I know many of you are wondering how did I get interested in environmental matters. I would have to say it started when I grew up. Both my parents were very good at being self-sufficient. My Dad was a good gardener and grew enough to keep a family of eight kids fed all year round with seasonal veg and fruit. Mum made all her own bread, preserves as well as freezing both fruit and veg. Eggs and chicken came from our own hen shed. Living in a rural area meant we could get meat from neighbouring farms. So as you can see we always ate good food, but we were always careful not to waste and to look after our environment.
Then it was time to go to college and that is when my lovely Gran stepped in and gave me a place to stay with her for my first year. More healthy and local produce – sometimes too much, because Granny insisted “I eat up”. Eventually I had to look after myself and get digs. College is where I learned a lot about alternative foods, as well as living more frugally. Second hand clothes, vegetarianism and cycling a bike everywhere became my way of life. God, I miss my green Doc Martin’s. I have to admit, that is so not me now. I can afford to buy clothes (the hippy look has gone), I do eat some meat and I’m afraid, my car is my normal mode of transport.
Nature and the great outdoors is a great love of mine. I do have a scientific background majoring in the biological sciences, which included studies in the environmental sciences and oceanography, which has given me a great understanding of environmental issues and a love of researching. But believe me it doesn’t make me an expert. Nor did I apply it early on because in my twenties, I think I was more interested in my social life than to really caring about how I was living. But it is funny how having children changes all that.
You become pregnant and you want to eat right (if only it would stay down!). Your baby arrives and you want to ensure your home is safe and healthy for the little person in your life. This is what happened to me when my daughter arrived. I wanted to make sure she got the best of food, clothes gentle on her skin and safe toys. As my children started to grow, I started to think about what we were teaching them and what we are leaving them with.
Growing our own food and buying from the farmers markets became important. Composting any garden clippings and vegetable waste needed to ba part of the gardening process. Getting rid of chemicals from the house and cleaning with more environmental products has become the norm. I love cooking, but I noticed I was collecting a lot of plastic. So this was another area I made changes. Tupperware and other storage containers are reusable, but things like plastic bags had to go. Bringing reusable shopping bags every time we shopped and avoiding plastic as much as I can. Using drink bottles instead of buying bottles of water or soft drinks. Having shorter showers and the list goes on.
Now if you think this happened overnight, you would be wrong. Everything happened gradually and we are still learning what changes we can make. It was fun trying to convince the family, especially when they had got use to bad habits. Nonetheless as we recycled waste everyone was starting to realise the amount of packaging we were using. Moving to one meat free meal per week was very interesting, when I have two men who are meat-lovers. But then they started to enjoy the change and variety of meals we were having. Also, it has given our teenage daughter a chance to experiment with vegetarian food.
It is all about teaching our children to do the simple things like switching off lights and electronics when they aren’t using them. For me it is all about being conscious of these ideas. Sometimes it is easy to forget the impact of what we do everyday has on the environment. I know there are people out there that think
but how can this make a difference. Well, if we all do our bit it all adds up. Also, as a consumer it is our choices that can drive the market in a particular direction and I hope by starting earthly passion I help people with their choices.
So I am hoping as I write on this blog we can go on this journey together and learn more about living an earthly passionate life.