...are we there yet?

Wednesday, 9 July 2008


...baby steps

I am trying to change one thing (or three!) at a time towards becoming self sufficient in every possible way.  

1. Every day learn something new, however small.

2. Reduce our processed food consumption, by learning to cook basic foods, eating fresh, healthy, organic, local, seasonal foods.

3. Stop supermarket shopping.

4. Grow vegetables.

5. Save money.

I have always been eco-conscious since I can remember.  I have always encouraged my family to recycle.  But since having my own family I have been able to take control of the household and the green in me has started to thrive!  We have recently moved to a rented flat in Leicester, we don't want a mortgage or anything else that will tie us down to England...our main aim is to buy a plot of land in India (my husband is from Kerala) build a house and live a quiet, simple life.  

This is a record of our journey.

Things I have recently changed in our lives...

* Growing vegetables.  We have a small yard with about 2 square metres of mud!

All in pots - potatoes, tomatoes, peppers, courgettes, cucumber, broccoli, aubergines, chili, coriander, parsley, rocket, lettuce, peas, french beans, carrots.

In the mud - a few flowers, mint, basil, coriander, sage, thyme, rosemary, strawberries.
Nothing harvested yet as I was late in sowing the seeds (june) I was given tomatoes and courgettes as seedlings, so they are on the way.

* Inspired by Nikki, I have ordered an organic locally grown veg box.  £7 for 7 different seasonal vegetables.  I thought it would be too expensive.  I pick up my first box tomorrow!

* We can't compost as there is nowhere to put it... the council doesn't collect, my family have too much, no dog and no chickens.  I hate to throw away food waste but I have no choice.
We recycle by collection, glass (not much), plastic bottles (only milk really) and paper (every scrap) I take cardboard and tin cans to the local recycling point.

* I have learnt to bake bread, the conventional way.  I make all our yoghurt, so simple.  I have made Labneh, a soft Arabic cheese and paneer, indian cheese.  I have a pot of cream in the fridge waiting for a big jar to turn it into butter.  Not very economical, but fun!  I have just received my first bottle of vegetable rennet in the post today, so Neufchatel is next on the agenda.

* I have long ago cut back on toiletries, I don't wear make up and baby washes with water only.  I unfortunately have a stash of Body Shop stuff to plough through, left overs from my short lived days as a consultant... I use ecover now but I'd like to look into making my own detergents, I need to source the ingredients first.  

* I have always hated plastic bags.  and plastic chairs!

* I use Nature nappies.  I tried to use cloth nappies, but I couldn't afford them along with all the inserts, linings, outer bits blah fancy posh blah.  I ordered cheap ones from Hong Kong which were useless.  I was also living at home with my clean freak mother, so soaking stinky nappies was out of the question.  I ummed and ahhed over paying for a nappy service but I couldn't figure out if all the petrol, chemicals, energy use outweighed production of eco nappies.  We travelled India when Evangel was 3-5 months, she spent a lot of time naked and on rashioned Nature nappies.  I'm happy now I made the right choice for me and baby in our situation.  At 17 months now I'm steering towards potty training and half day naturism!

* The heating is off.  It's still cold!

* I'm struggling with the car situation.  It's a 20 year old, recycled, hand me down from Grandma (God Bless) She had it from brand new and I got it when she died.  It's only done 42,000 miles.  I've driven 25 of those in the last 10 years.  It always passes the MOT no problems, low emissions, economical to run, I can't live without it really.  I thought moving to a city would make it easier to get around, it's not.  Public transport is high cost and all routes are to and from the city centre, no good if you want to go across town and hard work with a buggy.   I go home quite a lot, 100 miles.  It costs £32 on the train, 2 buses to the station and 3 train changes, several flights of steps, no lifts and then a 10 mile round trip car journey from the station and back...total 4 hours!!  The car takes 2 hours and £20 max of petrol...

This is the beginning, or the middle, but definitely not the end...


Anonymous said...

I can really relate to this, sometimes the "good choice" is too hard or impractical, sadly. If you have another baby and would like easy patterns to make cloth nappies let me know as I have a few.

Really enjoying your blog!