This has been a week of dilemmas – so many answers to find.
First of all there were the personal dilemmas. Like should I be proud that my son is reducing the washing pile, or concerned about how dirty he looks when he yet another day insists on wearing the same Superman T-shirt?
I have been having the school run debate again: The whole family have more or less been ill this week with varying degrees of colds, sore throats etc, and I have to admit being unwell just doesn’t help the green progress. So after dragging myself out of bed every morning, I asked the question – can I get away with taking the car to the school? I have to admit we did go the motorised way, more than once. I am not proud of it, but I was just too exhausted to coax 2 reluctant children to walk.
Tiredness also set in when we were tidying in the kids’ rooms. They have an incredible amount of toys and junk, and I am not sure how best to minimise this. I managed to smuggle some stuff into a bag for the charity shop, but what to do with all these little silly plastic things that come with magazines, party bags etc. What am I supposed to do with them? They are too small to go to the charity shop, they wouldn’t even get 5p for them, they are too pointless and horrible to recycle as presents for other children (yes, I admit I do that sometimes with really nice stuff), so all they can really do is add to the mountain at the landfill site. Honestly what is the point of these things? And the even bigger question: how can I stop them filling up the toy box? Should I ask people to stop buying my children presents and tell my kids they are not allowed to get party bags when leaving birthday parties? That is definitely not going to make me ‘Mum of the Week’.
Then there were all the dilemmas people seemed to put in front of me. During a discussion at the school gate about the cold weather, somebody asked me if it is better to have your heating on a lower setting but on all the time or do shorter burst on a higher setting? I don’t know – I am kind of assuming it depends on your heating system, your level of insulation and other sorts of variables, but where to find the answer?
This was followed by my husband asking: for mothers day do you want chocolate handmade here in Scotland, but probably not fairtrade, or do you want fairtrade chocolate bought from a supermarket? Help – I really have no idea what should be given priority. There is obviously going to be some kind of carbon footprint no matter what, because we don’t have many cacao plants in Scotland, but should I be supporting the business who ensures more local employment and hopefully retains some skills and money locally; or should I go with ensuring the cacao growers get decent money, but through that I would also be supporting supermarket shareholders? My first reply was to get the email address for the Scottish company to convince them to use fairtrade ingredients, but unfortunately I can’t do that in time for next Sunday – so what should I choose?
Likewise I have been trying to decide which veg box company to go with. There are a few different options in this area. There is the very local one, based in this town and with the option of getting other groceries from local shops as well – but it is not organic. There are a couple of organic ones, based in this area, but because they sell organic produce they have to source some of the stuff from slightly further away. Which one is the better option? Should I be as local as possible or is organic more important?
Even 6 months down the line I find myself stumbling on these questions all the time. The ideal option hardly ever exists, and I am not sure how to fine tune my priorities. Maybe I can find an app for this, then I could put in the different options and it would calculate the best way forward. How about that? It would be great. Oh, guess I need to get an i-phone first…