Here, on our precious “block of life” I consider myself to be a bit of a greenie. I’m very environmentally aware and occasionally catch myself sounding a little holier than thou, chirping on about sustainability, organic gardening practices, heirloom veges and odd permaculture rituals. But, recently I felt very much “put in my place” – and believe it or not, it was a self-imposed shove!
Picture this… a lazy Sunday evening after a productive day of planting seed-raised beans into a self-dug plot, covered in home-grown compost. “Mrs Smug” right there and that wasn’t the end of it, oh no… I then sat down to a meal complete with home-kill beef, an array of green goodness from the plot and of course accompanied by local wine. Yes, very smug indeed.
Then, rather bravely in hindsight, I took control of the remote and suggested we deviate from our usual “mind-numbing series addiction” for some insightful, educational viewing. This came in the form of the internationally recognised National Geographic documentary called Before the Flood starring Leonardo DiCaprio.
Over the years, there have been some, shall we say, ‘interesting’ discussions around our dinner table about Global Warming, now more familiarly talked about as Climate Change. I distinctly remember one vigorous debate over the scientific validity of the topic between step-father and daughter. One playing the devil’s advocate, the other a youthfully exuberant university-educated mind with the weight of the world (our world) on her shoulders. This was not a bad thing but on this occasion, I recall, it may have ended in tears.
Well, on this lovely Sunday evening, those tears were mine. To say I enjoyed watching this movie would be a lie, in fact it is quite confronting and a little overwhelming for those of us who feel a deep sense of responsibility for the future of our planet. Often oblivious to the environmental devastation and poverty so real in many parts of the world, here in Aotearoa, tucked in our perfect little valley I instantly felt that “shove” I spoke of earlier.
At first it was a feeling of shame about us greedy humans, so selfish and lazy. Then came the sense of hopelessness and I honestly felt like shouting at the TV – “but what are the answers Leo?” Charismatic he may be, but when asked if America would follow the example of countries like Sweden in their efforts to address greenhouse gas emissions and change policy, he had to admit that it was unlikely and I believe this is due to the multi-million dollar organisations holding the purse-strings. Don’t get me started about where we sit in the scheme of things… that’s politics, and I was taught from a very young age that it’s a dangerous subject so not one for this blog.
So, then came the feeling of frustration for me! “How do we, as individuals change anything when it’s all about money and power?” I went to bed feeling decidedly un-relaxed, despite my idyllic setting and locally sourced organic food and wine!
Ha! It’s amazing what sleep will do though isn’t it?
A new day dawned and while I still felt somewhat helpless I decided to challenge myself to change one little thing right here at home. I wasn’t sure what it was going to be but funnily enough the universe was quick to point it out (yes my husband calls me a total navel-gazer!).
Glaringly obvious, right there on my Facebook cover page, my microgreen home-grow kits, in all their plastic glory, were staring right at me and I felt so ashamed I immediately had to change the photo as if this would somehow miraculously make my previously poor choices go away.
Of course, I did next what anyone in crisis mode does… google it! There had to be a local environmentally responsible alternative to all that plastic and I was going to find it even if it meant my profit margins would be less.
What happened next was totally cool and I’ve been buzzing ever since. Long story short, I stumbled across a small local company called Friendlypak specialising in Compostable Product Innovation, just down the road in Avondale. I discovered the products aren’t the only things that are friendly as the Managing Director Kevin Graham happily took the time to squeeze me in that day to share his vision and find a solution to my packaging needs knowing my order would be quite small in comparison to most.
Not only did I come away with a solution to my business needs (and a possible connection for our lovely Jess from Made of Words to work on the Friendlypak website) but I also came away feeling energised and optimistic about the incredible innovation out there that generates a sense of hope and possibility.
Maybe I can help save our precious planet – one punnet at a time because now all of my home-grow kits are made with compostable products.
Drop me a line here if you'd like to place an order for Christmas.