River Wissey Lovell Fuller

Notes from a newcomer

June 2005

An environmental quiz for you..

I used to roll my eyes skywards when my mother carefully saved lengths of string from parcels to add to the drawerful she already had. And I groaned when her cousin used to fish out her dripping teabag to brew a second cuppa later in the day. I blamed their scrimping on having lived through the war followed by years of rationing but, Heaven help me; I'm beginning to follow in their footsteps. Now it is my colleagues who exchange pitying glances when I rootle

through their waste-paper bins to retrieve discarded jiffy bags to take home and use again.

Whether this 'waste not, want not' attitude comes with age or not, it is increasingly relevant at a time when we are faced with alarming headlines on global warming and our careless use of the world's natural resources. I confess

that up to now I haven't given these dangers too much thought, on the selfish basis that whatever happens to the planet, it won't be in my lifetime, but more caring types can't help wondering what sort of world their children and

grandchildren will inherit if we carry on like this.

After reading a recent newspaper article extolling the virtues of a frugal lifestyle, I have a feeling that perhaps the tide has turned and we are all beginning to realise that it's not so clever to take the earth's bounty for granted. 'Saving the planet' might sound a bit pompous but there is no harm in giving a little more thought to small, everyday ways in which we can do our bit.

Without even being aware of it, you may have already adopted a greener lifestyle, see how you score on the quiz below.

Do you put all suitable kitchen waste on the compost heap? (5)

Do you save water by taking a shower instead of a bath? (7)

Do you take all unwanted items (clothes/shoes) to the charity shop instead of dumping them in the bin? (4)

If you have a computer, do you recycle the cartridges? (7)

Do you make a point of buying rechargeable batteries? (7)

When a light bulb goes, do you replace it with a long-life one? (6)

Do you re-use plastic carrier bags instead of getting new ones each time you go to the supermarket? (4)

When shopping for food, do you avoid buying produce with high air miles (e.g. early strawberries that have been air-freighted from abroad)? (8)

Do you turn the TV off every night instead of leaving it on standby? (7)

Do you cut up your Christmas cards to use as gift tags next year? (5)

If you scored between 50 and 60 points, green is your colour.

Between 30 and 50, your future is more orange than green.

Below 30, oh dear, you are as green as you're cabbage looking!

Marion Clarke

Copyright remains with independent content providers where specified, including but not limited to Village Pump contributors. All rights reserved.