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★Sustainability and Being Green

Global warming is a big issue and even those that don’t believe in it can’t deny the fact that we are making a bit of a mess of this beautiful planet of ours and should do what we can to keep it clean and green.

This means making a conscious effort to live in a sustainable way, i.e. living in a way that can be maintained year to year, generation to generation.

My partner and I sold our car last year and now ride (cycle) and catch public transport nearly everywhere we go. Occasionally we’ll jump in a taxi or end up in cars owned by friends or family but these instances are definitely the exception and not the rule.

We recycle, shop with reusable canvas bags, reuse plastic bags, eat organic locally grown food where possible and buy unprocessed and/or fresh more often than not. We use recycled toilet paper and if we purchase a drink whilst we are out, we choose glass bottle products over plastic it at all possible.

Neither of us eat meat (Mel is veg*n) and although I still eat fish I don’t eat wheat because I can’t, thus by default I have to choose alternative grains and this encourages biodiversity :)

We live in a small unit which is easily heated and is well insulated from both the heat and the cold. We use long life / low watt energy saver bulbs and are conscious about what devices and lights are left on. We don’t have air conditioning and only use a single small heater during the winter. We move this from room to room, and admittedly we’ve had to huddle it around on occasion lol

Although it’s hard to avoid completely, we do tend to shop at the smaller locally owned stores rather than huge chain stores although the environmental benefits of this aren’t so clear cut anyway.

I’ve recently purchased an ebook reader which will certainly reduce the need to cut down a small forest over the next few years, but of course aside from the outer shell (Metal) this little device is as full of nasties as the rest of my computer gear.

Speaking of computer gear, I own and continue to purchase both computer and photography equipment that contains a lot of plastics and other nasties. We also like to travel when we can and have therefor spent a lot of time in planes (and there have been times when we could have used trains or buses)

As you can see we’re not perfect. There’s probably a million other things we aren’t doing, or are doing wrong, but we try our best and are proud of our efforts thus far. As we come across things we can address we do so as best we can, as soon as we can.

Of course living consciously is a good thing to do all of the time, this is especially important when it comes to the environment because like it or not, it effects us all.

Even the smallest change in the right direction is a good thing. Are you purchasing foods because you always have, or is there a specific reason for it? If there isn’t a specific reason, is there a locally grown or less processed alternative? Is there an equal quality product with less packaging?

It doesn’t always come easy. We sometimes have to pay twice as much for our food, we’ve suffered some injuries due to unfortunate falls on our bikes, we’ve been caught out in the rain and sometimes it’s just far too hot to ride, but we do it anyway.

There are benefits though, aside from doing out bit for the environment, we’re much fitter and healthier than we were a few years back. We look better and feel better, and as a direct result are more focused and far happier. All of this and we’re living sustainably :)

How green and sustainable are you and yours? Have you made any changes recently out of concern for the environment?

“How easy it is in our life, to miss what’s being offered.” — Paul Haller

I am not very green… in my own estimation. However, it’s all relative.

I’m a big re-user. Buying from vinnies, going to the tip, having clothes swaps, using freecycle. I recycle. I reuse my shower water for the garden.

Apart from that, I am not really very green. I like nice things, luxury, travel and convenience. I am appreciative of the fact I was born into such an affluent country and every day I feel blessed that I have choice and wealth. So my new Macbook does not fill me with guilt – only happiness – that it is so beautiful and works so well for me.

I’ve been the homeless forest feral… it was good for a while, but I prefer to live in a house and have things to support me to achieve more than just survival.


sustainability is important to me as in the many reasons Lee described above. I also try to encourage my children at work to think sustainably. For instance on Thursday a board game base board was ripped in two! The resulting group discussion began with talks about respecting others property etc but as the children shared their comments an interesting theme emerged. The perpetrator stated silent but other kids offered to BUY a new game explaining that they had lots of money and would just get a new one. My coworker and I were shocked at this attitude and couldn’t believe what we were hearing. Admittedly the kids are from affluent backgrounds but we were not expecting to hear how to ‘quick fix’ from four year olds. So we changed tack and began talking about taking care of materials from a sustainability point of view, they nearly didn’t believe us when we said that our wooden blocks were over six years old- more than them.
The experience has definately made me rethink what actions are possibly putting forward these certain values as I interact with the children.

In response to freygan’s post:
Definitely all relative, you sound green to me! :P

I’ve shopped at vinnies, but don’t do it regularly enough. I’ve worn the same shirts for the last four years though, I’ve only just purchased a few replacements. After four years clothes go funny shapes and are no-where near the color they once were, but I continue to wear them around the house.

Living in an apartment, we don’t have a garden :( We did consider dropping baskets out our windows but we live in the city and the security grills are fixed :( Still looking into ways we can do this.

Definitely no need to feel guilty about the new macbooks, if it’s one of the latest generation ones, they’re mostly metal and glass anyway :) I didn’t know you’d just upgraded? My best mate has just purchased one and made my older model look very sad and dated lol.

It’s an interesting point though, we have to be practical about it all or we wouldn’t end up doing anything. The new macbook pays the bills and might allow you to, for example, buy the more expensive organic or locally grown produce, or whatever.

“How easy it is in our life, to miss what’s being offered.” — Paul Haller

I have a garden too :) Yeah food from the home garden is so satisfying! Although the worst job is getting rid of the snails… irk and lots of prayers for the dying souls.


Lee’s parents just brought around a huge bag of fresh picked nectarines. they live on the outskirts of Sydney and are able to buy fresh produce off stalls outside people’s houses. Local farmers and such who just have too much to eat themselves. I love this part of world for reasons like this. Imagine if we all had a small garden and were able to barter with our neighbours. not only sustainable but it would bring out such a sense of community!

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