Monday, 8 December 2008

Green Meme #1

I have been rather remiss in my blogging of late and have a few bits to catch up on! Here is the first - I was tagged for this Green Meme by The Awakened Heart, way back at the beginning of last month (oops).

The rules are quite simple:

1. Link to Green Meme Bloggers

2. Link to whoever tagged you

3. Include meme number

4. Include these guidelines in your post

5. Answer questions

6. Tag 3 other green bloggers.

Green Meme #1:

1. Name two motivations for being green
My first motivation is my love for the Earth - I'm not sure if loving the Earth made me a Pagan or if being a Pagan makes me love the Earth. But either way, love Her I do, and that is motivation enough to be green.
Secondly, I can't bear waste, so re-using, repairing, recycling, re-vamping etc is just part of my nature.

2. Name 2 eco-unfriendly items you refuse to give up

The cats, and books/magazines.

3. Are you at peace with, or do you feel guilty about no.2?
Guilty. But not too guilty.

4. What are you willing to change but feel unable to/stuck with/unsure how to go about it?
I want to change my car to a more economical, eco-friendly model, but I know absolutely nothing about cars and I'm worried I'm going to choose wrongly and end up with a lemon!
In my wildest dreams I think about selling Halfway Up a Hill and building an eco-house, but it seems like a daunting project in terms of money, time, and lack of expertise on my part.

5. Do you know your carbon footprint for your home? If so, is it larger/smaller than your national average?
I'm not sure what it is, but I calculated it about a year ago using one of those on-line calculators, and it was definitely below the national average.

6.What's eco-frustrating and/or eco-fantastic about where you live?
Living out in the countryside I tend to use the car a lot more than I'd like, which is frustrating.
But living somewhere I can breathe clean air, and grow my own fruit & veg and keep chickens is wonderful.

7. Do you eat local/organic/vegetarian/forage/grow you own?
Yes, yes, yes, yes and yes. But not necessarily all at the same time, and not necessarily consistently. I try to buy local and/or organic food, but sometimes there is an inevitable trade-off between ethics and price. Or sometimes the organic stuff has been flown in from half-way across the world. In those instances I tend to prioritise local - or at least UK-produced - above organic.
When I signed up to the River Cottage 'Chicken Out!' campaign I promised myself that from now on I'd only eat free range chicken, and I've been pretty good at sticking to my guns. To compensate for the additional cost, I now eat chicken less often, with more vegetarian food between times.
I had been vegetarian for over ten years, up until a couple of years ago when I started craving meat and decided my body was telling me something. So I have eaten meat for the last couple of years - and now I'm not really wanting it so much any more, so I'll probably go back to being properly vegetarian in the near future.
I love foraging for wild foods - fungi, berries, wild garlic, crab apples, rose hips, sorrel etc.
And of course I grow my own veggies and fruit - although the last couple of poor summers/poor harvests have been a vivid example of how difficult life could be if I relied totally on my own efforts for food.

8. What do you personally find the most challenging in being green?
The feeling that it's an up-hill struggle to convince the rest of the world that it's most desirable, yet really not hard to change to a greener lifestyle.
And not letting despair at the size of the problems facing us take over and push me into apathy.

9. Do you have a green confession?
When we first moved to Wales, T built me a 'green washing machine' - basically an old hot water cylinder with the top cut off. A heating element heated the water, but all the swooshing and washing and rinsing of clothes was done by hand, and I also had a mangle to squeeze the water out of the clothes instead of a spin-drier. I did all our laundry like that for over three years, but in the end I caved in and we bought a conventional washing machine.
The problem with the Moonroot-powered version was that doing the laundry took so darned long. Doing the laundry just for the two of us took one full day a week. If we had kids to wash for too, I'm sure I'd have been begging for a conventional washing machine within weeks!

10. Do you have the support of family and/or friends?
Yes, by and large. Many of them clearly think I'm a bit of a crank, but I try not to be preachy and they are supportive in turn - albeit sometimes in a bemused way. And occasionally I get asked for advice or someone proudly tells me they've started composting their kitchen waste or changed over to low-energy light bulbs and I feel like I might just be having a positive influence!

I now tag Lee at Solstice Dreamer, Leanne at Somerset Seasons, and Willow at Contemplating Change.


docwitch said...

These are great answers! I admire your washing machine set-up.

The car issue is a bit of a fraught one isn't it? We're thinking of moving to the country, and it may mean I'll actually have to learn to drive...erk. What else can you do? Get a horse and cart?

word verif is 'ovely'.

willow said...

Thanks for tagging me, you are right, this meme does appeal to me. i will try to get myself organised with some answers.
I like your photos in the previous post particularly the solitary yellow leaf against the sun - lovely.

solsticedreamer said...

oh thank you for the tag! i might not get round to doing it today~my studies beckon but certainly it will be up in the next few days!

Reya Mellicker said...

I'm so happy you got a real washing machine. I remember the handmade washer.

You're green, oh yeah. And you're just so good. Bravo!

solsticedreamer said...

done it!