Failing to lead a green lifestyle

Environmentalism, green lifestyle, green, environment, education

In an ideal world, I’d be with those guys at the top of that tree. Family life, however, seems to have intervened. Photo credit below.

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to languish; old batteries that may or may not be fully charged, random plastic cutlery from a long-forgotten picnic, outdated take-away menus and so on.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.

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9 Comments

  1. July 16, 2014 / 7:47 am

    Its a really tough one having to surrender some of my core values since becomjng a parent but the innermost values I possess are to be the best parent I can be and that trumps all else – oh I have to put retaining my sanity in there too because without that the wheels will come off!!

  2. July 31, 2014 / 7:59 pm

    I’m glad to hear other people have junk hot spots! I thought I may have been the only one! I’ve got a corner in one of my bedrooms that’s full of unopened boxes of ‘junk’. It’s on my to do list this weekend to sort it! I do try to live green, but I could do better. That’s now on my to do list too! Thanks for the inspiration #brillblogposts

    • John Adams
      Author
      August 1, 2014 / 4:44 am

      Good luck going green and hope you get your junk hot spots sorted this weekend.

  3. August 1, 2014 / 6:10 pm

    Difficult when you want to do something or have a particular viewpoint, but it is impacted by other demands. We’ve just had to move our ‘junk drawer’ as the front room has become the nursery – just decked the attic though so now I have an entire ‘junk space’! Every cloud 🙂

    • John Adams
      Author
      August 2, 2014 / 5:35 am

      Yes, I’ve been reading all about your adventures in the attic. Bought back memories of when my first was about to be born.

  4. August 1, 2014 / 11:03 pm

    It sounds like you have been doing some SERIOUS decluttering!! Well done for that!!

    Green lifestyle is a tough one! Some things are easier than others… Some bits have ‘systems’ in place to help us out. Others only happen if you go all the extra miles to figure them out yourself.
    It sounds to me like you started right at the deep end, reading all the labels and figuring out food miles… I haven’t done more than scratch the surface of that one yet! – Great to be challenged 🙂

    We have a ‘system’ in place at home, making it impossible for me to take some of the shortcuts I might otherwise have taken (every now and then!) 😉
    …We have a waste disposal shoot in our area. The rubbish is sucked down and burned, heating water for radiators.
    All very nice… But the actual shoot isn’t bigger than a knotted plastic shopping bag, so whenever I have anything bigger to throw out, I have to go to the recycling station anyway… So I take the other stuff too!

    Lot’s of housing areas in Sweden have mini recycling stations of their own – that would be a nicer system!
    Where my parents live in UK they have different coloured bins for everything, and they get PICKED UP!! Sweden is supposed to be so ‘ahead’ in the environmental issues… I would LOVE if my recycling was getting picked up!!
    (But I promise there’d still be days when I’d take a shortcut – that’s just life!) 😉

    Thanks for linking with #brilliantblogposts

    – What an essay I’ve written!!

    • John Adams
      Author
      August 2, 2014 / 5:32 am

      Thanks fort the comment Steph. It seems the UK is slightly more advanced than Sweden in some respects.