Posted by: savayla | January 12, 2010

Developing a Green Conscience

This is such a difficult post for me.  It is like letting out a big secret.  One that actually  shames me .  The topic is green living.  A subject that is very dear to my heart and soul, and one which Kyle and I talk about almost every single day.

We have always tried to live as green as possible, given our circumstances.  But here we have the first excuse already –  circumstances – .  We make excuses for using plastic bags for our shopping because this is what we use for our dustbin.  And, it is a valid excuse.  However, this then goes further into all the little plastic bags that we are given.  Asia is plastic mad.  My local shop, PL Soon Huat, fondly known to us as Munster Trading as the bare concrete falls and warehouse look reminds me of the shop where I grew up.  They have given up getting annoyed with me as I put as many different types of vegetables into one bag, so that they have to take out all the carrots, tomatoes, green beans, lemons, and  weigh them individually, before putting them all back into the bag.  Instead of 5-6 bags, i am using 2.  So that is one small victory for me.  Yet, it is an empty one, as I know that I should be taking a cloth bag for these veges.  Here comes one of the moral mazes,  I need to keep my veges in these bags otherwise they go limp in my fridge.  So, there is another excuse to use these little plastic bags.

So here we have entered into the moral maze.  If we do this, it is good for that, BUT, it is bad for something else.  You get my drift ?

Kyle and I talk about this all the time.  We do recycle our paper, glass and tin.  But, this has only been in the past few months as there was no recycling depot here and our apartment has just received  bins.  But, I am ashamed to say, that when living on the yacht, I found it too difficult to recycle.  There just was no space to keep all the things to recycle, so it went into the bins outside.  I could have had my own recycle bin, but that would have blown over in the winds. You see, I am so good at making countless excuses.

One of our favourites is that we will definitely be leading a more green life when we reach New Zealand.  Why ?  Because hopefully we will eventually be settled, but more importantly, it is easier there.  They have fantastic recycling depots , you can buy your flour, cocoa powder, oats, sprinkles, etc etc from bins instead of prepackaged.  This saves on a lot of packaging that is thrown away.  We will have more choice about where to shop and what to buy.  Organic butchers, straight from the farmers at the markets, cheese that is not wrapped in plastic, etc etc.

Look at this link http://www.rubbishfreeyear.co.nz/ .  Although I have always been into environmental issues, it was this couple that decided to be rubbish free for a year, that gave me a moral conscience about packaging and buying items that cannot be recycled in various ways (composting, re-using, etc ) .  It is due to following their story, writing a story about them, and chatting to them, that has made me continue to think about them everytime I casually pick up a plastic bag or buy biscuits in a packaging that I know will live in the landfill for another 100 years.

I think that although I am very unhappy about how we conduct our lives in terms of green living at the moment, what I am happy about is that we have developed a green conscience.  I think this is half the battle won.  If more people could develop a green conscience, then, like every conscience, it will work at you and work at you, and eventually you will start to live more green, and stop making excuses.

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