I met up with a lovely friend who I don't see all that often, to go for a walk this morning. Most people here wear serious walking gear so I was delighted when she turned up in flip flops! Our aim is chatting and walking only until we reach coffee rather than serious calorie burning. Actually I'm sure we probably consume more than we burn! I was accompanied by Smallest Boy and Dog. Smallest Boy threw the biggest tantrum he's thrown for a while and screamed the entire way. He did walk right enough, but it was loud and we had lots of sympathetic/irritated looks as we went along! Dog is huge, very strong, very nosy and wanted to pull across the path to sniff every blade of grass and introduce himself to every dog we passed. We definitely deserved our coffee this morning!
As usual we covered as many topics as we could and did our best to put the world to rights. Today we covered Working Motherhood, Education, Sneaky Baking (ie adding veggies into everything including cookies - yes, really!) then onto Frugal and Ethical Living.
My husband has always been an advocate of living sensibly. When we were first married he would always pick up litter when we were out walking, we have always chosen where we lived according to proximity to bus stops/railway stations/bike routes or a combination of the three, he goes around switching lights off and so on. I was brought up similarly and so we have endeavoured to do the same with our kids. We try to recycle/compost our waste, we buy as ethically as we can by buying at local farmers markets, buying Fair Trade tea, coffee, chocolate and clothes (where they are available) and supporting local crafts people when it comes to gifts. As Christians we feel this is part of our duty of care to the world around us and to it's other inhabitants.
There are areas for improvement!
While Husband is great on the transport issue, I am a Driver. I get the most appalling travel sickness even walking past buses! Unfortunately where we live involves a fair bit of driving to get people to all their activities but we are doing our best to find car shares, combine days (ie 2 people doing piano on the same day rather than 2 different ones), or combining the activity with a chore such as a supermarket shop, No1 Boy even gets the bus to the library after school and to see his friends. Those of you who know me well will remember me walking, sometimes 6, children to and from school in wind, rain and snow rather than using my car, so hopefully you'll forgive me!
Clothes are another area for improvement. I am hopeless at mending and would rather chuck out socks than darn them, I never get around to putting buttons back on things, and Miss M's hem on her uniform is still hanging down! Thankfully she has 2 other ones to wear. I am also a hopeless "Op Shopper". I have one lovely friend, that I grew up with, who always had fantastic bargains from second hand and charity shops and always looked gorgeous, but not me. Hopeless. I'm not even a good sale shopper, to be honest I'm not much of a shopper at all. Having four boys we've managed to pass a lot of things down, amazingly some things have done the Big 3, my neighbour across the road's wee boy, then come down to Smallest Boy! I never mind spending a lot for No1 Boy as I know the chances are that they will do at least 2 of them. With Miss M, I have been fortunate to have good friends with daughters and very good/expensive taste! For all that children wear clothes, I'm perfectly happy to accept second-hand or maybe we should say "Pre-Loved", but must be better on the mending front.
After watching a UK documentary last night, I've decided that we are going to have a more vegetarian diet. The way our food is produced concerns me as a parent and as a human being so I will continue to seek out fairly traded products, ask more questions about how our food is produced and eat less meat.
Anyway, enough of my ramblings, suffice to say that we do try to "Reduce, Reuse, Re-cycle", I'd love to know what other people do to live more ethically. There are some interesting blogs to look at on the subject such as Frugal Queen, The Further Adventures of a Thrifty Mrs to name just 2. I'm off now to bake something for Afternoon Tea (still LOVE that the Aussies have Morning and Afternoon Tea!) or my children will complain!
Edited to add - these cookies were just right - phew!