Does it happen to you? Do you ever happen across tv that makes you smile and nod and wanna ring the whole world and tell them to smile and nod along too?
I fell a bit in love with a man on TV last week. I fell in love with his wife too. And his muscly son. And his lovely daughter. I fell in love so absolutely, so thoroughly, that I am considering volunteering myself for adoption by them.
The Strawbridge family are the subject of a documentary called "It’s Not Easy Being Green" and even if you have only a glimmer of interest in sustainable lifestyles I am certain you will fall in love with them too, if only because Dick Strawbridge’s sheer glee for life could raise enthusiam for the even the weediest weed on the planet…
The programme comes in a week where the British press are up in arms about the pointlessness of going green. With the same glee that Dick Strawbridge watched his water wheel begin to churn electricity, papers like the dratted Daily Mail have declared that as individuals our efforts at being part green are worthless in the great big whole scheme of things, and that if we drive to the recycling bin with our newspapers and bottles we may as well as not bothered such is the damage caused by getting into the car in the first place . That it isn’t possible to be both Fair Trade and Organic at the same time and if we take one long haul flight per year we may as well not have bothered with our hybrid cars, recycling boxes and earth friendly cleaning products for the rest of it…
Here’s the thing. I am not the greenest lady on the planet. Let’s think of me as kind of celery coloured. I don’t want to wear hemp clothes, or ride a bike everywhere. I haven’t got a garden in which to grow my own, or indeed the werewithall to fit solar panels. But I will shout as loudly as those who are cabbage coloured about the benefits of recycling. About why it is safer and more ecologically sound to use natural cleaning products and why we should reduce water consumption and take personal responsibility for the reduced consumption of other types of fuel in our home. In fact on some counts I think you could consider me the colour of boiled spinach.
Life isn’t perfect. We can’t all be Dick Strawbridges and give up our whole world to become self sufficient in a dilapidated farmhouse in Cornwall. No matter how much we want to. Some of the ways we can go "green" -for want of a better term- may personally appeal, but may not necessarily suit our lifestyles, nor be welcomed by the rest of our family.
So we do what we can. We make our contribution, big or small to a better planet. We exercise our right to choose better produce in and out of the supermarket, and we do our best to teach our children to tread softly on our precious planet.
Who knows what the future will bring? But I know this much: if we believe that our small efforts are insignificant- if we are not inspired by the likes of Dick Strawbridge to take responsibilty in our own backyards, then housekeepers, there is no hope.
Do what you can and make a commitment to learning more, and little by little we can change the conscience of a generation.