Friday, 15 October 2010
As I sit in the office wearing my body warmer and scarf, dying to turn on the lights because its so bloody dark as we all wait for that Indian Summer to kick in, I contemplate a distant time before 10:10, with a naïve affection!
Ah yes, those giddy, guilt free days of throwing all the rubbish in the bin, willy nilly; turning the fire on when you were cold; driving to the shops just up the road, for some milk and something nice for tea, obviously, the something would be beautifully packaged and flown in from some exotic far reaching corner of the world. Yes, I could even look back on the daily home chores with a sense of contentment. Ah yes, my dishwasher, my washing machine, the tumble dryer they all were my friends. Pledge was just a quality brand of furniture polish to make people think I had dusted and cleaned the house! But that’s all gone now! My life has changed so much! After all, I am on a mission to save the planet.
So my first 10:10 blog post so how am I doing? Let’s start with my Pledges. My initial pledges were to “make packed lunches rather than buy them”, and “to ride to work on my bike, most of the time”. - Bugger! Ok, not going so well, thus far! Although I have used the car less and I am making more packed lunches than I used to. (Does that count as a success? Am I making that all important difference to the planet)
At work, it’s easy to make a difference… sit in the cold, wear 3 jumpers and a body warmer, with the lights switched off. There’s always Aston’s solar light if it gets too dark!!! Anyway, to keep warm you could always play catch the little black fly. Those lovable little bugs, I guess they are just enjoying being part of our planet too, waiting for the Adessi harvest to ripen! Then there’s the communal coffee break, where you patiently wait your turn to say in the loudest whisper, “anyone want a tea or a coffee”? To your horror everyone says yes, so you have to spend an absolute age, taking cups to be washed, dried and filled with that refreshing brew, which of course you deliver to all with a smile on your face. - See that wasn’t as hard was it? Oh, I mustn’t forget, I did pledge to always “print friendly” and “only when I need to” – Success! It’s working. (I did hide a 6 page document in my top drawer which came out of the printer by accident, but don’t worry no one will find it – I shred it!)
Most of you know that at 3 o’clock I have to leave the confines of Adessi and pick up Molly (our 6 yr old daughter) from school. At ten minutes passed 3 o’clock I am usually flying out of work, late again. I ridiculously rev the engine thinking it will get me there faster! Well it would if the 20 other cars in front would get a move on!! I arrive at school to pick up Molly, whose first words are, “are we on the bikes Mum?” I reply, “not today, but we will tomorrow”, and at that point I really mean it. I am determined to reduce our family’s carbon footprint. But here’s where it all gets hard. Molly somehow seems to have eaten her packed lunch, from off her pinafore dress and has glued it together with some sticky stuff, for luck. As I pack the washing machine I know Molly’s clothes will never, ever, ever get clean on that 30º cycle, so I hang my head in shame and put it on a higher setting. Then guess what, I need to get her to ballet (just up the street)… and now I’m running late again, “Molly get in the car quickly!” I sit for 45 minutes feeling guilty about using the car and knowing that when I get back I need to dry her clothes for tomorrow – the tumble dryer is smiling! It knows I haven’t got a clothes line and even if I had I’m still waiting for that Indian Summer. The weather man said it will be here when the rain stops! The tumble dryer it is then! - Ok I do feel guilty! Not doing so well here!
After tea Mark bathes Molly and I pop to the shops for our groceries. I would do it on-line but we have no milk, bread or indeed anything for the breakfast or packed lunch for tomorrow. So off I go, remembering my everlasting bags! (See I’m not such a complete failure at helping to save this planet!) Now where once I trudged the aisles, scanning products for calories, fat content and salt levels, I now look for, where does it come from, how was it made and can you re-cycle the packaging? I return home happy in the knowledge my choices have as low an impact on the environment as they can. Indeed even my Heinz Beans Fridge pack makes me feel happy.
I put away the shopping, check on Molly, and turn her light off (she’s scared of the dark so we have to leave her light on until she’s asleep.... I know!) and then sit down. It’s a bit cold but do you know what? I couldn’t possibly suggest putting the heating on – it’s only October after all. Add another layer or better still I’ll just go to bed! At this point I remind Mark to turn everything off… except the Sky box of course, which looses signal and seemingly the ability to work for two days if you switch it off at the plug.
I’ll be better tomorrow. I have to be the planet is counting on me!
So how am I doing? At work I have made a big effort to lessen my impact and cut Adessi’s carbon footprint, as I think we all have. At home I have made some major changes to my purchasing choices and we all have increased our re-cycling efforts. No more rubbish thrown, willy nilly in the green bin. That’s almost empty at the end of the week. It’s the blue recycling bin which is overflowing. Pan lids on, Lights off, Heating off, Plugs off when not on! I’m even looking to try to insulate the orangery, people in glass houses and the like..!
Like most of us I lead a very busy and hectic life. I am trying to make a difference but you know I’m not perfect, and some days I don’t seem to be helping the planet at all, but every single day I am aware of how my actions, good and bad are contributing to changes within our environment. I know where I need to make improvements and I will. I know I don’t get on my bike as much as I should, but driving my Mazda RX8 can’t help the environment much. I may not be ready to give up my car completely but I am seriously thinking about trading it in for a small environmentally friendly beastie and that’s a big change for me. Watch this space
So in summary, some successful efforts and some disastrous efforts, I think. One thing I can say very clearly is that I am completely committed to the 10:10 initiative and I will continue to make the necessary changes to make a difference to our planet. Although life with a six year old is hectic, it’s for her that I need to make sure that I do the right thing. After all, it’s not our planet, we just borrow it for a short time it. Let’s give it back to our children in a better condition than we got it and teach them to respect it so they can do the same for their children. Keep up the good work everyone and if you feel the guilt, do not wilt just try harder tomorrow! (Sorry that was really cheesy!)
Ps If there are any examples of spelling mistakes or bad grammar, know that I left them there on purpose. It would take to long to edit it so I decided to save on the electricity and leave them in!!