Did you know that Tuesday was Earth Day? I know… it kind of escaped me too. However, searching around for some inspiration for a blog this morning, I noticed that one of my favourite websites (www.treehugger.com) had an article about how Going Green could be fun. It was a big change from some of the earnest “we must immediately eat granola and wear birkenstocks and hair shirts to save the world” sort of articles, and it has a great message. The original article looked at 9 different ways that Going Green can be fun. I have picked out 5 of them.
The first is a little unusual – Insulating the house. Oh yeah… serious fun. (Please don’t call the men in white coats to take me away, bear with me…) It might seem a little dull, but you know what is fun? Reducing your energy bills and having more money left over at the end of the month for those little luxuries or a day out or something. I will take that kind of fun!
The article also talked about how choosing green transport options can also be fun. Biking and walking help us to stay healthier and extend lifespans. Of course, that also depends on the other road users, and around where I live, I am not sure that would necessarily work out – cyclists are kind of used as target practice for some car drivers – but I understand what he is saying. Let’s face it, it feels great to use your bike, or to walk the dog in the countryside (on a lead please – no worrying sheep or other wildlife). Puts a great big smile on your face.
The other transport choice is of course, letting the train take the strain. I had to smirk at this one. Obviously, the guy writing the original article lives in North America. Sure, trains here are okay… there are lots to choose from and you can get pretty much anywhere on them in the UK. There are the benefits that someone else is doing the driving, and you have extra time to read, knit, work, day dream, sleep. But that is assuming that you can get a seat or that the train is running on time or at all!
If you are attempting to green your lifestyle, then often there is something of a dietary change involved. People decide to become vegetarian or vegan, or at the very least reduce the intake of meat, for animal welfare reasons if not dietary ones. Well, increasing the intake of fruit and vegetables is never going to be a bad thing is it? Vitamins, minerals, anti-oxidants, natural sugars, great tasting, versatile, interesting meals. You just can’t beat it. And growing them takes up less resources than raising meat in decent welfare standards. (Incidentally, I am not going vegetarian anytime soon because I am a rapacious carnivore. Though I do agree with better standards for Animal welfare)
And finally… my favourite thing. Going green to me means getting into the garden. For me, gardening is incredibly smile inducing (sometimes wince inducing as well if I over do it and stretch my muscles a bit too much!), it is great exercise, fewer food miles, fewer fertilizers and poisons on the vegetables if you choose to grow organically and is an immensely satisfying hobby.
So, have fun going Green! It is not all about sacrifice. It can make our life better and more enjoyable as well!