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Help me be more ethical and more healthily!

(15 Posts)
ChairmumMiaow Thu 28-May-09 19:43:59

We do our best to live ethically, and each year we manage to do a bit more.

So far we :
- use cloth nappies,
- (almost) never use plastic bags at the supermarket,
- use washing machine balls instead of powder,
- recycle and reuse where we can
- walk or bus a good deal of the time.
- buy most meat from our local (non-organic) butcher in bulk and freeze

We're also starting to introduce more pulses into our diet instead of meat (it helps that DS loves beans and lentils!) and try to grow some fruit/veg this year

We've got a 16 month old son now, and whereas once I found it easy to dismiss these concerns - particularly the environmental ones where they didn't suit me, I find myself focusing on him now and wanting to make the world better for him! (DH says I should do it by not having another child but I am putting my fingers in my ears and going "la la la" at that one )

Anyway, I'm looking for some more ways to gently introduce 'greener' living into our lifestyle. Cloth nappies seemed a big thing at the start but now they are just a part of our lives, and I'd like to introduce some more things that could be like that.

I'd like to buy organic or at least local vegetables as much as possible, but can't find anywhere walkable that I can do that (Bromsgrove). I'd be happy with a box scheme and am looking into it, but no luck so far.

Anyway, after my marathon essay, what else can I do?

janeite Thu 28-May-09 19:49:27

Low energy lightbulbs are much cheaper now than they used to be - we have them throughout the house now.

I take it you already use the library?

near you

thisisyesterday Thu 28-May-09 19:52:34

cutting down on car use? we've just downgraded from 2 cars to 1, it's taking some getting used to, but def do-able (obv depends on where youi live etc)

water butt for the garden is a ncie easy one

recycling

bronze Thu 28-May-09 19:52:36

watching with interest

thisisyesterday Thu 28-May-09 19:55:00

re-usable san-pro?

ilovemydogandmrobama Thu 28-May-09 20:00:57

have you tried here for box scheme?

ChairmumMiaow Thu 28-May-09 20:05:29

All good suggestions

We already have one car, and that stays home most of the time as I don't drive and we deliberately moved the office of our business so we could all walk to work (before DS, DH used to cycle and I used the bus)

Riverford don't deliver to us, but I have actually managed to find one in the right county and am going to give them a try next week.

We already recycle / donate any unused stuff to charity shops and use low energy lightbulbs.

I do buy books because I love to reread them, but use the library too (I read a lot - don't watch much TV) and am considering getting an ipod touch and switching to ebooks!

And lastly, I don't have periods because of my contraception, but if they ever come back (I hope not!) I shall switch to reusable sanitary towels I think.

Any more?

lljkk Thu 28-May-09 20:09:50

Insulate your house well?
Minimise water usage?
Turn devices off standby?
Don't fly to Holiday destination?
Free range eggs,organic milk products (or none at all)?
Grow ur own veg (allotment?)

hanaflower Thu 28-May-09 20:16:23

Message withdrawn at poster's request.

Hopefully Thu 28-May-09 22:18:30

Big things like house insulation are brilliant, if you can do them. Or not flying for a year (if you normally holiday abroad).

Littler (but still important) things:
- Look at the Green party manifesto and decide whether you think voting for them is worth it for local and EU elections (political types would argue that even though they won't ever get into power, it is sending a strong political message. I don't know enough to say either way)
- Make a concerted effort to cut water usage by 10%
- Turn temperature down on boiler by a couple of degrees
- Change household cleaning products to ones that don't use harsh chemicals
- Do fewer washes at 60 (we do one a month, approx, with killer vanish stuff in, everything else is 40 with ecover)
- Grow some of your own veg - we only have patio and are managing (so far) to grow some this year. Salad is good as it is often imported and sprayed, and is stupidly expensive
- I was almost paralysed with guilt earlier when I went to the supermarket and forgot bags. Avoid this situation by having those cunning fold up bags that go in your handbag and (and this is the crucial bit) put them back in there every time you unpack the shopping.

madlentileater Thu 28-May-09 22:54:57

Don't fly.
That is the single most important thing.

Then, do the other things suggested here, plus eat less (or no) meat.

Your council may have grants/subsidies for imsulation, ask them- if not, why not.

janeite Thu 28-May-09 23:03:26

Waitrose sell v cute folding bags that fit into a little pouch - only two pounds each. made by Typhoon I think. I keep a couple in my handbag at all times.

Those of you who have started growing your own vege - would love to know more about this: any tips for an absolute beginner/idiot?

Could you become almost completely veggie? Better for the environment AND cheaper!

Make your own cards, giftwrap etc.

Take up sewing?

ChairmumMiaow Fri 29-May-09 08:04:05

You're all making me feel pretty good as we do a lot of this already.

The bits we can probably work on most are turning stuff off, turning the heating down and maybe using less water. We already wash on cool for non-nappy loads.

I think we'll also switch our cleaning products.

Thanks all!

Fibonacci Sat 06-Jun-09 11:48:43

Saving energy is so important, and an energy monitor is really helpful for this ...

sarah293 Wed 10-Jun-09 19:29:31

Message withdrawn

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