I am pretty sure we all do our bit for the planet. We all have our blue bins parked outside, stuffed with the plastics that our lettuce, tomatoes and various other vegetables were wrapped up into the bin and we don’t really think about it again. What does happen it? It goes to be sorted into plastics, metals, cardboard and other. Ok, and then what? It’s recycled again? I hope so. We are very good at not thinking about things after a certain point, aren’t we?
I like to think I really try to do everything I can do when it comes to helping our environment. One of my favourite things to do is compost. Ok, I don’t actually ‘do’ anything, that’s all down to the magic of nature. All I do is collect any raw vegetables, fruit, tea bags, newspapers, cardboard, egg shells and egg boxes and I put them in my compost bin. Sometimes I add water, earth and cardboard and give it a poke. If I find a stray worm, he goes straight in there too. And that’s how the magic happens. Easy! Compost bins cost around €40 and don’t take up much space or if you are capable of using a hammer and nails and can get your hands on some pallets, even better! In a year you will be planting seeds in your very own compost.
Last year I made a conscious decision to stop buying chemical products, you know the ones, they make your eyes water and your nose sting. I started off by changing my washing powder, fabric conditioner and washing up liquid as other products were irritating my skin. I tried various supermarket eco products but I have always gone back to Ecover. Mostly because their products give the best results, their plastic containers are 100% Plant-astic & 100% Recyclable and I can refill most of their products in Health Food shops at a lower cost than having to buy a brand new bottle!
Fly on Californian Poppy
I don’t use chemicals outside either, no plant food or bug killers. I use comfrey and nettles to make plant food and I even made my own weed killer which was very effective. I try and grow my own food to reduce the amount of plastics I have to buy and I plant certain flowers to attract certain bugs, birds, creepy crawlies into my garden. One thing I am definitely going to make is a bug habitat to encourage them to stay. There’s an excellent list of what flowers attract the good bugs into our garden here. Even leaving the odd dandelion and patch of nettles somewhere for bugs is beneficial!
Bee on a Dandelion
One of the biggest things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint is not eat meat. Yes, I’m a vegetarian. But you probably knew that didn’t you? It’s not purely for environmental reasons either. I don’t agree with killing an animal for sport (what kind of sport is that?) or for eating and certainly don’t agree with the way in which they are killed these days. You can read about factory farming here but be warned it can be very graphic. Anyway, I don’t shove my opinions down people’s throats either. I’m not one of ‘those’ vegetarians. One of my biggest gripes at the moment is those ‘calculate your carbon footprint websites, they rarely have an option for vegetarians, vegans or Pescetarians. People then often question why I eat mock meat if I don’t like real meat. I never said I didn’t like the taste, it’s purely for ethical and moral reasons that I don’t eat meat. When I studied Animal Care I had to write a very long essay about why I didn’t want to partake in the fish and rat dissection (aside from the fact I am very squeamish and no wish to study Vet Nursing!). If every household in Ireland decided to have a Meat Free Monday that would be equivalent to removing 350,000 cars off the road! If you want to read more about being Meat Free then Paul McCartney’s website is an excellent source of information and ideas and reasons!
I have a slight fascination with moo cows!
Along the roads where I live the ditches they have been sprayed with weed killer and all that is left is ugly brown, dead grass. What is the purpose of that? Dead grass is not pretty. And blokes, why do you feel the need to tog out in goggles and gloves and strim the whole ditch down? It’s not making it pretty and really, you can’t see it from inside your house so why?
Baffles me as to why you would kill what keeps us alive
I’m not a tree hugger or a hippy but I am concerned for our world and truly believe that we should be doing everything in our power to protect it. We should be setting examples, teaching and learning.
I think the way I am is down to the way I was brought up. As kids we would always be running up the garden to the compost heap with peelings, egg shells and tea bags wrapped up in newspaper. My parents grew a lot of their own vegetables, and would exchange the hay in the field for a tonne of potatoes from a neighbouring farmer and at one point they kept their own pigs and sheep for meat (Getting meat back from the butcher turned my dad vegetarian and a lot of us followed). My dad is always salvaging and fixing things, we are not a ‘throw away’ family although these days it’s very easy to become one. I have taken to wanting to learn to fix things and build things and not just replace something because it doesn’t work or it’s broken. Where there’s a will there’s a way.
Remember; it’s Climate Change, not Global Warming. We all need to very aware of what is happening and take steps, no matter how small, to help save our world, it’s the only one we have.
Global warming: the increase in Earth’s average surface temperature due to rising levels of greenhouse gases.
Climate change: a long-term change in the Earth’s climate, or of a region on Earth.