Tuesday 13 August 2013

I'm not as green as The Hulk - but...

I've always been into recycling and being mindful of the environment, but I'm ashamed to admit my intentions are far greater than my actions. And the older I get, the more 'green' I want to become (probably because it's playing on my conscious and now that I'm a parent I also feel a responsibility to set a good example and do my bit to help slow down the self-destruction of the world).

I constantly feel guilty about all the environmentally-unfriendly things I do on a regular basis (like using disposable nappies for my kids and driving an old V8 that spits out more fumes than a sick dragon), and even though I try to be better I know there's always more I could do.

So, sick of beating myself up lately, I decided to take a closer look to see exactly how 'green' I was, if at all. On the random day I chose to self-scrutinze, here's a list of all the 'green' things I tallied up before hitting the hay:
  1. Walked to the Kindy and back (twice) with the boys in the pram (instead of driving the car)
  2. Used cold water to wash a bunch of clothes (instead of warm/hot)
  3. Dried all the clothes on the clothesline (instead of using the dryer)
  4. Diverted a huge pile of stuff from landfill to elsewhere:
    1. Vegie scraps, egg shells, used tissues and tea bags to the compost
    2. Paper and bottles/containers to the blue/yellow recycling bins
    3. Soft plastics and packaging to the bag to take to the Coles plastics recycling bin
    4. Poo from one of my kids' nappies into the toilet
  5. Researched where to drop off an old TV, old mobile phones and other e-waste for recycling (I've been doing some cleaning out lately)
  6. Used stale water left in a glass overnight to water an indoor plant
  7. Reused a swimming nappy for the fourth time on my youngest (instead of using a new one)
  8. Reused the swimming towels from last week that were dry and not really dirty (instead of using washed ones)
  9. Bought a small loaf at Baker's Delight (because I know the large one will go stale before we can eat it all)
  10. Everyone in the family, including the kids, drank from our reusable stainless steel drink bottles (instead of bought drinks or plastic bottles that have a short life-span)
  11. Refused a plastic bag at the shops (the pram could carry it fine)
  12. Made a new dinner out of leftovers (instead of cooking something new or getting take-out)
  13. Didn't put the dishwasher on until it was a full load
  14. Turned off and unplugged a bunch of appliances before going to bed
I'm sure there were many more things I subconsciously did or incorporated into the day that could be added to the list above, but this was the stuff that instantly came to mind without deliberately trying to be good. I also know that some days I'm much greener than this (and others less!), but I wanted to pick a random day to see how I fared.

The result? I'd say I'm not green, but I'm definitely a faint lime.

I guess I'm pleased that I have at least more than a few things on my daily green list. I'm pretty sure it doesn't offset all the environmentally-unfriendly things I do, but at least I'm not doing nothing and am aware I need to lift my game.

Every day I do try to be more green, and thanks to handy tips from people like my mate Jo at Down To Earth Mother, I am getting better.

Who knows, maybe one day I'll become a nice lawn or forest colour. Here's hoping!

How green are you, really?

photo credit: Jual via photopin cc 


  1. Sounds perfectly green to me! :) Great job! ;) It's all the little thigns we do that add up I'd say!

  2. Aww thanks Bekka :) Still could be better though!

  3. Thanks for the shout-out Suz! I think you've done this the right way round - start with all the stuff you DO do, then look at ways to improve. The greenie mantra is this: "start where you are, do what you can". Repeat.
    If I lived 100% in line with my ideals, I would be riding a horse, probably vegan or paleo (I can't decide which is better for the planet) and living off the grid. I would also have to get over my fear of picking up chickens and learn to sew. This ain't gonna happen (especially the sewing bit).
    Don't feel bad about what you don't do, feel great about what you do better, and once a week or month pick something to incorporate into your life. That might be giving up glad wrap or learning to make yoghurt. Before you know if you'll be glowing like the hulk x


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