Everything adds up!

An article from Libby’s dad, Barry, about making small changes that can help develop a sustainable routine.


Growing up during the Second World War when things were in short supply or not available followed by some years in Namibia where it only rained in three months of the year if you were lucky. It made me value essentials. Perhaps that’s why advice regarding solar warming and dwindling Earth’s resources has made me feel the need to do my bit. I like growing things, flowers as well as vegetables and they need water so over the early years of gardening wherever rainwater came down in drain pipes, I saved it ending up with 15 water


Even so during dry spells and in Summer heat it seemed a pity to let the washing up water run down the drain leaving thirsty plants parched in sun baked pots, so I reuse this too. This combination avoids me needing to use any fresh tap water in the garden.


Growing plants, fruit and vegetables need more than water to thrive. One source of nourishment is compost created from almost anything growing in the garden except serious weeds to which
uncooked vegetable and fruit peelings are a useful addition, a bucket under the sink is something I have relied on since I acquired an allotment to add to my compost heap. My allotment and garden provides pretty much all our vegetable and fruit needs which means we are virtually sustainable in that area and have been for decades making our own jam, chutney, apple sauce, puddings etc. and freezing or storing produce for later use.


Many years ago we fitted solar panels to our south facing roof and so we can use our own power to use to heat water and keep warm. We can also sell our energy back to energy providers. Our boiler only heats up water when we need it so we don’t waste heat and water.



Once you get into the habit of saving it seems natural to explore other possibilities in the home
environment to avoid waste and promote recycling. Washing out tins and plastic containers results in our recycle bin containing three or four times as much as our waste bin. And most containers have many other uses so very little needs to go to waste. I’m in my late 80’s and want to be part of the solution to help the environment by doing what I can.