So, tonight the rain is pouring down again. The UK is being bashed by yet another storm – I’ve lost count of how many we’ve had in the last few weeks – and I’ve been feeling a bit eco-doomish. Perhaps it was seeing the World Bank report looking at a 4 degree warmer world – which is where we are headed by 2100, apparently, if we keep churning out CO2 emissions at current levels. And the current series of crazy ‘extreme weather events’ isn’t helping. As I write, around the globe it is either too cold (US), too hot (Australia) or too rainy (most of Europe). It makes me sad that, according to thousands of climate scientists, it looks like our legacy is going to be more flooding, less food, more extreme droughts, more typhoons. You’re welcome, future grandkids!
It’s easy to slide into gloom – the problem is so big, the powers that be are dealing with it so slowly; what’s the point of me recycling, composting and turning off lights, it’s just a tiny drop in a huge, polluted ocean? So much easier to focus on the details of my garden, pouring over the seed catalogues and planning for summer, and forget the bigger picture. But then I give myself a talking-to. If we all give up, or ignore the problem, things really will get gruesome. And if our actions encourage those around us to make changes too (from our family and friends, to our policy makers or the companies we buy from), why, then, that’s when things can really start to happen.
So rather than give in to gloom – or denial – I’ve made 12 Green Resolutions for the year. Nothing earth-shattering, just some little changes I can start working on right away. And, in the great blogging tradition of posting my plans so that I actually have to follow through, I’ve listed them here. In no particular order, here are my Green Resolutions for 2014:
1. Calculate our household carbon footprint – and plan to reduce it. There’s a starting point here.
2. Change our electricity supplier to one using renewable energy.
3. Compost all our food waste.
4. Learn how to grow and store more winter foods.
5. Look after the soil – grow comfrey! (Great for making plant feed and compost).
6. Make sure all the lightbulbs in the house are low energy ones.
7. Support a green campaign or organisation.
8. Wean myself off using the dryer and hang out the laundry (if the rain ever stops).
9. Join or start a local green group.
10. Keep shopping bags in the car – otherwise I often forget them (hangs head in eco shame).
I will report back. What about y’all? Any green resolutions for the year? If you fancy joining me, I’d love to hear your plans – do share them here or post a link.