What shade of green?

19 Jan


So I have realised that having looked at my previous blogs you would have no idea that I am an eager champion of the environment.  As mentioned in the “about” section I have just finished a degree in Environmental Studies and am about to embark on a masters in sustainable development.

I have by no means been a ‘greenie’ for long.  When I moved to England 5 and half years ago I hadn’t even heard about climate change (as in the human induced happenings of now – I was aware of the natural cycles taught in Geography lessons at school).  But when a conversation about ethical living came up I did some research and found that once I was aware of what was going on around me I couldn’t pretend to be an innocent bystander.

I try to do my bit – I am a vegetarian, I try not to fly short-haul (although I am actually taking a flight to Spain to visit family in April – oops), I don’t own a car but living in London it is probably the easier choice; etc.  There are of course tonnes of people who are greener then I am.  There is Mark Boyle, who is vegan and who has lived without money for the last two years now; various minimalist movements, freegans, and so on.  In some ways these are quite extreme and I don’t think you are going to get your average hard-working Joe to quit his job and give up all his worldly possessions.  So a question I often wonder, and hope to explore in my masters, is how to get people to live more sustainable lives.  How do you convince people it is better.  This is a constant struggle in my own life and one of my goals is to be greener – I don’t think there is an end point for this but it is a continuous progression.

I find that sometimes I slip backwards and have definitely seen this in the last few months since starting a ‘normal’ job in an ‘average’ sector.  So some things that I am trying to change include:

  1. Taking homemade lunch to work, not only is this cheaper but it also reduces packaging.
  2. We have restarted our organic veg box delivery.  We stopped it when we went away for a month in the summer and it has taken us this long to start again!
  3. I think what we eat has a big impact not only environmentally but also socially so I am going to make an extra effort to not shop at supermarkets and buy organic.  I already buy fairtrade products where possible and buy products that come from England or West Europe (I figure England is small and Western Europe is close enough).
  4. Try and be a more conscious consumer – I have a bad online shopping habit and so before I buy anything I need to ask – Do I need this? Is this going to improve my life? Is someone else’s quality of life being compromised by my purchase?  I have a feeling I am going to fail on the odd occasion with this but hey a girl has got to try.

I don’t find making green changes in my life particularly difficult, in fact sometimes they are quite easy and beneficial, and by living green I hope to encourage people to make similar changes in their life.  I am aware that what I do is certainly not enough but it is a starting point.

Any other suggestions what I can do?


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