19 Jun 2015

The Little Things in Life

This blog usually deals with wider national or international issues so I thought I would write about more mundane things. I can't remember how it came up, but my husband and I were in a pub with friends when I raised a laugh about not wearing white pants. The reason is pure and simple - I do not use biological washing powder or liquid which is harmful to the environment.  So to stop white clothing going grey I simply do not buy white fabrics.  After all, the days of only white underwear are long gone and there is a wide choice of other colours out there.

The same goes for cleaning the house - our house is clean but not spotless. I do not overuse household cleaners thus reducing discharge into the wider world - great excuse that one as well!

To save water consumption we have a jug of cold water permanently in the fridge so we do not have to run the tap to get cold water to drink. In the opposite vein, we have a jug of room temperature water on the worksurface so that we are not heating up extra cold water when we make a nice cup of tea.

When cooking, I try and turn the oven or hob off a few minutes before the food is ready to make use of the stored heat and use less energy. If making a sauce which will have vegetables in I also try and cook the veg in the sauce which means only one pan to wash up, one hob in use and the goodness which leaves the veg in cooking ends up in the sauce and is not lost with the thrown away water.

I don't mean to sound all virtuous - we do get benefits by trying to live in a more environmentally friendly way.  For example, I will not put down slug pellets because of the knock-on effect on wildlife so do not spend money each year buying garden annuals which would quickly be devoured by slugs and snails. Instead our garden is full of self-perpetuating old-fashionned perennials which are colourful, need less work on them and actually attract more bees and insects than more 'cultivated' varieties. We have lungwort in the spring closely followed by cornflowers and now foxgloves. Another benefit is that perennials don't need as much water as annuals. We get great pleasure in watching the bees and other insects.

So although all these actions are small, if everyone did them the accumulative impact on the environment would be massive.

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