Greening our lives

by Michael Smith (Veshengro)

No paint required but action, commitment and small acts have great impact.

greening-our-lives1It is about greening your life and not about you on your own changing the world. But in doing what you can do in your small corner and others doing their bit, in their own small ways, like you yourself, we, together, can and will change the world. We can do it! Yes, we can!

Each and every revolution and especially evolution, for this is what it must be, has started and starts with small beginnings. Small acts, combined by millions, can and will bring about a change. Be the change that you want to see in the world. Do not wait for others to start or lead.

Creating a better world by looking after our Planet and Earth's children, all of them, can be done if we all, especially the 99%, those that need this change to benefit from it, work in small ways to make this happen, even on one's own in one's own small corner and ways.

So, now let us look a some of those small ways and acts that, combined with others doing the same, can have a great impact. If you do not believe that small things can have a great impact try spending a night with a mosquito in the room.

Reuse, repurpose and upcycle

Yes, I know, I keep harping on about reuse but that is one of the most important aspects of managing waste. Not reduction or recycling. The former we, as individuals, have very little to no control over and the latter is the last resort for when you have to toss things into the recycling bin you have already lost and so has the Planet.

Waste, and especially packaging waste, is something that we come across at a daily basis by the tonne, well almost, and many things that we often toss without a second thought into the trash or the recycling bin – and is this really being recycled or are the powers-that-be on a local and national level just creating an impression that this is so, as often seems to be the case – can be reused, repurposed and upcycled saving us money and doing good also for the Planet by keeping those items out of the waste stream.


Yes, this is another one of those things that can have a profound impact, especially when you incorporate reuse and such for “raw materials” from which to make your own things.

Making your own rather than going to the stores – I know the latter is easier than the former – is much more rewarding, I think, and also you get want you want and not just something that is sort of what you want.

Reusing, and especially repurposing and upcycling, is already DIYof sorts though there are time where other materials must be gotten. Still better (and cheaper often) than buying in the store and then, maybe, not really getting what you want.

Don't be a follower of fashion

And I do not here just mean here in this context being a follower, or not being one, of fashion in the textile and clothing sense but also of fashion of other kinds. I here include not to be desiring the latest cellphone or whatever else.

After all it's a phone, stupid, and you don't have to carry all of your life, so to speak, around with you on and in that device.

Fashion, as far as clothes go, is also not a very good idea to follow. Why would anyone? Woman or man? Clothes, and especially fashion, does not make you.

Reduction of energy consumption

Winter: In order to save heating costs reduce your thermostat setting to 18 deg C (just under 65F). That is warm enough for everyone as long as they do not insist going about in the nude.

Summer: Forgo the air-conditioning and open some windows instead, even as far as creating a through draft. In addition wear as few clothes as possible and even go sans clothes indoors.

Laundry: Dry your laundry on a line outdoors. If your area is prone to rain then consider building a drying porch where the clotheslines are entirely under cover, allowing for wind drying and during sunny times hang clothes on another set of lines in the sun. In winter do as our ancestors did and dry by the stove (or on the radiators).

A great deal is often made about so-called phantom energy hogs and thus it is always recommended to unplug chargers for devices and such like. However, in tests I have found that the energy that they consume is miniscule if at all measurable, and that even with a number of them plugged in. Today's chargers, more often than not, are so-called intelligent chargers which means that they turn themselves off when the battery of a device is fully charged or when an appliance is not in use. Thus clambering around under the desk and such to unplug it is not really necessary. There are many other things you can do to reduce your energy consumption by a far greater amount that are much better.

As regards to loose summer clothing learn from the Mexicans and the native people of the hot countries. The sarong, for instance, as worn in Malaysia or Bangladesh would be an answer for those who do not like the idea of going entirely sans clothes, and yes, even for the male of the species.

Drive less or not at all

Cycle and walk instead

Change of diet

A predominately plant-based diet with some animal products such as milk, butter, cheese and eggs.

Far too many people seem to believe that they are called upon, when we talk about greening our lives, to change the world single-handed. Because of that being not possible they often fail, get disheartened and fall by the wayside, when they do not achieve the goals that they have set themselves.

Many, a great many in fact, also seem to believe that going green is expensive. “Don't you have to buy all those green things, recycled products, and all that, to be green”, they think and even often ask. The answer is: “No! You do not”. It is not and should not be expensive. Going green, in fact, should not cost you money but save you lots (in the long run). The idea is to buy as little as possible and reuse, repurpose, upcycle and otherwise make things yourself.

But just consider the savings, though they may not be huge, you can by reusing this or that item of what others consider waste, such as glass jars for storage or even as drinking vessels, making your own notebooks from waste office paper, using the backs of envelopes for notes rather than a bought notepad, etc.

© 2014