried to explain to my 5-year-old that yes, the sea-horse is beautiful, but the fact it is holding onto a cotton bud is unutterably sad. My eyes were being opened.
We had already started to make the right noises about reducing our waste – I had bought the material to make produce bags and had cut out the squares of old terry nappies and brushed cotton ready to sew into cloth kitchen roll. We’d bought a bread-maker so that we no longer had to buy bread in plastic bags. But nothing was urgent or felt so important that it couldn’t wait another week or so.
A visit to Cornwall finally galvanised me into action.
The Eden Project. What a truly inspirational place. My understanding of man’s impact on this planet was brought home to me during my visit. But most important was this idea of stewardship – we should be respecting and working with the planet to enable it to sustain us for generations to come. Instead we are bleeding it dry, taking everything it has to offer with no thought for the consequences.
It’s time for a change and this blog is my little bit.
We’re working towards zero waste in our home. A few things are proving trickier than others but we are enjoying the challenge and slowly readjusting into a kind of new normal.
I have a dream to open a zero waste shop here in the lovely Somerset town of Frome. It’s a vibrant and slightly alternative place, with an open mind and a fully independent town council with a commitment to reducing the town’s plastic use. If I can make it work anywhere, then here is the place. But as the main wage-earner with a mortgage and a small child, it needs a little more consideration, research and thought before I take the plunge.
So join me on my journey to try and do more than “my bit” and to hopefully have a positive impact both on those who read my ramblings and on the world.
Have a great day.