discovering a simpiler life

discovering a simpiler life

Monday, 7 October 2013

10 things you can do today to help our planet

For some of us, being green can seem all too hard. Did I just hear you sigh? We are too busy, too set in our ways, too use to the easy option of living thoughtlessly, over spending, over buying and filling our bins to the brim with it all.  There's no doubt that change can be hard for most of us.  I'm no hippy, not in the slightest, I still own a shaver and dye my hair but I'll admit to hugging a tree. I just feel there are little things we can do on an individual level that can really make a big difference.  I'm not breaking new ground here, we've heard that phrase a million times before. But where can you start without being overwhelmed? 

These 10 things I think you can easily do and start TODAY, that will help our planet and can also start a more thoughtful connection to your life if that's what you are chasing, I know I am.

1. Buy a water jug with a filter and ditch the bottled water.  Refill your bottles on the way to work, the gym, going out and about.  While you're buying the water jug, buy a refillable takeaway coffee mug too, better still, take the extra time to relax and enjoy that coffee at your fav cafe.

2.  Turn off your lights, heater, central heating and air conditioner.  Not only will you be helping the environment, you will be saving money.  Its not really that hard to go and put on an extra jumper, grab a snuggly blanket, crack open your blinds or move to a brigter spot instead of turning on every light in the house. Open a door for some fresh cool air when its hot, or take a layer off, don't scare the neighbours with a nudie run though.  It amazes me the lack of thought that goes on in the minds and homes of some people, just pure and utter waste of our precious resources. 

3.  Dry your clothes using nature not the clothes dryer.  With the weather improving there really isn't any reason you should use the dryer. Invest in some drying racks or use your old hills hoyst.  Oh but I'm too busy I hear you moan, well get the kids to help or your partner or get up 5 minutes earlier, it doesn't take that long. Think about this, are you one who uses the dryer and leaves them in there only to have to then iron the crinckled up clothes? There's your time saved right there people, don't iron, line dry them instead.  

4.  Turn the water off when you brush your teeth and wash them in the sink not in the shower.  Simple one really. While you're at it, turn the shower off while you wash your hair, its hard to do this in winter, freezing your toosh off, but with the warmer weather coming its fine.  Have a think about the water setting on your washing machine, do you ever change it fit your needs? Water is such a precious resource and we waste it by the gallon.  If you really want to make an impact, buy a water tank, imagine the taste of your cups of tea made with pure rain water...

5. Walk more.  Can you walk to work even one day a week? Can the kids walk, ride or skoot to school?  The good old chestnut of parking your car further away is a good one too.

6.  Grow a lettuce or a herb.  Start small if you are scared.  Mint is hardy and unforgiving as is rosemary, parsley and sage.  Buy a plant that is already established, pop it in a sunny spot but I'm afraid you will have to remember to water it.  But if you have to remember to water one pot why not water 10? It will put your compost that you're about to make to good use too.

7. Compost.  Ok this isn't exactly a sinch, but won't take you more than an hour or so to set up.  Start by putting a good sized container either on your kitchen sink or under the sink in the cupboard, an old icecream container would do.  Put in it any vegie and fruit scraps, egg shells, spent coffee grounds, old bread, tea bags, but definately no citrus or onions or garlic~the worms don't like them. You can buy a worm farm that will also have a tap you can get worm juice out to put on your plants as a liquid fertilizer, but you can just pick an unused spot of grass, around a metre square would do. You want to encourage the worms up out of the ground into it to help compost down your mound.  Put the scraps, lawn clippings, newspaper on the ground with  something over the top like a dodgy old piece of carpet, an old blanket, some old boards. Keep adding to it, lifting the cover each time by the way, and til it over with a rack once a week or so.  After awhile you will end up with a lovely rotted mix to put with potting mix, rack it around your existing plants, or dig it into your soil.  This is composting at its most basic form, do some research if you are really keen.

8. Recycle and reuse.  Come on, its a no brainer really.  Recycle bins are supplied by most councils these days.  Here's a quick rundown on what you can recycle: most plastics, bottles, glass jars(but if you live near me I'll take them for my preserves), newspapers (although you can use that on your compost heap or start reading your news online), magazines (give them away to people don't throw them out), letters, envelopes, junk mail (better still get a sticker and stop the junk), and cardboard.  If in doubt, google it!  Reuse things, or donate them or give them to a friend, get the kids to make 'craft' out of it.  Use face washers instead of wipes.  Put your used paper towel in the compost or any letters or any paper for that matter.  A good use for any gardeners out there is to use toilet rolls for your seedlings. Fill them up with potting mix and add a seed or seedling.  Once the plant is a bit bigger, plant the whole thing straight in the ground or pot, the toilet roll will compost down and will keep your plant nicely protected from planting stress. I could go on......oh I could.

9.  Take your own bags to the supermarket....needs no explaining.

10. Don't wash your clothes as often.  Are those jeans you wore today really dirty? Is that pair of socks your baby wore today really muddy? I doubt it.  

Damn, we are already at 10, I have more things! But that should start you off nicely. Only you can do this, take responsibility for your part in this life and think of what our actions are really doing.  Its really not hard, its living consciously. Kids especially love this stuff.  My girl knows to put things to the worm farm, recycle bin and the like, because its just what we do.  

I can hear some of you moaning.  But seriously, is there even just ONE of these you could implement today? Your planet will thank you later.  If like me you are chafing at the bit to get started and want more info, check out this eco blog, its full of inspiration and some witty eye opening posts.

I'll leave you with this quote I read recently.

When we destroy something created by man 
we call it vandalism....
When we destroy something by nature.... 
we call it progress

Ciao, Jan

1 comment :

  1. Great post Jan, and I am thankful that I already do all this, except for the worm farm. Something to look at setting up perhaps! It drives me crazy at work when people leave the light on in the toilet after they leave!!! I also hate seeing all the lights left on in office buildings during the night - such a waste of energy!!!
    Thanks for sharing x


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