Since leaving work, I’ve slowly turned into an eco-nag. If my partner does a supermarket trip and brings it home in a carrier bag, I stand there, pointing at the reusables and tap my foot looking like an incarnation of Victor Meldrew.
I’ve still yet to decide how to use the hundreds of ice-cream sticks I’ve managed to collect and realise how easily I could have lost weight. I thought they’d make good labels for seeds I’d planted, but they began to join the compost before the seeds germinated.
I’ve got a tidy pile of yoghurt pots that stretch from the floor to ceiling that were going to be plant pots, except that we’re now going on the road with six panniers and they’re unlikely to fit. I have a pile of cardboard boxes awaiting life as mulch or another ebay sale. And what am I going to do with the ex germinators made from 5 litre water bottles?
At least food waste got a use and I’ve managed to make a couple of beds of the most amazing looking black soil teaming with worms. The odd plant pops up in an unusual place, like an onion amongst the nettles and a potato plant here and there dotted between the trees.
The upshot is, that I’ve broken the throw away habit of a lifetime and find it next to impossible to commit something to the landfill.
But I’ve still aways to go before I make the grade of a closed system (a permaculture design principle), which is where all inputs to the system are no longer required from external sources, like the supermarket, and there are no outputs as everything is re-used on site.
But that’s the goal.
Meanwhile, the ‘Story of Stuff’ project has sponsored the Northwest Earth Institute’s EcoChallenge that you can jump into any time you want. Here’s the story:
The challenge is based on the principle that it takes two weeks to form a new habit, so you pick a challenge and try it out for two weeks. By the time the two weeks are up – you’ll have formed a habit for the future and before long, will have a mountain of lollipop sticks, like me, and you’ll not be able to stop.
So do you feel up to the challenge?
I’m inviting you join me in two weeks time, October 31st, to undertake an eco-challenge lasting for two weeks. I’ll pick one for us to try out for two weeks, and we can share our respective stories at the end. If you want to declare your participation (not compulsory) feel free to copy the image below and use it as you wish. Any stories you write as a response to the challenge, please ping back to this post.