Compassion is still our currency

brighton-heart

It’s very easy to become disillusioned when you care a lot about the environment. The earth, and our fragile place on it, can feel very precarious at times. 2017 seems set to be a year that will test our resilience to its very maximum; most notably an incoming US president who doesn’t accept the clear, established science of climate change. He is depressingly accompanied by our own UK government who appear to see environmental protections as ‘red tape’ to be swept aside along with investment in renewable technologies, as it goes on a mission to alienate itself from its neighbours on the continent. Also in attendance is a shocking resurgence across large swathes of the Western world of a far-right ideology that sees compassion for the planet, and indeed other humans, as a weakness to be mocked and exploited. Continue reading “Compassion is still our currency”

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What price happiness?

wardrobe
Definitely no magic land at the back of this wardrobe…

Over the last few years there has been a growing backlash against the rise of a culture based on hyper consumption. The movement towards buying and having less has grown as people have begun to realise that a. more stuff doesn’t necessarily mean more happiness, and b. that our planet doesn’t have the resources to sustain our growing levels of consumption.

There is a level of affluence and technical innovation that greatly increases our happiness and ability to lead full, productive lives – from a warm, safe home, access to food, clean water, healthcare, through to education, and access to freedom of ideas and time to discuss them with others. Continue reading “What price happiness?”

Plastic Free July: Some lessons learned

Last July, I meant to write a post each week on my attempts to be single-use plastic free for the month. But one week in, there was an emergency in my extended family, and July became a rush of sleepless nights, worried phone calls, hospital visits and many other things that seemed immediately more important than the packaging my dinner came in.

It’s hard to care about plastic packaging when you’re worried about the people around you, if they’re coping OK, if they’re eating OK. And when someone asks for blueberries and grapes to be brought to the hospital, the correct response is not “sorry, I can’t get those because they come wrapped in plastic.” It’s “yes of course.”

A year on, and things have settled down a lot. Life returns to something approaching normal. And when Plastic Free July arrived, Continue reading “Plastic Free July: Some lessons learned”

New home, new challenges!


So I am now a homeowner! For the very first time, we live in a house that is ours to paint, furnish and generally mess about with to our hearts’ content. You’d think we’d feel more like grown-ups, but so far I feel pretty much the same, just a lot more broke! But it’s very exciting – I’ve been frustrated so many times in our rental flats with the draughty windows, poor insulation, fume-ridden paint jobs and flimsy furniture. And now we have our own little hobbit house of a cottage and the draughty windows, mould, broken bits and everything else are ours to deal with. Suddenly it seems a whole lot harder…

The house is pretty old (1880) and whilst it has been decorated and restored very nicely, it has an energy efficiency rating that could make a dodgy diesel car look like a battery-powered Tesla car! And being the eco-fiend I am, that ain’t going to do. Long term, the plan is to get the roof and floors insulated, see what we can do with the old pre-cavity insulation walls, install a grey water system, get some veggies growing in the garden…the list goes on and on.  Continue reading “New home, new challenges!”

A tiny victory

As Eeyore might say, a useful pot.

A couple of Christmases ago, a friend bought me this tin. Not being known for someone who was an excessive shopper, I wasn’t overly enamoured of it at first. But then as life inevitably created receipts in my pockets, backpack, side table, everywhere, it made sense to use it for its intended purpose.

At first, it was just a small useful object that I cleared out when it was full and the receipts had expired past their usefulness, every couple of months or so. This morning, as it had reached its capacity, I figured it was time for another slightly dull shredding session.

But for once, it was actually rather nice.

I found: Continue reading “A tiny victory”

The very first post

After months of starting a blog in my head, it feels rather strange  to be actually typing real words on a real computer. Especially as they are words that other people will be able to see!

Whilst this post is just me dipping my toe in the blogging waters, I’m hoping to hit the ground running and am planning some posts on guides to zero-waste food shopping around London, my experiments in finding environmentally-friendly products to replace more mainstream products, and possibly some lovely places for outdoor swimming.

I’ll see you again soon, with some actual adventures to tell you about!