So today I was planning on writing a blog on the ten easiest ways to lead a green lifestyle. Quite looking forward to that one actually, I might teach myself something along the way! But sadly you’ll have to wait, because today I bought a water butt. And we need to talk.
Now whilst I don’t mind being “the butt of all your jokes” over this blog (ba dum ching!) this point on my to do list caused me a considerable conundrum today – why? It’s just a water butt! Here’s how the decision making process went for me…
1. Where do I buy it from? Ideally a local retailer (keep it local people), but with my son’s disabilities getting out to a local retailer is not always an option (last week we attempted a local independent garden centre to buy a sunflower. Remind me to tell you about it sometime 😳). So yet again the mighty Amazon wins. What do I hate most about Amazon? The unbelievable amounts of excess packaging!!! Yet we still need this water butt…
2. Okay, so Amazon it is. Let’s read the reviews on packaging. I find one that’s made of recycled plastic! Wahoo! Big win! And the packaging is apparently minimal, win number 2! One review says “it’s great! It just comes wrapped in a sheet of plastic!”. For the love of…. another green defeat. I keep looking at other options. The other options are not made from recycled material, they are also wrapped in plastic and some even come in mega huge boxes!! So yet again, I have to settle. But I’m clinging on to the fact that the actual water butt is made from recycled plastics. Phew. A glimmer of light in the darkness!
3. What do we fill it with? Rain water obviously. But being in the self critical mode I’m in I question every detail of this purchase and come to a horrible realisation. We are very fortunate to have two gardens. We are currently converting our larger garden into a play area for our son, and we need a water supply. Now usually we use rain water for his water table, when he waters the plants etc. But there’s a small problem. Lately he has been drinking the rain water and making himself ill. I try to stop him, I honestly do, but his lack of understanding and huge unpredictable impulsive behaviour mean that mummy doesn’t always get there in time. Being ill means missing school and being out of routine. Not an option. So I discuss with my husband how our second water butt may need to be filled with tap water and used over time. But only for kiddos playtime. We both feel uncomfortable about this, but the decision is made.
Exhausted yet? I am.
I can almost see some of you shaking your heads at me over that last point. But that’s the entire reason I wrote this.
Sometimes being green actually comes down to whether you value something as essential as your health (or families health) or being as environmentally sustainable as you can. That’s no choice. It’s just a massive compromise. And this is why many people don’t embark on the green journey. “It’s not worth it” they say. “I won’t make any difference” I hear. But you will. Not everyday. Some days when you’re doing something as simple as buying that water butt you’ll be frustrated and demotivated to keep considering all the options.
And then on other days you’ll be flying high, writing a blog on the ten easiest ways to live a sustainable lifestyle… keep your eyes peeled for that one. You never know, it could be tomorrow.
Thanks for reading,