Day in The Life of a Treehugger

It's just one week shy of a year since Graham took the risk of letting my first post grace the pixels of Treehugger. (Thanks GH, it's been fun.) And with this post I pass the 500 mark. So to celebrate the milestone, thought I'd do something a little left field. As Treehugger is a 'lifestyle filter', I'd like to open up the comments section for our readers to share how they live their greener lives. What they do for a job, what elements of eco-living are they able to squeeze into busy schedules, even the frustrations they have in trying to make the switch to a more sustainable mode. We have a lot of 'lurkers' out there, who are probably doing great things in their career or home life. So I'm offering myself as the sacrificial lamb, to embolden you to put finger to keyboard and tell your story. Thus an average day in my wee life:I groggily raise myself from slumber and extricate limbs from within Coyuchi organic cotton sheets (a decade old and still going strong!). On leaving our multi-occupancy, inner city house for a walk, into my head are plopped earbuds from my iPod, that was previously powered up by a Solio solar charger. Returning from the morning perambulations, I wash under a triple AAA rated, low flow showerhead, cleaning my hair with organic shampoo, that I'd refilled into a reused bottle, from a bulk supply at the local organic food co-op, Alfalfa House (whose website alas, appears to have gone belly up for the moment). I dry off with a Harmony organic cotton towel, (that's was once of a natural colour, but after many years of hard work required it be dyed to look respectable.) The shower itself looks bright and shiny, because I recently scrubbed it down with Orange Power citrus-based tile cleaner. Teeth are dutifully brushed with Miessence organic toothpaste, on a Mont Bianco Clip replaceable head toothbrush (both noted here). The toilet is an old model, without dual flush, so the old standby axiom of "If it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down" applies. The loo paper is of course post-consumer recycled, from Safe, though why they package it in plastic, beggars belief. For the days work I pull on clothes, that mostly average a life of some 10 years, many with patched war and wear wounds. These were cold water washed in a secondhand machine, salvaged from the street and line dried. If organised enough I might get time to have a quick breaky of organic cereal biscuits, with organic soy milk and organic sultanas. The domestics completed, I don a $5 second-hand bike helmet, jump aboard my trusty stead, a 15 year old Moulton, and pedal off on the quarter hour ride to work.

I arrive at the Bower Reuse and Repair Centre, where I do a job-share as the coordinator (manager). It's a community based co-operative, with the primary goal of diverting unwanted household resources from landfill. Come lunch time, which on good day might happen before 4pm, I'll make sandwiches with ingredients I carried to work in a hemp canvas daypack, of my design and construction. During the day I might take a call from Conservation Volunteers Australia, asking if I can fit in some team leading on an upcoming field project. If the brown stuff hasn't hit the spinning thing during the day, I may get to leave the Bower just on dark. So long as there is no evening meeting of the Society for Responsible Design or the Bower Board, I'll soon be heading home on the bike, LEDs lights flashing wildly into the night, my trouser legs protected by a $3 pair of second-hand reflective bike clips (like these) that came into work one day. Back at base, my low energy LCD screen iBook, (which replaced a desktop Mac that hadn't been upgraded in nearly 8 years, but now serves my Dad well) sits upon an upturned rubbish bin, that I cut up and reconfigured to make a display stand. All for just $2, compared to $80 AUD for the commercial version. I check my emails and see that the Australian Wetland Alliance have some text changes for a brochure and poster I'm designing for them.

Alterations made and it's dinner time — mostly organic veggies, maybe with some organic quinoa, pasta, tofu (again from the co-op), or whatever is hanging around in the small, 250 litre 560 kWh/yr energy efficient fridge. Food scraps go into the compost bin, with most paper, plastic, tin and bottles into the recycling tub. And unless we're going out to the movies, or the like, which would probably require the use of the 'on-smell-of-an-oily-rag' 4 cyclinder car. (This once sat unused for so long, the council nearly towed it away, thinking it was abandoned), it's most likely going to be some research and writing for dear old Treehugger before bed. That's after the weather has been checked for the weekend, to see if it will be a backcountry skiing (still a little white stuff left up high) or bushwalking trip. By the light of a compact fluoro, as eyelids droop, try to read the latest release of eco-architecture magazine, Environ, to belatedly find any grammatical errors in my articles. Zzzzz.

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