I aspire to live a sustainable, eco-friendly life, but struggle with the day-to-day mechanics of this, so this blog post at Dark Purple Moon really resonated with me – thanks, Jen.
For example, I need to buy new sheets for my kids’ beds. If I could find organic, fair trade sheets at all, especially ones I could afford, I would buy those. So far, not good. My main choices appear to be between cheap sweatshop sheets and expensive sweatshop sheets (and I daren’t even think about the manufacturing processes). Budgetary constraints have me coming down on the side of the cheap ones at present – and my inner excessively-hopeful subversive notes that at least the capitalists won’t be making as big a profit on these (well, I can hope).
Or there’s the whole self-producing thing – ‘the grow your own fruit and vege and preseve them’ thing – which I also aspire to. The problem is finding the time and the will. My garden is currently fairly ‘fallow’ or ‘underdeveloped’ – that is, I don’t do anything like enough gardening. I do enjoy gardening and growing my own herbs, fruit and vege. However, fitting it in around family life remains a constant struggle – and I know I ‘should’ be introducing my children to the delights of growing their own, but mostly they want to ride their bikes through everything or else dig up everything (and I do mean everything!) And I’m not very good at ‘shoulds’ at the best of times. Then there’s my terrible track record with harvesting – I’m actually quite good at preparing, planting and tending, but remembering to pick the stuff is another matter. Oh well, at least the birds keep happy!
So most of my good intentions get put aside for ‘when the kids are older/leave home’. I do try to limit my consumption, buy things without much packaging, use eco-bags, recycle and all the rest of it – but it just doesn’t seem like enough most days.
There are just so many different angles to consider when you start breaking the supply chain down: e.g. organic growing, air miles, processing methods, treatment of people doing the growing, treatment of people doing the making, packaging…
However I have made some decisions (in no particular order):
- (the biggie) to not buy stuff unless I need to (although ‘need’ is fairly broadly defined) 🙂
- to stop buying beads, use what I already have and buy any other jewellery from stores like Trade Aid
- to buy yarn that is eco-friendly or fair trade, preferably both
- to limit my orders from overseas websites
There will be more later.
In the meantime, I’ll try and stop beating myself up for not being good enough 🙂