Is It Easy Being Green?
0 comment Friday, July 18, 2014 |
It must be said; money is tight for everyone right now. I'm better off than most, but I am still facing a difficult time - I am having to apply for a Debt Relief Order. Creditors call me three times a day, even on Saturdays, and try to argue money I don't have out of me. The electric bills here are atrocious, and even though I am contesting the rates as they were estimated, not accurate (and I know I wasn't cranking the heat in July thenkyew), they're not taking no for an answer and trying to browbeat as much cash as they can out of me. It has even been argued that I should hand over some of my DLA money over to them...I think not.
However, with all the energy issues and so on, I have been looking about my house and I am more than aware that it isn't as "green" as I would like. Though I have always pushed for more ecological solutions, I have been slipping quite a bit at home. This is partly just necessity - the house needs to stay warmer than usual for my own health and ability to move, as well as for my son. Because he can go through a ridiculous amount of laundry due to leaping into mud puddles or sometimes soiling, I have to wash and dry quickly, and that means using a tumble dryer. I run a business that requires me to clean lye and raw soap, things I cannot have lying about, and therefore I have a dishwasher to make sure everything gets clean. I know these are expensive in the way of energy, and I still contemplate getting even more electric equipment for our health and so I can keep a more tidy home as cleaning often takes a back seat when I'm working or tending my son.
Still, I've been slipping, and I know it. While several of my lights are florescent and there's little I can do there, most of the rest are regular bulbs - and I mean 'regular' not 'energy saving'. I have loads of shopping bags lying about but I seem to forget to take them with me. I make my own soap, but I don't make my own washing powder; it's not hard, but I just don't do it for some reason. This goes for my own cleaning products, even though I'm quite capable of doing so. I run dishes sometimes two or even three times a day, when one would be sufficient and I just "wash as I go" with the rest - even though the hot water comes out at a trickle down in the kitchen. And there's wasted food that goes in the bin, either due to sprog's refusing to eat something or me being inefficient in the storage of leftovers.
So, this year, I'm going to try and concentrate on evening out where I can, and trying to make up the slack which I lose upon running appliances.
- retractable washing line for outside; the current one gets stretched, pulled, and used as a catapult thanks to sprog learning these fascinating tips from the lad next door. I don't like the way clotheslines look outside; the rotating ones always look so naff and it just smacks of cheap. So I'll go with one I can put away out of sprog's reach and out of my sight when I'm done, and I'll dry sheets and so forth during decent weather in the summer (but true to my adage, I do not dry towels outside; I HATE 'crunchy' towels and socks)
- invest in Bokashi bins for indoors; I have a compost bin for envelopes, cardboard, and uncooked/garden waste. I don't have a compost for anything cooked, and sadly, I know I throw a lot of food away. However, a friend turned me onto Bokashi. Essentially, these are bins which break down cooked foods, even meats, into compost. Two bins in the house would manage to sort us quite well, as well as feeding my plants indoors.
- change the lights; there was a time when I would spend more time by candlelight than anything else. With my son and a dog with a sweeping tail, that isn't really possible anymore, but I can manage to get more energy efficient lighting and MAYBE candles now and again in my room or downstairs. I'll certainly look into the investment, especially as son has developed a fear of the dark and the light in his room is never off.
- make my own to clean green; invariably, I end up throwing away batches of soap or having soap I can't sell due to weight or appearance. Why throw it away when I can find a use for it round the home? I also tend to have plenty of bicarb around, and with a bit of vinegar I've got my own washing products for just about any job. Buying expensive and potentially exceedingly toxic cleaning products then becomes moot. I'll just keep the bottles from current products I have and relabel them.
- recharge the batteries, literally; there's a battery charger knocking about somewhere with a full compliment of rechargeable batteries. I rarely use it. How dumb is that, when nearly everything sprog uses requires batteries of some kind? Especially when I'm considering some new appliances that will more than likely need batteries to run. I'll dig it out and use it.
- lose the bags; one thing I'm doing in general to try and introduce a more healthy diet to my son is shopping at the supermarket less and shop at the local produce market more. Now, it can't be said that this is more organic or green (a lot of the produce comes from elsewhere) but with regular shops, I tend to be able to cram everything into my backpack with only one bag for spare items. The rest of the bags I'll recycle in a mass clean and tidy as I suss out where to put surplus food from the garden.
Okay, so it's not much compared to what others tend to do - it's not my house so insulation and so on isn't something I can tackle - but maybe I can even up on the necessary extravagances I have in my home and spread a little equalising karma around.