Tuesday, 19 November 2019

How to cut carbon footprint

How to cut carbon footprint

Emma Lunnon, who is 36 and works in a pre-school, lives in Assendon with her husband Keith, 39, a plumber, and children, Poppy, 13, and Max, 12, who go to
Gillotts School in Henley

MY husband and I both work full-time and not close to home so cutting back on our car usage isn’t really an option.

We are lucky enough to have a reasonably sized garden.

However, we are constantly juggling our finances so we had to keep that in mind when considering our lifestyle changes after attending a Greener Henley workshop.

What we have done is:

As a family, we have become much more conscious about turning lights off when they’re not needed.

We have vowed to buy second hand furniture and clothes etc 90 per cent of the time.

We had a huge clear-out and sold what we didn’t use or need.

We have planted trees and started composting.

We have installed water butts in the garden.

We have started growing our own fruit and veg. We have lots to learn and have had some failures this year but some great successes too.

Poppy and I have become mostly vegetarian and the boys have two meat-free days a week. (I say “mostly” as when we’re out we tend to just eat what we want.)

I try to make cakes for packed lunches to save on packaging but when I’m pushed for time I will buy a large cake and cut it up instead of buying individually wrapped treats.

I make my own cleaning products or buy them using refillable containers (the True Food Co-op shop in Emmer Green has lots of great stuff).

We’ve repurposed stuff such as sinks for planters and a spare kitchen cupboard door as a top for broken drawers.

I mend clothes and instead of throwing them out when they are beyond repair I turn them into reusable kitchen roll, handkerchiefs and cleaning cloths (no more plastic sponges).

We have moved to a green energy supplier.

We have started looking at the toiletries we use and are thinking about using low-packaging options such as soap or refillable options such as hair conditioner (again, the True Food Co-op) and things like wooden toothbrushes.

What we’ve struggled with is:

Food. I was buying organic package-free fruit and vegetables via a veg box but just couldn’t justify it financially so I’ve settled for buying fruit and veg loose from the supermarkets where I mostly buy all our meat but now make a point of stretching it further.

I also have milk delivered so save on pointless packaging there but on the whole I find it expensive and time-consuming to be environmentally conscious when buying food.

Occasionally I will take tubs to the butcher’s and buy my meat package-free and I will also go to the Willow Basket in Friday Street, Henley (lovely lady and amazing shop) and buy pasta and rice loose.

But it all costs more so I would urge those who can afford to go to the butcher’s or buy organic fruit and veg boxes to definitely do it and those who can’t to just do what you can.

Consider packaging always. Is there a lower packaging or package- free alternative? Can you make it yourself? Can you repurpose something? Sometimes things are hectic and money’s tight but it doesn’t have to be all or nothing.

A change is still a change no matter how small.

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