Global warming has been a well debated topic for a long time now. Is the way we’ve been living, using resources, and creating pollution the cause, part of the cause, or is it just a whole lot of bull dust?
Whether you believe in global warming or not, there is one thing we can all agree on……we need to look after the world we live in. In my mind, it doesn’t matter if we are the cause of global warming or not, or if it is even a real thing, looking after Earth is something we should be doing regardless. So far, we haven’t been doing a very good job, and if I was Landlord of the planet, I would be looking to seek compensation or evict the tenants. I think Mother Nature has been giving us a few jabs in the ribs over the last ten years or so. But are we listening?
I don’t know about you, but I am very conscious of what I use in my home, the rubbish created by my household and the energy we consume. Wherever possible, I like to choose Earth friendly products which are biodegradable. At the moment, these products can be found in my kitchen, laundry and bathroom in the form of dishwashing liquid, laundry liquid, toilet cleaner and soaker.
During the grocery shopping, I try, as much as possible, to buy products which have recyclable packaging. Even shopping dockets and tags from new clothing are recycled. The council where I live has weekly garbage collections, but the general waste and the recycling are week-about, making each once a fortnight. On collection day, the recycle bin is always full to overflowing, whereas the general waste bin is rarely ever full. Last bin collection day, I didn’t even put my general waste bin out because it was basically empty.
At the moment, I’m not growing much of a vegetable garden, but my mum has hers going strong. Spinach, chokos, tomatoes, herbs, cabbage, cauliflower, broccoli, bok choy, chilli, capsicum…..you name it and she most likely is growing it. I’m happy to say that I, along with my sisters, share in mum’s garden spoils from time to time.
Growing your own vegetables not only saves you money in the long term, but it assures you of the quality and age of the food you are eating as well as eliminating any chemicals on the food and in the environment, guaranteeing your food is 100% organic. Often those who grow their own vegies also compost, so your own garden helps to reduce waste and create some quite rich soil for growing more vegies.
When it comes to the amenities, I am frugal. Ever since I moved out of home in 1996, I have always had the lowest electricity and water bills (usage only) out of all the people I know.
Baths are encouraged over a shower because contrary to popular belief, running a bath for twenty minutes and enjoying a hot bath for half an hour uses much less water than a half hour shower, or even a twenty minute shower. My water bill is witness to this. Despite my bath being filled nightly, my last quarter usage (I’m renting, the landlord pays the rest) was only $28.00. Let’s be honest, who has two minute showers most days? I know I don’t.
With my electricity usage, this is what I did back in 1996 and have continued to this day: I have used lamps at night. After all the business of cooking and washing up have been done for the night, the lights in the kitchen are turned off. In the main living areas and in the bedrooms, the main lights are rarely turned on. Lamps are used in those rooms instead unless it is absolutely necessary for the main light to be turned on. In all light sockets including the lamps, I use power saving globes. It’s from this experience that I am of the opinion that light sockets use way more electricity than power points. I don’t know why, but my electricity bill against those who I know who haven’t used lamps at night is evidence that it obviously makes a big difference.
In the last seven years, any power point not needed has been switched off. For example, there is no need for my microwave to be on just for the clock when there is a clock on the wall, digital clocks in the dining area and bedrooms, and we all have phones. When I need to use the microwave, then I turn it on. When I started switching off unnecessary power points for the first time in 2010, I saw my quarterly bill go from $300.00 to $189.00 in 12 months. At my last residence, there was only a forty year old electricity meter, so no off peak for me while I lived there. It was full rates 24/7 for three years. Somehow, though, by continuing to do what I have always done, my bills never went over $350.00 for a quarter, and this was involving two adults and 6 children in a four bedroom house.
In the past, people have not believed me when I have told them all this. However, if 21 years of electricity and water bills from living amenity-frugal isn’t enough to say that I know what I am talking about, then nothing ever will be.
I share because I care. It’s selfish to keep knowledge to yourself.
It is with pride that declare that I like being green, wanting to look after the environment around me and to have a positive impact in my everyday world. It is my hope that I have instilled some good habits into my children over the years so that it is continued down the line. There may be things you do which may assist others in being more green. I’m always looking at other ways to be green, so I’d love to hear about them.
Change starts with one person caring enough to take the first step. Imagine if everyone decided to make a change in their life and immediate environment. Then all those “one persons” will add together resulting in a big positive impact.
So, you see, one person can make a difference. Sharing what you know is the key.