Thursday, 11 June 2009

The 3 'R's

Some years ago, when first born was little, I had a nightmare that I remember to this day. In it, due to something happening today, the world was spoiled and changed so first born would not be able to enjoy life as we had. I was affected for days after and it still rings with me today. Because of this I really believe in the 3 'R's - Recycle, Reduce and Reuse. I take things a little too far sometimes maybe and it could come over as meanness - but if you do something you should commit whole heartedly to it! First born is now 29 and we have a second only child who is 12 and I believe in the 3 'R's as much, if not more, today.


We keep our consumption to the minimum and are always looking at ways to cut down whether it is energy, packaging or whatever. We always shop with a shopping list and plan our meals reasonably in front. Food is rarely thrown away and meals that are not planned are driven around what we should be using up next. We had a glut of broccoli recently and were having broccoli with everything - stirfry, curry, roasted vegetables, soups - I got to dread that it would show up at breakfast!


We religiously recycle everything through the collections available as well as send old books to the 'Book Crossing'. We also look at anything we have finished with and may choose to offer it through 'Freegle'. If it doesn't go one of those ways it may make it's way to Oxfam. Today we are 'freecycling' plants that grow freely in our garden as weeds in the veg patch - and they are VERY popular. We have 3 compost bins and all kitchen waste goes into them as well as garden waste. A local riding school has a problem with manure and I do them a favour in taking some away, but only when my daughter is riding as it doesn't make sense to make a special trip to collect it.


Something I have always hated is throwing things out, so they will often find their way into the garage and later re-emerge as something new. I currently have plans (both literally and metaphorically) to build a wooden clock movement and if I can avoid buying new wood for it then I will - Anyone got some hardwood offcuts?

I have never had any training in woodwork but enjoy doing it and making a mess of it. For my daughters I have built many things ranging from toy box/benches to doll's houses and throughout I have always tried to reuse materials - not always succeeded but tried. That age old phrase ' I've made the bed'? Well our second daughter would not choose a new bed when moving into her sister's old room after she had been at uni for nearly 3 years and insisted she wanted one like her old one that I had made for the box room using a cot mattress, so I made her bed for her from 90% reused material including an old door frame. I try to avoid the use of power tools and got, from my late father, a treadle scroll saw. I genuinely enjoy knowing that the mess I made is all mine and not the fault of some rampant machine.

Hopefully my kids will treat the environment with the same respect?

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