Day One: 2017.
This year I've decided to deal with my cognitive dissonance issues. It's causing yuck feelings for me when my actions consistantly don't match up with my values and beliefs. Unfortunately this is frequent - like everytime I drive the car. I can calculate with accuracy the carbon emissions for each trip. On the positive side discomfort is often a precursor to change. So this year I've decided to take a small daily action to reduce my environmental footprint and hopefully draw my actions more closely into line with my values.
Wikipedia defines cognitive dissonance as the mental stress or discomfort experienced by an individual who holds two or more contradictory beliefs, ideas or values at the same time; performs an action that is contradictory to their beliefs, ideas, or values; or is confronted by new information that conflicts with existing beliefs, ideas or values.
First on the list is reducing our household food waste. Our busy lives have recently been resulting in perfectly good food wilting at the back of our fridge. We've been buying largely organic food for years and buy beautiful spray free fruit and veges from George every week at the Grey Lynn Farmers market (held every Sunday at the Grey Lynn Community Centre, 510 Richmond Road, Grey Lynn, Auckland from 9am - 12.30pm).
Believe me it doesn't feel good when the eggplant that was lovingly grown by George ends up in the compost instead of on our plates. I'm not alone though recent research carried out by WasteMINZ found that New Zealanders throw away 122,547 tonnes of food a year worth about $872 million. That is enough food to feed the entire population of Dunedin for two years.
The number one thing kiwis throw out? Bread, closely followed by leftovers, fruit and vegetables. With two boys in our house bread doesn't stand a chance so it is mainly leftovers and the fruit and veges that die a sad fridge death.
So this week we (brace yourself this is not rocket science):
This vegetarian even made chicken stock using left over bones from a family lunch! The result. Well the vege bins in our fridge are empty. The kids grizzled about the food we served about the same amount as usual (no miracles there). And we spent much less money than we normally do. Pretty easy to do when you are on holiday though. It will be interesting to see if we can stick to this plan when we're back at work.
Bay leaves (home grown)
Boil all ingredients for 20-30mins. Use or freeze. Great as a base for soups and rissottos.
My name is Carolyn Cox, I'm the Director of Green Businesss HQ.
I help businesses develop sustainability strategies, action plans and provide sustainability advice for businesses, industry sectors, education providers, and communities.
I am passionate about my family, sustainability, gardening, my bike, good food, movies, and doing stuff that is good for the planet.