Before I had a family I would go to enormous effort to lead a green lifestyle. I would attempt to eat seasonal foods and watched food kilometres like a hawk. I’d tear all those little plastic windows out of used envelopes before placing them in the paper recycling. I’d recycle every single piece of food waste, no matter how small.
Now I am a stay at home father with two children and a wife who has an increasingly demanding job. For me, the will exists to reduce my environmental impact, but I don’t make anything like the effort I used to.
I recently wrote a blog post about clearing clutter out of the house. Several boxes and bags of rubbish were studiously taken to the tip and placed in the correct recycling bins.
A couple of very large boxes, however, were not. These were boxes full of the worst kind of junk, mostly from the kitchen.
You can probably relate to the scenario. While clearing up I found myself faced with several junk hot spots in the kitchen. You know, draws or shelves where stuff just got placed and left to languish; old batteries that may or may not be fully charged, random plastic cutlery from a long-forgotten picnic, outdated take-away menus and so on.
I took one look at these junk hot spots and my heart sank. There was no way I could stand there and sort through everything. I’d still be doing it now. It was against my principals, but I simply swept the entire lot into boxes that were subsequently chucked out.
Food recycling is another one I struggle with. We do it, but not as well as we should. This has more to do with the prevalence of foxes in our area. Okay, yes, we are given secure food recycling bins to place waste into. The collection guys, however, are in such a rush the bins kept thrown around and last about two minutes before they get broken and are no longer secure. Leaving out every bit of food would just encourage the foxes and I have enough trouble clearing their muck off our lawn.
To state the obvious, becoming a family of four has also had an enormous impact. We have two kids creating waste and returning home with arts and craft projects from school and nursery. Keeping on top of all this is incredibly tricky.
I do try to lead a green lifestyle and I regularly talk to our eldest daughter about the importance of doing so. I can’t pretend, however, that standards haven’t slipped. They have, and it bothers me. It bothers me a great deal indeed.
What’s your experience? Do you lead a green lifestyle? Do you talk to your children about environmental issues? Are you like me, desperate to do the correct thing but struggle?
I linked this post to the #BrilliantBlogPosts linky hosted by MisplacedBrit on 31 July 2014. I recommend visiting the linky and seeing what other bloggers have written about.
Photo Credit: Ingrid Taylor Reproduced under Creative Commons 2.0 agreement. See disclosure page for more info and link to the agreement license.