I got tagged by Paper Flower Girl to share my sustainable living tips. I’m struggling to avoid ranting about annoying ungreen behaviour. This is something that is really important to me. I am not going to list the ordinary stuff like recycling and turning off appliances, surely everyone does that?!

I’m going for the less common changes that I’ve made. My sustainability statement for my business is here and I’m about to have an environmental audit which will be really interesting.

1. I don’t shop in supermarkets, on the whole. I get organic veg, dairy, bread and some staples from an organic delivery company and most of the rest of my food from an independent wholefood co-op. I do buy some things in Waitrose, who at least aren’t a giant multi-national and are a partnership, so I think they are better by far than the average supermarket. I do a small shop there about once a month (they do oatcakes made with olive oil rather than palm oil, that’s the main thing!)

2. I do own a car (bought recently for work) but often choose to spend more time, money and effort to go by train if it’s possible to do so. Not always, I will admit, but often. I bought a bike earlier this year to make this easier. When I am stuck on some vile train, miles from no-where, out of water (see below) and very very late, I wonder if this is such a good plan. But I’ve been stuck in vile traffic jams too, and there aren’t toilets on the M1.

3. I don’t fly. I have made several journeys in the last couple of years that would have been considerably cheaper to fly but I wont do it anymore. I’m having a huge ethical debate about whether to do trade shows in the US where I’m told I will do well. But I don’t want to fly. Difficult.

4. I try not to buy things with lots of packaging, even if it means I spend ages trying to find an unpackaged pair of scissors or non-shrink-wrapped threads. Sometimes I buy a more expensive version of something if it isn’t over packaged.

5. I don’t buy new clothes. Yes, I can make them, but I don’t have the time, so I have a slowly disintegrating wardrobe of well-worn vintage and second-hand things that I repair and, when possible (see yesterday), supplement. In the last two years I have bought 3 new skirts, a pair of shoes and a fleece. I don’t include underwear in this – I buy that new!

6. I hate bottled water and have been known to kick up a stink at cafes and the like demanding my re-useable water bottle be refilled. I get funny looks drinking from one of these on the bus.

7. I’m water efficient in my bathroom. I’m not going to go into more detail that that. Part of the reason I had my hair cut off was to save on all that washing and hairdrying.

8. I put on a jumper or a thicker duvet rather than turn the heating on. Sometimes both. Luckily I’m a generally warm person.

I could go on, but I think it might be too much. I’ve got lots of tips about greening your sewing basket, but those are stashed away for a future publication (yes, another one).

5 thoughts on “Greenery

  1. Ruth, I really enjoiyed reading your ways to live ‘green’. You inspired me to pay more attention to buying not-packaged goods. I don’t want to discourage you but I’ve seen a lot of (student) homes where people don’t even sort their ‘green’ waste, plastic and paper. And I’m quite disgusted by the amount of non-recycled toilet-paper you see around you, of which a lot is, to make it even worse, printed!

  2. Excellent tips. I especially like the one about not flying. It’s harder to avoid flying in North America, where train serevice is abysmal, but 4 of us did make a trip from Vancouver, Canada to San Francisco by tran this spring and it was wonderful.

  3. Thank you for some green tips that weren’t run-of-the-mill.I just discovered your blog (thanks to Bloesem) and am enamored of your Polonaise wall panel. It is too bad that you won’t be stopping by the US, but I guess that is what the internet is for–so we Yanks can enjoy your work from afar.

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