Get me a wormery, I'm going green
by Tim Dowling

Like many people, I'm already what you might call a little bit green. An online questionnaire I filled out described me as 'light green', which is to say that I recycle when it suits me, and I occasionally impulse-buy organic food. Over time I have adopted a middle-aged stance on the profligate use of electricity, and have tried to convince my children that Leaving The Refrigerator Door Open is one of the seven deadly sins. I own and occasionally operate a wind-up radio. The abstract notion of being green, then, is not at all unpalatable. The idea of actually going green for a week, however, fills me with dread. But the planet isn't going to get saved all by itself; it's time to pull on my hemp shirt and get on with it.

Sunday Organisation is the key to being green, which is probably why I'm getting off to such a bad start. By midday I have done nothing to further the survival of the planet. One of my first stumbling blocks involves wasting water. Obviously, there is no time for me to install a sophisticated 'grey water' system which automatically recycles all water not used for drinking or sewerage. A Greenpeace leaflet suggests I save water by having showers instead of baths, but our shower leaks directly into the downstairs loo, filtering through a ceiling criss-crossed with wiring, so we don't use it. I resolve to make some secondary use of my bath water, but while I am busy thinking about what to do with it I absentmindedly pull the plug and let it all out. Well, you try reversing the habit of a lifetime.

The rest of the day is devoted to consuming all the non-organic food in the house, and encouraging the children to do likewise. I want to make a clean break, and it would be a shame to waste it all.

In the morning I set up the new kitchen waste receptacle. Of all the aspects of recycling, the one I like least is this unsightly grey bucket of peelings and food scraps – pig swill, basically. It's just not very urban. I am also reluctant to put old spaghetti, cereal and eggshells on my little London compost heap, lest they attract vermin, and I don't like the way the dog and the cat help themselves from the bucket all day. Still, it has to be done. I have a meagre bath, and let half of it out by mistake. I carry a bucketful down to water my potted herbs, but my heart isn't in it.

In the afternoon I set out to do the shopping. Manoeuvring my bicycle past my own parked car, I head for Planet Organic in Westbourne Grove, a one-stop organic emporium perfect for those attempting to go green overnight. It is also hideously, frighteningly expensive.

I buy organic children's yoghurt, organic dog and cat food ('That's going a bit far,' says another customer, smiling archly. I really didn't expect to be heckled in here), organic toothpaste and organic butter. I buy organic coffee, which gives the coffee growers a fair deal at my expense. I spend £7 on two organic chicken breasts. They must be the finest chicken breasts known to man. I spend £51 in total, and it still all fits in my rucksack. The coffee and the chicken point up an intriguing divide in the organic market: some people clearly go organic because they are worried about the environment and the welfare of farmers and their animals, while others do it only because they are worried about what they eat. If the former seems enlightened, the latter strikes me as being a bit selfish. Until organic produce is within the means of the masses, everyone should ingest their fair share of pesticides and antibiotics. Planet Organic also has an extensive section dedicated to natural remedies and 'wellness' products, a marketing concept aimed directly at people with more money than

Fonte: This is London-Tim Dowling

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