Monday, 26 December 2016

Think Green - My Resolutions for 2017

As the sun sets on another year many will have thoughts of those New Year Resolutions.  Will it be to get fitter or maybe lose a few pounds?  You might want to save some money or bake more cakes.  I have made all of these resolutions and more but this year I am taking a very different approach ... please find below my Green New Year Resolutions for 2017:

My Green New Year Resolutions for 2017

1.  Do a Green Audit

I will blog more about this later but in a nutshell I want to have a proper look at every aspect of how my life affects our environment and takes steps to reduce my impact. 

2.  Continue Weekly Green Tips

I started this weekly blog series on March 25th with the plan to run it for a year.  However I have more than 3 months worth  of ideas left to write about it so plan to continue this through 2017.  So do look out for the 7 green tips I publish every Friday.

3.  Reduce single use plastic

In today's world it is nigh on impossible to avoid all plastic but some plastic is worse than others i.e. plastic I only use once and then throw away or recycle.  And by recycle I should really say downcycle as most plastic does not get changed back into the same plastic but changed to another form of plastic which cannot then be recycled. So I need to reduce how much single use plastic I use:

> Start buying milk from our local farmer again who refills my glass bottles.
> Buy more food/cleaning products etc from the Bio Coop in Flers where I can get them from the bulk stores in paper bags or refillable bottles.
> Buy more shampoo bars and bars of soap (rather than shower gel).
> Buy reusable bags to use in shops that otherwise only provide plastic bags for loose veg etc.
> Reduce the amount of processed food I buy (see cooking below)

4.  Stop using all products that contain microbeads

Research indicates that these are having a devastating effect on our marine environments.  We don't need them and I will be investigating which products I use contain them and I will stop buying them.

5.  Reduce consumption of Palm oil

Until I know that the palm oil I eat or use comes from truly sustainable sources (more of this is another blog) then I plan to:

> Stop buying all foods that contain palm oil
> Reduce how many toiletries and other products I use which contain palm oil

6.  Eco-House Extension

We are planning a small extension to our house this year and plan to use as many eco/recycle/sustainable products as possible.  We already have second hand furniture from my Mum's house.

7.  Electricity

We don't have heating other than a wood burner and are pretty good at using other electricity-eating appliances etc to a minimum and switching them off when not is use and so our greatest use of electricity is to heat water.   When we do the extension we hope to install solar panels to heat our water.  We had looked at electricity producing panels when we converted the gite from a barn but at €20,000 we simply could not afford the price tag.  Apparently the price is coming down now though, so we will look into these too.

8.  Garden

> In the past I have grown really good onions.  Now here in Normandy it seems to be a bit hit and miss so I'm planing on 2017 being the year I grow fabulous onions!
> More fruit bushes - I pulled up some unproductive raspberry canes last year and covered the ground to with fabric to kill off remaining roots and weeds.  I now need to plant up new fruit bushes.  But what?  I have some jostaberries and blackcurrants from cuttings but fancy something unusual.  Any suggestions?
> Plant a vine in the polytunnel and transplant the one in a pot by the house to the other end of the polytunnel.

9.  Food and Cooking

Whilst I already cook much of our food from scratch there are some things I do buy.  The boys love a chocolate bar after sport, for example, so this year I plan to make:

> my own snickers, bounties and jaffa cakes etc
> my own cheese crackers
> more pasta
> more vegetable stock
> more bread - I tend to not be that adventurous on the types of bread I make so 2017 will see more rolls, focaccia, flatbreads etc etc.
> If I do buy bread get it from our local bakery (which is fabulous).

I also plan to increase amount of organic food I buy - so long as it is not imported from far away or overly wrapped in plastic.

10.  Build up my Going Green Linky

I started this monthly linky on Dec 1st and had 13 posts link up.  The next one will January 1st and I hope you'll all join in.  I will be working hard over the coming months to increase the numbers taking part so helping us, together, to spread the green message to an ever wider audience.

There you have it, a mix of ideas to try and make my life even greener.  Do let me know your green New Year's Resolutions and I may pinch some of your ideas too!

