I haven’t forgotten my goals.

While in a completely relaxed state of mind I plotted and planned to become more sustainable this year as my New Years Resolution.  Then I announced it to all and sundry.  So now I have to see this through to the end of the year.  Normally my resolutions are started with a whiz and a bang and then promptly forgotten, but they were more made because that is what you do on New Year’s Eve rather than from a great desire to make change.

A respectable looking orchard
A respectable looking orchard

This year is different, because I really feel we should be reducing our impact on our environment, especially as you see the issues our planet face are no longer regarded as the wild rantings of crazy folk, but turn up in the mainstream news as very real problems.  But at the same time we are busy people and have things to do and places to go.  So I am trying to achieve sustainability at a level where change is being made, but at a level that can easily fit into the everyday comings and goings of a busy family.  So we aren’t about to go off grid and make everything we need ourselves.   And if we can manage it, then anyone can.

You need to be sensible about these things and work to your own strengths and so if someone local is making sustainable well priced things then it doesn’t make any sense to try and do it yourself.   I have discovered time is just as much an important resource as anything thing else and if it is wasted doing the wrong kinds of things, then opportunities to do good things is lost.

It is amazing how much easier it is to operate in an organised environment
It is amazing how much easier it is to operate in an organised environment

The other interesting thing about this resolution is I couldn’t do it by myself.  I have had to get the whole family to join in.  If wouldn’t really work if I was busy being environmental and they weren’t.  They outnumber me three to one.  So this last month we have being very busy.  I’d like to say ‘we’ but to me honest I think it might be ‘me’  but I’ll use the ‘royal we’ for this confession.  ‘We’ can get ourselves into a bit of a muddle and clutter builds up.  Things we don’t need get jumbled all together with things we don’t.  This month we have been ruthless.  We have worked our way through the place with a large broom and cleared all the clutter.  We have taken loads of stuff to the Op Shop and to be honest a lot was thrown out.

This sort of made me feel a little guilty as we shouldn’t be adding to the landfill.  But we needed to clear things out so we could assess our lifestyle as it stood.   There is still a few piles that need a little attention but we are mostly there.  So going forward we can be more discerning about what comes into the house and what is allowed to stay.

This seems like a good place for a fence
This seems like a good place for a fence

During January, I also purchased a new set of reusable shopping bags, and I can proudly say we have used them every time we have been grocery shopping.  I also find myself feeling internally convicted with the decisions I make in the store and without going overboard at this stage, some things have been returned to the shelf as my conscious wouldn’t let me bring them home.

I have also stopped using the drier.  This is a big one for me because my energy levels can be a bit unpredictable from time to time due to my MS and I prefer to use my good times on the garden, not the laundry.  So it was so much easier to haul it from the washing machine into the drier in one swift movement.  Job done.  But now I have taken the time to hang it out on clothes racks and the sun dries it.  Our electricity usage has dropped dramatically as a result.   We are making a difference.  I just need to train the kids to do it and things will be perfect.

This is actually good - you should have seen it before!
Passionfruit: This is actually good – you should have seen it before!

And of course we are growing our own veggies.  The garden is doing really well and the list I easily threw together when I was making my resolution has been well taken care of.  Some things are done and others are under control with plans afoot.

  1. My irrigation system. I’m nearly there. – 99.9% there, but then we had a good rain.
  2. The long grass in the orchard – I paid someone to sort it out. It looks lovely now.
  3. The new garden fence – I put in a trial fence to see how I like it. The actual fence will have to wait until autumn when the soil is soft again to dig post holes.
  4. A proper compost system – This will come after the fence – wait and see, it will be awesome!
  5. Tidy the greenhouse and shed – Done.  Nothing like having a garden visit to sort that out!
  6. Pickling and preserving – I’m on to it, but I need new lids.
  7. Deadheading the lavender around the deck – Done and now the new flowers are looking lovely.
  8. The grounds beyond the garden – We got a lawn mower man in. This has motivated us to look beyond the long grass and tidy things up.  Definitely taking a move in the right direction.
  9. Passionfruit – Done. This has been sorted out and I found 4 fruit.  Hooray!
  10. Outside shelving – And done.
so pretty
so pretty

Look at me with the action around here.  We have been so busy.  But we can’t let the momentum drop so for the month of February we will continue with what we have been doing but will also be cutting down on what we throw out as rubbish, make sure we recycle well and avoid bringing anything into the house that has more packaging than necessary or is disposable or single use when there more sustainable option available.

