Thursday, 15 October 2009

Climate Change

According to the blogosphere today is the day to take action and write about climate change. To do this properly you have to sign up with e-mails and passwords and things. Since this space at the bottom of the bottom drawer in the filing cabinet belongs to me I didn’t want to sign, and I couldn’t make them give me a badge. I’m just not techi enough.
Thought I could think about what we do and don’t do all on my lonesome; I can confess without fear of ridicule.
It used to be that only hippies and earth mothers were into growing their own food and making things for themselves. Now the allotments have waiting lists, crafts (particularly knitting) are the thing to be seen to do, and the whole recycling movement is the fashion for all. The march away from free plastic bags has brought a revolution in alternative bags. So, in our bid to be fashionable, and maybe save the planet from climate change while we’re at it, this is what our family is doing:

  • Husband has an allotment and grows more and more of the family’s food. I use his produce for our meals but am also getting better at finding ways to prolong our use of those gluts. Lots of pickle, jelly and jam, but also best ways to freeze things for later.
  • We choose local in goods and services when possible, then Wiltshire, then England and so on.
  • We re-use plastic bags when we get them, and carry a hessian bag in order to turn down the offer of plastic as much as possible.
  • The girls go to and from school on a bus. Our rural idyll means my taxi service for after school clubs is busy most nights, but I try to save other errands to be done on the same outing. Sainsburys deliver my weekly groceries.
  • As they’ve needed replacing we’ve swapped to low energy light bulbs - despite their size and poor ambient light.
  • I’ve made a portion of my own clothes since I was eleven, and I mend too. I keep looking at the Re-Fashion and Make pledge and will investigate again.
  • I line dry in summer and tumble in poor weather. Love the smell of line dried laundry but get complaints from the family about softness. Tumble drying means I don’t need to use fabric softener, and I console myself that I rarely iron anything. Washing is sorted by colour and temperature and only washed when there is a full load.
  • We ought to save more water. There’s only one water butt, and though I save washing-up water, vegetable cleaning water and the condenser tumble dryer water for the garden in dry weather I haven’t yet found a use for grey water otherwise… Most of us bath or shower daily and we have no plans to stop. The water is softened so at least we don’t use much product to get things clean.
  • Wiltshire collects our paper, glass, clothes, shoes and tins. We compost food waste, cardboard and garden waste. We can’t fill our ordinary wheely bin. But we fail to save and recycle plastic. Could do better.
  • We save envelopes, cards, postage stamps, wrapping paper, string and ribbons and anything else we think might prove useful. I haven't yet turned into my grandmother: a clever woman of slender means and thrifty habits it was perfectly normal to receive on your birthday the front half of a used card with her greeting on the back sent in a re-used envelope that the postman must have enjoyed deciphering!

I'm off to see what other people have been writing about in the hope that someone will have succeeded in being funny. It may be important, but the post is dull!

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