The reason for Green Rocks

I made two New Year resolutions for 2015: exercise more and reduce waste. Since I’m spectacularly failing at the former (crunchies are just so much more enticing than crunches), I thought it was time I focused on the latter.

Regardless of whether you believe mankind is expediting climate change, or that climate change would be happening with or without us, or that climate change is in fact not real, it can’t be a bad thing to stop and think about the amount we consume, and what we do with the remnants of that consumption.

The environment has been an increasingly central focus of my thoughts in recent years. And as time has passed, I have become increasingly uncomfortable about the fact that, although I believe we as a species are damaging the earth, I wasn’t practicing what I preached. As such, I’ve tried to focus my efforts on reducing what I buy; knowing the companies that I do buy from; and recycling my waste.

However, this isn’t enough. I still produce an excessive amount of unnecessary rubbish, and I want to try and reduce it. I’m not sure I can achieve the zero waste status of such inspirational people as Lauren Singer, the NYC-based blogger who established Trash is for Tossers (a most excellent name, by the way!), but I’m going to try my hardest to reduce my footprint as much as possible.

I know that every Joe Bloggs has a blog these days, and that our lives are cluttered, hectic and awash with information on every subject imaginable. So if you don’t want to sign up to another one, I don’t blame you. Alternatively, if you get bored, feel free to check out my writing – both professional and amateur – or just block me from your social media!

My aim is four-fold

My aim with this blog is four-fold: (1) it can be extremely time consuming researching sustainable, zero waste alternatives, so I want to collect a list of places where we can purchase products and/or services with a clean conscience; (2) I want to share tips and ideas on how to reduce the amount we consume and to find cost-effective alternatives to environmentally harmful products; (3) I want to compile another list of ideas for eco-friendly activities and movements that are happening in Berlin (this is where I live), the U.K. (this is where I’m from) and any other place where something interesting is going on (because why not?!); and (4) I want to document my journey so my daughter can learn how to respect the world she lives in, and to understand we don’t have to blindly consume this throwaway culture of ours.

The politicians are unlikely to make the necessary policies to help reduce emissions and become more mindful of this living, breathing organism we’ve inhabited: earth. But our purchasing power can help to change the products and services we’re offered. Money speaks louder than words, and if we start investing ours into more sustainable products and services, we can vote with our wallets and force the hands of those unwilling to change their practices whilst there’s still a quick buck or two to be made.

Ok, ceremonious rant over now! I promise to try and not be preachy (because apparently I can be!). I’m also going to admit here and now to being a hypocrite. I have a weakness for bags and shoes and cardigans, and rugs and cushions, and cappuccinos and while I try my hardest to ignore the pretty offerings in the shops and online, I do fall by the wayside occasionally. I’m going to try and change this over the course of the year (See the flowchart below for my strategy to achieving this). I have literally no excuse to buy anymore cardigans anyway, having just inherited my late grandma’s entire woolen and cashmere collection. (She was an amazing woman who ran away from convent school at 16, lied about her age and joined the land army. She lived until the ripe old age of 88, and maintained her strength and character until the very end!)

Microsoft Word - FLOWCHART.docxIf you’re interested in following Green Rocks’ waste reduction journey, then like Green Rocks on Facebook. Over the course of the next few weeks and months, I’ll be posting my experiences and thoughts on reducing waste on this website. Have any comments, tips, experiences to share? Leave them on Facebook, comment below or email me!

I’m just in the middle of reading the Whole Earth Discipline. The subtitle caught my attention: Why dense cities, nuclear power, genetically modified crops, restored wildlands, radical science and geoengineering are essential.” Ignoring my skepticism that it has been written by a stark raving mad lobbyist hell bent on filling his coffers with dirty gold, I thought I would challenge my strong thoughts on the majority of the above mentioned issues.

IMG-20150124-WA0000So far, Stewart Brand is providing me with plenty of opportunities to use my very environmentally-unfriendly markers (I received them at a solar energy tradeshow – a whole blog post resides just in the issue of the freebies handed out at such tradeshows, not to mention the massive climatic impact they have, tradeshows, I mean, not markers, although they do too) and is painting a rather stark picture for humanity. I’ll update you on what I learn as I go through the book.

I’ll stop my chatter now and leave you with this thought: “Talk of ‘saving the planet’ is overstated … Earth will be fine, no matter what; so will life. It is humans who are in trouble. But since we got ourselves into this fix [of fucking up the planet], we should be able to get ourselves out of it.”

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