Green Goals 2011

Hello again!

Ever since I heard about the hole in the o-zone layer when I was a child, I’ve tried to live a green lifestyle.

I’ve always used eco-friendly cleaning products/cosmetics; buy local, organic or fair trade; use energy saving lightbulbs and haven’t flown in 6 years.

However, there are always improvements to be made, so I’ve come up with a little list of goals/targets for this year. Sharing them with you gives you a chance to get to know me better, and gives me a much needed kick up the bum!

1. Switch on to solar – My house has a large expanse of south facing roofspace, perfect for solar panels.

I’ve always dreampt of a house with photovoltaic solar panels (the kind that generate electricity not hot water) and the ‘Feed in tariffs’ currently on offer make this quite a lucrative prospect.

Unfortunately, I don’t have access to the 10k or so needed to install them, so when I heard about ‘rent a roof’ schemes, it seemed like the next best thing. Basically, a company supplies the panels for free, you get the electricity and they get the FIT. You miss out on an income, but hey, a reduction in leccy bills aint bad, and as either OH or I are in a lot during daylight hours, if we can run all our major appliances then then our savings could be quite significant.  Plus there’s the satisfaction of knowing you’re generating some of your own energy.

We’ve signed up with a major energy supplier and, cross fingers, things’ll move ahead soon.

2. Switch to washable wipes – Although I’ve been using cloth nappies for a while, I’ve not made the switch to washable wipes, but with a new baby in tow, I think now must be the time to switch.

3. Grow my own – I’m hoping this year to produce at least one ingredient a day from our own garden. At this time of year it’s easy enough to produce full meals, but given that this is my first year with a proper veggie patch it might become more of a challenge winter time.  I’m relying on the chickens to help me with this one!  Hopefully as I become a more experienced gardener, I can up this to a full meal a day.

4. Cut my fuel habit – Unfortunately, my car is a bit of a guzzler. Not intentionally, I don’t have a thing for powerful cars. It was just the only car that we found which was the size we needed at a price we could afford.

Now we are stuck with a beast that is cripplingly expensive to run as well as being bad for the environment, but its so battered we’d hardly get anything for it if we traded it in.

I’d like to say that I’ll switch to using just public transport but living in a rural area with an erratic bus service with two young children and two dogs it just doesn’t sound that feasible. Just getting to my mum’s would take about 3 hours each way, and that’s if I make all 3 connections on time.

So, how am I going to cut my fuel dependency? We’ll I’m not quite sure yet but I’ll let you know as soon as I have an idea!

5. Buy no more than 12 items of clothing this year – This is an idea I‘ve shamelessly stolen from another blog.

To be honest,  I’ve never been much of a one for clothes anyway, and I’ve always done most of my shopping in charity shops, but occasionally I do like to have a bit of a splurge! I had one a couple of weeks ago when I was fed up with nothing fitting me post baby, and I bought three pairs of trousers and a dress – so that takes my total up to 4. Hmmmmm, this might be harder than I thought!  I might have to arrange a clothes swapping party for a wardrobe update.

Either that or get the sewing machine out! Which brings me to…….

6. Make an item of clothing for each of the boys – I’ve wanted to get into making clothes for a while, and have some cute hoodie patterns and lovely fleece to get going with. Like most mums it’s just a matter of finding, or rather making the time.

I’ve already made them some toys, what do you think?

7. Make a loaf of bread each week – I hate mass produced chemical filled bread, so, having bought a lovely bread book yesterday, my new, possibly unrealistic goal is to make at least 1 loaf of proper bread a week. Not that hard right?!:)

8. Get creative with recycling – We do the usual cans, papers etc to the council kind of recycling, but it must be possible to cut down waste/consumption in other ways too,and make useful things for the home. So far I cut up old clothes to make cloths for cleaning, and use the water from our condenser dryer to water houseplants, but thats about it.

There must be better, more interesting things to do, like customising clothes, making rag rugs etc. Any ideas?

9. Install water butts – self explanatory really.

Anyway, we’re more than half way through the year already, so I think that’s enough to keep us going till Christmas. Do you have any green goals you’d like to achieve?

That’s all for now!

Catxxxxx

8 Comments

  1. Like it like it.
    I would say: Join local green groups and really get good ideas, support and community through them. Transition/FofE/Green Party? It has really kept me aware and motivated.

  2. You’ll surprise yourself with the bread, it’s not that difficult. As long as you’ve got a warm place to put it to help the yeast rise you’ll be fine.

  3. Oooh let me know how you get on with making bread – this is something I want to start doing too. We installed water solar panels last year and we’re really pleased with them.. ok so we don’t get free hot water every day but that’s to be expected here in Wales 🙂
    I love the toy btw!
    Jo xx

  4. Thanks Rebecca, that’s a really good idea.

    Just checked it out and there’s a FoE group that meets in my favourite pub – bonus!xxxx

  5. Thanks Claire H, that’s given me a real boost. 🙂 Can’t wait until the house is filled with freshly baked bread smells – mmmm!

  6. I think I’m going to have to try washable wipes. I’m sick of being able to bung the nappies in the wetbag but still find a bin or fish the dirty wipes out of the wetbag again later on :/

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