|It’s not easy bein’ green|
You can make fun of Kermit the Frog all you like – he knew what he was talking about. Living an organic (or even eco-friendly) lifestyle isn’t something you can just fall into – it takes a certain amount of effort and dedication. I’ve heard so many people say “Oh, I’ve been meaning to start recycling/buying organic food/using eco-friendly products…but it was just too complicated.”
The simple fact is that “being green,” like so many other worthwhile commitments, doesn’t come easy. That said, once you have your building blocks set up, you can live a life that’s kinder to both your planet and yourself – and that is certainly worth the effort.
It can be hard to know where to start when you decide you want to live a greener life; and even more difficult to find reliable suppliers and good quality produce. Ask friends, family, your friendly neighbourhood hippy, online forums, even restaurants. You’ll be amazed at the resources available around you. To get you started, here are a few pointers on what you can do, and what to look for:
• Recycle – It’s not just a trendy buzzword. It’s a practical solution to a throwaway society, and one that you can get involved with immediately. Find out where your nearest drop-off points are for recyclable materials, and make an effort to sort and recycle your waste. Otheriwse, there are several services available that will collect, sort, and distribute your waste to the appropriate points.
• Green your home – This can take many forms; from reusing shopping bags; to growing a vegetable garden; to energy-efficient appliances; to using eco-friendly cleaning products, toiletries, and other household items. There are both retail and online stores where you can find green versions of almost any household product.
• Buy organic foods – And if you can’t, buy local, or ethical. Support local farmers and producers – there are more of them than you’d think! (By way of example, a friend of mine and I recently hosted an Eat for the Earth dinner, and managed to serve a delicious three-course meal that was almost entirely organic.) Frequent local markets, or find a delivery service for local produce.
It’s refreshing and inspiring to realise that SA isn’t the organic wasteland it was ten, or even five years ago. It’s now completely possible to find almost everything you have on your shopping list in an organic or at least ethical variant. It may cost you a little more in terms of both time and money to find them, but the quality of the produce far outweighs the inconvenience; and the planet will thank you for it.
Adeline Levescot is a writer by trade, French by birth, and a greenie by choice. When she’s not doling out 140 characters of silliness on Twitter, she cooks for fun and philanthropy.