Climate change and the feeling of helplessness in the face of massive industries causing the frightening effects carelessly or deliberately are surely playing on everyone’s minds. I wrote yesterday how I feel like an ant with my puny efforts to recycle, buy ethically behave responsibly and thoughtfully compared to the might of global players.
However, ant though I am, I can do something, just as my friend ants are. One fellow ant wrote to me: “My passport ran out about three years ago and I haven’t renewed it. Changing our diet more towards the planet diet, only have meat weekends… Have to think again about solar panels … should dig up the lawn and grow veg….”
So already we are trying our best to recycle plastic, paper, glass, metal; taking other items to the dump rather than putting them in the general rubbish so they can be recycled for their constituent parts of value – such as metals; we are making bottle bricks from all wrapping plastic – these are bottles from drinks and liquids which we fill until they are solid and hand in to a local organisation which uses these solid “bricks” as building material; we take bags to the supermarket and other shops, we have our own paper bags for items such as fruit, vegetables, nuts etc… oh and there’s much more. Our milk is delivered in glass bottles, and I received an email today from our milkman: “Without big action, plastic will outnumber fish in the ocean by 2050. It’s time to turn the tide on plastic and we want to help. Switching to glass bottled milk, reusable bags and no pointless plastic veg boxes may feel like a drop in the ocean, but together it will make a difference.”
So what else can I do? We were shopping today and I decided on some tiny actions:
- instead of buying hummus in plastic tubs I will make my own. Yes, I know my own hummus doesn’t taste as nice as what I buy (no idea why, I’ve tried so many different recipes!) but to be honest, it’s quite nice and it’s cheaper, and involves no plastic. (yes I know the tins are probably lined with plastic – but buying loose chickpeas, putting them in one of my paper bags, soaking and cooking them will have to go on my next list of tiny actions)
- instead of buying biscuits wrapped in plastic for my writing groups, my husband’s art groups and band, I’ll make them. Ditto cakes, scones etc for said groups
- since we have run out of enthusiasm for gardening, and our raised beds are empty, this year we can sow them with wild flower seeds for the insects… maybe next year we’ll trying growing small amounts of veg again, but before then…
- maybe we should garden in a smaller way; I love cress so I’ll buy some seeds and grow my own; I will start growing herbs again in pots, I will start growing cut and come again salad leaves – but only small amounts as only I eat it
- I will experiment with different teas – mint, ginger, orange… and maybe even beetroot! I bought some commercially produced beetroot, orange and ginger teabags – it’s quite nice tea, but surely I could make my own? I must experiment.
- start making my own yoghurt again
I feel quite pleased with my list – all the items on it are doable. I don’t like all the fancy acronyms which are bandied about but having SMART targets is quite a good idea…