A strange thing happened without me knowing it over the last year and a bit. I sort of kinda without thinking about it, bit by bit went green.
I see you rolling your eyes. That’s ok. I once rolled my eyes at the likes of me too. I’ve spent some time thinking about how this happened and I can put it down to when we moved into our home and suddenly had a proper, big (read overgrown) garden. With zero budget after our renovations & some time on my hands it quickly became my project. I bought a few basic tools, slapped on some SPF & Googled my way through it.
I’ve definitely had some misses but I’ve also found my groove in it all – in particular in my veggie garden. On my hands and knees I touched earthworms for the first time since I was a kid. I felt the soil in my hands & the sun baking my back. I smelled my own BO and the end of the day but I also had the immense pleasure of putting a salad on the dinner table where the lettuce, spinach, basil & tomatoes were picked from our back yard just 30 minutes before. It become rewarding & addictive in equal parts.
From there I started making our own compost – because of the size of our garden we needed SO much of it & all the time. I bought a compost kit and soon all our leftover/expired food, grass cuttings & leaves was churned into sustenance for my garden. Next thing I was reusing grey water, flushing the loo only if we had to & wearing my jeans once/twice more than I normally would before I tossed them in the wash. A few months ago I decided to keep all our paper waste aside to for the guys I regularly see on our street with their trolleys digging through the trash – they were so appreciative. This month for the first time I’ve also separated out glass and plastic into separate bins in our garage. Did I mention I didn’t plan any of this? It all kind of snowballed…
So why am I telling you all this? I was moaning right along with you when we were in load shedding/water shedding season. I look back at the water/electricity saving tips that have been punted all over the place lately you know, like fix leaking taps, shower instead of bathing switch off unused appliances/lights & all I can think is that WE SHOULD BE DOING THIS SHIZZ EVERYDAY ANYWAY. And if we did, maybe we wouldn’t be in this mess!
There are so many easy, everyday things we can do and if we all just did one or two things simple things it really can have an impact collectively. As our green retailer, Woolies is even coming on board to incentivise us & sweeten the deal, its called Earth Cred. Earlier this year, they announced their collaboration with superstar Pharrell Williams on the journey to sustainability. (sidenote: I was at the private concert, it was epic & one I won’t be forgetting for a while!).
In their own words:
We are on a mission to make a difference by choosing sustainable food and fashion, giving kids the education they deserve and making sure that we do business with people and the planet in mind. We saw the opportunity to start a movement for positive change & to find a way to get Woolies employees, customers and partners to join us on our journey by making earth-friendly choices in their daily lives.
And so the game Earth Cred was born. It’s actually very easy:
- sign up to play here (you need a Twitter handle)
- complete any (or all!) of the challenges of your choice & earn Earth Cred
- tweet about your challenge (each challenge will give you instructions) using the both hashtags: #earthcred & #pharrellwithwoolies
The challenges change monthly and each one will earn you either 200, 300 or 500 Earth Cred. The following challenges however are “always on” & don’t change monthly:
- shopping sustainable food/fashion/homeware/beauty
- linking your WRewards card to a MySchool beneficiary (a must, if you do nothing else, please do this!).
Me in Sub A at Turfhall Primary in 1988!
PS I’ve had my MySchool card for over a decade now & it’s a no brainer – everyone needs one. A % of your spend goes to (up to 3) schools of your choice – they’re currently raising R1m/week or R4m a month for schools! Mine goes to my beloved local primary school back home – Turfhall Primary & my heart sings a little each month I get the mail seeing how much they will be getting. The new goal is R100m by the end of 2016 – please just do it if you haven’t already!
The challenges are achievable – in fact some are very easy (like reading & tweeting an article), donating your old clothes & there’s even a few festive ones as well like lighting up your Christmas tree or popping a Christmas cracker (doable, hey?!)
The prizes are worthwhile: heaps of spot prizes of Eco hampers, Woolies shopping vouchers and grand monthly prizes of R35k (until June 2016) so don’t forget to check the leaderboard to see how you’re tracking!
AND… in addition to above prizes, Woolies has given me a R500 voucher to give away to any of my readers who participate, so once you’ve signed up & completed at least one challenge & tweeted, to enter for the R500 voucher:
- comment with your Twitter handle below this post &
- tell me which school(s) you’ve chosen as your MySchool beneficiary
…and in a month from today when we’re all broke (because Januworry!) you might have something a little extra coming your way.
Good luck, have fun & do something, anything to be a little kinder to the earth today.