Monday, 23 January 2012

The Future's bright....the future's.......MARMALADE!

I've been enjoying some debate over all things green with some friends over the past few days. it was started by Jenni, with a very sensible and well thought out post over at her A Cheerful Living Adventure blog - she's called it "Conscious Living" and that seems to me to be a sensible way of looking at things, and kind of what we've been doing here for a while now.....

We've been trying for a long while to think harder about what we buy, when we buy it, and how much of it we use. The figures on the average household's food waste each year are terrifying, just terrifying....and pretty much all of that waste is finding its way into landfill sites. We're burying our countryside under giant rubbish dumps, and the situation isn't going to get any better unless people practise what Jenni is talking about and start making conscious decisions about how they live their lives. We only have *so* much space - it seems obvious to me that the more we fill with rubbish, the less we have left to actually inhabit.

All of this has got me thinking through how we have changed our way of living over the last few years, and, to my surprise, it actually seems we're doing quite a bit:

- We buy less meat than we used to, but very rarely buy it from the supermarket
- When we DO buy meat from the supermarket (usually when it's heavily price-reduced) we only buy British, that way we know where the welfare standards fall
- All our eggs are free range. If we can't afford free range, we don't buy eggs at all - end of.
- Same thing for "Adult eggs" - free range chicken all the way
- Products containing eggs - we try to ensure use FR eggs also - we stopped buying Tesco Mayonnaise for a long while, until they gave in and started using FR eggs....
- processed foodstuffs - we buy very few, sausages mainly, but those again are higher welfare
- Fruit and veg - we buy from the farm shop when we can
- when we can't, we try to ensure that the stuff we DO buy is from the UK, preferably East Anglia - who needs potatoes from Kenya for goodness sake, when we grow some fantastic spuds in this country and they are available ALL YEAR ROUND?!
- We save leftovers and try to ensure that as far as possible everything is used up (So the remainder of the pastry for a pie for meals last week became a fruit tart for puddings over the weekend)
- We re-use things where we can - jars, bottles, milk bottles, re-useable shopping bags, newspaper for cleaning windows, microfibre cloths for cleaning rather than the disposable j-cloth style ones, mushroom punnets for growing seeds in...
- rarely using the tumble-dryer, only really for towels and bedding which would take too long to dry on the airers
- we grow as many oddments of veg as can in our little bit of garden
- We don't buy things like pizzas, pies etc - why buy when they can be made for a fraction of the price, and taste SO much better?
- bread comes from the breadmaker, not the supermarket bakery
- we don't buy jam, chutney, or marmalade....same reasons as above, the jars below cost us somewhere about 50p each...we know precisely what is in them, and the contents taste just fantastic!

So, looking at that list, that's pretty good eh? I mean, we're not doing badly at all....the question I guess is where to go from here. Well, I'm trying to walk, or cycle, where I can instead of using the car. We intend to grow edible stuff again this year, and try not to wash clothes unless they need it, rather than from habit. (I must assure you that undies are considered to require washing after one wear regardless!) Heating is turned to a level where the place is comfortable, but not so warm that we're walking around in shorts and t-shirts. I want to rediscover the enjoyment in sitting listening to music, or playing board games, rather than automatically reaching for the TV remote.

There are certainly ares for improvement, I rather suspect Jenni will give me some more food for thought in due course.....!



Rachel said...

Marmalade looks great. You've inspired me to sit and make a list similar to yours - and it is VERY similar to yours! It's surprising how many of these things become habits after a while, and you don't realise how much you're already doing. Always room for improvement though of course! :-)

Robyn said...

Me? Inspiring someone? Noooo - that's Jenni & Fay's job! LOL!

Well done on the list - so now we just need to fine tune stuff and work out where to attack next then...hmmmm!

The marmalade is very yummy indeed...if I come visiting, I might even bring gifts, you never know!

R xx

Jenni said...

What nonsense, of course you're inspiring, tis you that inspired me to make marmalade! :)

Lovely list by the way - love the way you've listed all the things you *do* do first. And I also love the way you have 'not washing clothes automatically' on the list - no good ever came from too much washing...

Jenni x