Come again soon – change is good.

Sarah  the Gardener  : o )

In case you missed the original pontificating you can check it out >HERE< and >HERE<

Check out the garden this week:

19 thoughts on “I haven’t forgotten my goals.

  1. Hello Sarah, your garden looks amazing. We are still in our cold snap here in Canada, but I’ve again enjoyed watching your video with all of the wonderful veggies, and your tomatoes are stunning. I look forward to your next video with glee in my heart as I too will in a few months be out once again in my own garden. Take care and happy gardening to ya, from Laura ~

    1. HI Laura. It won’t be too long before I am freezing cold and warming myself by looking at northern gardens… Not that I am wishing away what is left in my summer! Cheers Sarah : o)

  2. Hey Sarah .. oh you are a good girl. Being self sustainable is a hard task. And good on you for stopping using the dryer. I have also bought lots of reusable bags .. and lug these around with me. Good to see you working your way through that list 🙂

    1. HI Julie. I have discovered I work really well with a deadline and so by setting a sustainable target at the beginning of the month and then expecting myself to report on it at the end of the month is great for holding me accountable. I’m going non-grocery shopping today to prepare for my trip. This should be interesting regarding unnecessary packaging. Cheers Sarah : o )

  3. Well done on sticking to your guns. They say that washing dried in the sun is actually better for your skin. Your passionfruit vine is much bigger than mine. I just planted mine ;). Outsourcing mowing is a great idea.

    1. Hi Fran. It is hard to add extra things to a busy schedule, but we will keep plugging away until it becomes a habit and part of the routine.
      Shame prevents me from showing you the passionfruit before. Lets just say it could have been a bumper season.
      Cheers Sarah : o )

        1. Hi Fran. It is important to make sure they are truly dead. There is always the slightest possibility something crispy could spring back to life. The only real way to tell if it is definitely dead is if it actually compost itself! Cheers Sarah : o )

          1. I have a Lazarus almond tree. It died and I put it in it’s big black pot onto the compost heap where it sat like a stick for a year. Stevie-boy and I moved out and left our daughters in our house in the city and after about 6 months I ran out of big black pots and phoned up my daughter to ask her to tip out the dead almond tree so that we could have the pot. She phoned me back and said “It’s not dead”. I said “Oh yes it is!” and she said “It’s dead with leaves then!” We also had a Brachychiton that we planted out that didn’t like the area that we put it in. It lost all of it’s leaves last summer and had no leaves for the rest of the year. Steve wanted to remove it but I said “remember the Lazarus almond and look, it has bendy stems, it is still alive…” so it got left and this spring it leafed up. Plants are amazing things :). I do the “Greg test” on all plants that I am suspicious may have carked it. The “Greg test” was conceived by a man that studied horticulture with us. One day we were having a look at a group of old potted overgrown plants as part of our course. We had to clean up the pots, repot them and generally weed, prune and regenerate them. A few of them looked dead and we were wondering how to tell if they were dead. Greg said “I always check by doing this…” and bent the top over and the plant snapped. “Yup, dead!” So now we do the “Greg test” and if it snaps, it has had it 😉

    1. Hi Linda. I hope you have recovered and are fine and healthy. Sometimes it is better to have manageable goals than trying to achieve the impossible, I hope it works out for you, Cheers Sarah : o)

  4. I so appreciate your practical approach to this. Like you, I admire people who can and do live off the grid, but it’s not sustainable or practical for most of us.

    I’ve heard that forgoing the drier is a huge energy savings so I applaud the effort. Like you, I try to be mindful of packaging. I’ve started keeping track of every new thing that comes in the front door this year, unless it’s consumable (food, toiletries, etc.) Having less, and doing away with the clutter, once accomplished, saves time. It also feels better living in an uncluttered environment. You can find what you need, and its easier to put things away when they have a place.

    1. Hi Alys. we still have a few nooks and crannies to declutter, but on the whole it makes for much better living. It is proving quite tricky to monitor what comes through the door when you are being busy. And also expecting everyone else to remember to do the same thing. But we will get there and hopefully some time soon this will all be a new habit. Thanks for the encouragement. Cheers Sarah : o )

      1. I have confidence in you. Awareness is half the battle. Another tip: have a 15 minute clear out once a week. After a time it will become habit. You can even mark it on your calendar. Say every Saturday from 11 to 11:15 set the timer and have the entire household run around sorting school papers, mail, misplaced items, etc. Then when the buzzer goes off, have a brief check in. Make it fun!

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