A Green and Rosie LifeYou Baby Me Mummy

Mudpie Fridays


  1. Really great post! I particularly like the idea of a green audit. This year has been a challenging one for me as I had a baby in April and it's easy to let certain aspects slip. I am looking forward to hearing how you get on and joining in with some of the changes too :)

    1. Good luck with your baby and let me know how you get on with your green audit and other changes.

  2. Good ideas for the most part. We do many already. I'm not sure whether cooking your own snickers, bounties and jaffa cakes etc helps the environment or not. It means putting a small oven on for a family size portion, rather than putting a big oven on for mass-market economies of scale. If the ingredients are locally grown, then it'll save on transport, which is good. And I expect home made ones will be more nutritious - another bonus. Be interesting to see how they compare!

    Microbeads have been made illegal in the UK, so I think manufacturers might start phasing them out across Europe anyway. I think they're mostly in exfoilants - it's obvious they're there.

    I've been trying to persuade husband to look at solar panels for years. He's convinced the roof will collapse if we put a big weight on it. To be fair, we have had some roof problems, so he may have a point. I've since started lobbying for little solar panels on the shed roof!

    1. I can see where you are coming from about the oven but I tend to bulk cook anyway so if the oven is on for one thing then I'll bung something else in as well - or cook more and freeze them if that is an option. I currently have 4 loaves of bread in there and they smell fabulous.

      ... and I got the reusable bags for my loose produce as a Christmas present and have already used them without the girl on the till kicking up a fuss.

  3. Love the idea of a green audit. Focuses on the areas that are best to improve on. I want to lower my food miles this year and cut packaging down. The latter is hard, as I don't just want to cut down my packaging but that used between manufacturer and me.

    I grow raspberries and blackcurrants, because they are the ones that have worked best on our ground. I did have a lovely thornless blackberry but the birds soon found them!#GoingGreenLinky

    1. Only last week I was thinking about the extra packaging we don't see between manufacturer and consumer. I reckon the best way to reduce that is to produce as much of your own food as possible and maybe trade excesses with friends .... and lobby manufacturers to reduce this "hidden" packaging.

      My thornless blackberry was fantastic this year, my raspberries were pretty good but all my currants were a disaster. Thank goodness for a lovely friend who gave me her excess red and blackcurrants in exchange for some of my produce :)

  4. Some great green resolutions!!
    Microbeads are now illegal in the UK which is great, I don't use stuff with them in, but I often get gifted facial/body stuff so it's nice to know they won't be an issue any more.
    My blog post is about plastic bags! 😉
    Thanks for hosting!

    1. I meed to check whether France still allows microbeads. I don't use many products at the best of times but teenage boys do have facial scrubs that might contain them.

  5. All great ideas! I am not sure how it works across the pond, but here in the States there are lots of green energy providers (only invest and produce renewables like wind and solar)and electrical, efficient water heaters. That might be a cheaper option than panels. :) #Gogreenlinky

    1. In France there is only one electricity provider (EDF)and practically 90% of their energy comes from nuclear power. Whilst they may not be burning fossil fuels fuel I am very unhappy buying into nuclear.

  6. I can't believe how much solar panels are in France. I really think there should be a greater subsidy on them but I guess the electricity companies wouldn't like it as they would lose so much money. I've put so many things back on the shelves recently after finding some sort of palm oil in it. It's shocking how many products include it now.

    1. I believe there may be new solar panel subsidies now but they are still very expensive, probably because France is happy to get it's power from nuclear reactors (which I am not!). And I am like you with putting products back on the shelf when they contain palm oil ... I have to remember to take my glasses when I go shopping though.

  7. I cringe at the amount of rubbish we have and recycling (and I'm not even sure all of it is recyclable anyway.) I'm in charge of the shopping so I'm going to try and look at ways that I can reduce waste when shopping this year. We still haven't yet produced a good crop from our veg patch (mainly due to a water problem as the garden is away from the house) but we will try again this year. A green audit sounds like a good idea, I'll be interested in reading your post about that. They all sound like pretty good resolutions to me!

    1. There is so much France cannot recycle although ultimately we need to be reducing rather than just recycling which is not the solution for all the packaging and stuff we accumulate in our lives. I hope you can get more veg this year and I suppose I best get thinking about that green audit!