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Part-time tree hugger

by FeR on March 9, 2019 in blabs,personal

Ugly sad face FeR – if you look behind me, that’s how far the glacier has receded (Nov 2018). It would’ve looked so different if I managed to visit before I left NZ (between 2008-2013).

For those who know me personally (and long enough), you would’ve seen/known how I feel about the environment. You may have even experienced/seen the craziness of how far I’d go when it comes to waste. I am a part-time tree hugger. I do the best I can but I’m not extremely strict (I just avoid putting myself in that situation if I can help it) and during this NZ trip, I found out that one of Eve’s pet peeves was littering. She would pick up rubbish as we walk through parks/hikes. If everyone do that little bit, the world would probably be better off that how it is now.

When I finally had my own place, I was able to have my own rules. :lol:
My council provides a big roll of biodegradable bags every year to be used in our kitchen caddy (also provided by the council) for food scraps. I make full use of my green bin because they take all food scraps – even meat and bones. The downside is that the bin only gets emptied every fortnight. This isn’t too bad in winter but it’s terrible in summer – phooey! I still persevered, though. I know WY didn’t like doing this because it smelt and there is a risk of ants (or other pests) making their way into the bins – so even though we live in the same council area, I never pushed for it when I was living with her. Her house, her rules, eh!

Needless to say, recyclables go into the recycling bin. My council takes coffee cups (some don’t) even though I now try to avoid having coffee in disposable takeaway cups. The last time I was in SYD airport, I wanted to have coffee but noticed all the cafes serve their coffees only in disposable cups (even though you’re having it in store) – I went without. I know it may seem insignificant for little ‘ol me to refuse that one cup of coffee but this is me making my stand (where I can). Makes me question – why won’t you serve me coffee in a proper cup/mug if I’m going to sit in and take my time? I have a feeling they will just push it back to “convenience”. I may have to consider taking a reusable cup with me wherever I go, or especially when I’m flying some where because they also use disposable cups on planes.

Soft plastic is a subject that is a little controversial. I’m not sure if they really do recycle them (our local supermarkets take them, not the council) so to avoid this dilemma, I try to shop with less waste. Bulk food stores, Central Market, farmers’ market, grow my own(!), community swap, choose things that come without extra packaging – choices like that. It’s difficult to avoid it entirely and it pains me to see people choosing to use disposable stuff (or not recycle and throw everything in the general waste bin). I have to not think about it too much, especially at work when we have perfectly usable cutlery (albeit the state of cleanliness is a bit dubious :lol: but I always wash before use if I’m suspicious) – why do we need to create more rubbish? And there is an ongoing debacle about taking out the rubbish. :roll:

With all that in place, I hardly fill my general rubbish bin and probably take it out once a month (not because it’s full but because, well, I want it emptied). I think what you’d find most in my general rubbish bin is hair. :pfft: :lol:
When my family came to visit, that was when my rubbish bin was emptied every week – oh my… I sort of gave up and didn’t want to stress mum further about what goes where, what/where she can buy/not buy, etc. I get it that no one fully understands how I feel or why I do what I do, so I pretty much prefer to not have anyone “help” me sort the rubbish. Even when Eiz and JoFo came to visit, they said, “Ahhhh! Too complicated, we leave it here, okay?” That’s perfectly fine to me! :hee:

I still consume meat, I still eat junk food, I still drive a car, I still turn on my air conditioning – I just do to the best that I can. I try to plan in advance with a container if I’m getting takeaway food, I avoid buying fruits/veges wrapped in plastic, I try to choose paper packaging if I don’t go to the bulk food store (eg. sugar – I pay more to buy the paper packaged brand from the supermarket), I take my rubbish home to recycle/compost, I reverted back to soap bars (I buy them from Central Market, no packaging!) and if time permits, I bus to the city. I think the most waste I’ve created is from buying things from Bunnings :pfft: – all those bags of compost/manure and potting mix.
I do try to consume less, buy less. We really do not NEED a lot of things in life. I have trimmed my wardrobe down considerably and be more conscious about buying better quality stuff that will lasts longer than fast fashion (though they are all very cute and tempting, price wise!). Mum is appalled at me buying second hand furniture! :lol:

If you have a bucket list of places to visit, do it soon. You never know if it’ll still be there in 5-10 years’ time (at the rate the world is going). Then again, air travel is not the most environmentally friendly mode of transportation. Yet I do this quite often. Ah! See the dilemma?

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