Ok so I’m long overdue another blog entry. I have a few ideas that are part-written and waiting in the wings, but I’ll keep this one simple.
So far this year I don’t feel like I’ve made much progress in becoming greener (and last week’s ‘speed awareness workshop’ as punishment for driving too fast doesn’t set the best example huh?), so it’s time to remind myself of some things I do or have done that hopefully make a bit of a difference.
1) Lightbulb moments
For a long time I resisted the energy saving lightbulb (I’ll abbreviate to ESL if that’s ok with you). Not that I didn’t want to switch to them, I really did. But a lot of the lighting in our flat was not very conducive to ESLs. We had a lot of fittings that used candle bulbs, golf ball bulbs, that sort of thing. And the usual stick-shaped ESL just didn’t work. And then, even though I knew the humble ESL had evolved and was now available in a more diverse range, we had so many of the things I put off replacing them (and let’s face it, throwing away numerous bulbs I’d paid good money for).
I can’t imagine I’m the only one who has the odd non-ESL bulb lying around because ‘they don’t make them for this type of lamp’.
A bit of a scare with the electricity bill finally forced me to take action and seek a solution. And that led me to the marvellous http://ebulbshop.com. I’m sure there are plenty of other places online, but this one did the job for me. Soon I was running round with a notepad figuring out how many bayonets and screw fittings I needed and what Wattage, size and the like.
And finally all was well in lightbulb land.
2) 2 become 1
Last year we became a one-car family again. For five years we’d had a car each and now, circumstance has allowed us to do away with one. I can’t claim to have made much of a sacrifice here myself, as it’s my other half really who gave his up, but he doesn’t have a blog and what’s his is mine, etc.
Because we’ve moved house we’re now better connected by public transport, so Stuart is walking a mile to the railway station and taking a train to work each day. The journey to work was the only time his car was really needed anyway, for the rest we just have to plan a little if we need to be in different places at the same time.
The fact is that he now has to travel further to work, so quite how it really balances out in terms of carbon-footprint I couldn’t say, but I guess as the train was running anyway it’s an improvement. We’re also further north which puts me nearer where I need to be (I currently do a strange mix of working from home and commuting to a different city), so all to the good I reckon.
3) My cup runneth over
Ok, so if you’re especially squeamish, cover your eyes now.
Following a friend’s recommendation I tried, and then converted to, a menstrual cup. There’s plenty of info about them on the web (see http://menstrualcups.org for the low-down) so I’ll spare you too much detail. Suffice to say, the cup replaces the need for tampons, and has several advantages. It’s washable and re-useable (thus greener), it’s safer (no connection to Toxic Shock Syndrome), you don’t have to empty it as often as you’d change a tampon, and as a cup can last for years, it should save a lot of money in the long-run..
So it’s getting close to 2 years now since I used and threw away a tampon, and that’s great. While I can’t claim it hasn’t been without a few teething problems, I really think more women should try it. There’s not much really said about it in the UK but they’ve been around longer than you might realise and they have a lot of fans. There’s lots of types available, but based on my own experience of I’d recommend the Lunette (I previously tried a Mooncup).
If you can’t stand the thought of a cup, at least look into greener tampons, and ditch the applicator if you can.
So there you have it. Three little things that might make a little difference to my carbon footprint, the waste I create, and also my wallet. 🙂
Care to tell me some of yours?