Wednesday, 7 August 2013

Judged by a 4 year old

Sometimes I put baking trays in the bin when I can't be bothered to wash them. I throw food into the normal bin instead of the food waste one because I keep forgetting to buy the paper liner things. I sometimes drive the 200 metres to collect my son from nursery because I want an extra 10 minutes in the house by myself, and at the end of every week I throw away pretty much the entire soggy contents of our fridge crisper. My children routinely eat fish fingers on their laps while watching tele, so I can shop online for more stuff I don't need in peace and generally ignore them.

I'm pretty sure I used to have more ethics. In my twenties I'd say I was annoyingly ethical. I wrote for conservation magazines, worked for a Green Party politician and a wildlife charity, and lectured anyone who would listen. To quote my husband's loving wedding speech, I was 'an annoying, pasty vegetarian who sat at the end of the table ranting at people.' 

Everything soon changed. I had a baby, used my first disposable nappy and never looked back. For the next four years convenience trumped ethics in our house every time. 

But last year, my lazy, guilt-free life began to change. Annoyingly, my 4 year old started school and came home brimming with knowledge about the environment. The little know-it-all kept lecturing me. Every time I had a baking tray poised over the bin*, I'd feel her beady little eyes on me and pretend I was just scraping it off. So, I was forced to resurrect old habits and try to set a good example, make the world a better place for my children, and all that.

The problem with being green is that it seems like a lot of extra work - cycling everywhere, making your own ugly clothes, and going camping instead of flying somewhere better. Which is why most of us do relatively little - no one really wants to sacrifice their lifestyle. So during the past year, I've been finding ways to be a bit greener than require little (or ideally, no) effort.

And so A Little Bit Green was born. A blog offering the occasional idea to parents who know they should be green but are willing to do very little about it.

*It didn't happen as often as it sounds

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