It IS easy being Green

 

Summer Trees UK

Summer Trees, UK

The word green has so many different connotations. It might simply be a colour, although nowadays it often has a more ideological meaning. It can be an adjective, noun or a verb. It’s the colour of harmony, balance,  growth and renewal.

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Global Day of Climate Action, 2015. Perth, Australia

In describing people as green,  I used to have an image, as many others do, of someone who wore hair-shirts, was vegan, didn’t use plastic bags and drove a Prius if they owned a car at all.

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Shanga Recycled Bottles Screen, Arusha, Tanzania

We don’t all have to wear hair-shirts. Yet I am someone who, when I get the occasional plastic bag, will wash it out to reuse it. I’ll  make sure that I upcycle, reuse or repurpose anything rather than throw it in the bin.

 

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‘Standing up for what matters’ 2016 Perth

Amongst other things, I go on protests to save and protect our environment or promote social justice and equity, and I also take the easy route of e-activism. I campaign to get Green members elected into parliament. I don’t eat meat. And I try not to leave too much of a footprint when I travel.

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Terraces of ‘food crops’ and forest, Nepal.

Even though I live in a city, I’m blessed that I’m still surrounded by my little haven of green – large gum trees that attract cockatoos; small native plants that flower, attracting insects and birds; grape and passionfruit vines; citrus and other fruit trees; and a veggie patch.

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A corner of my garden.

For those of us who are so fortunate, it’s easy to be green.

 

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Singing Wren

“What’s going in that pot?”

“Dad wants to put the bamboo in it,” I say for the fifth time in twenty-four hours. My gaze falls on the large Malaysian plant pot across the lawn at the far side of the garden.

“Oh” Mum continues wiping the glass of the outside table. It’s smeared with cheese and the debris of yesterday’s eating.

I watch her and wonder how her brain is now working. What would it be like to start to lose your memory? Outwardly she appears the same if not a little older and more shrunken. She jokes that she is shrinking each year. It isn’t a joke. She visibly shrinks before our eyes as she reaches the last of her octogenarian years and moves towards her next decade. What do you call someone in their nineties? A nonagenarian. That sounds wrong. It should be some not none.

She pauses on her way up the steps to the back door leading into the kitchen, tilts her head, listening. “Oh, he’s been calling for his mate all week.” She sets off again as the bird’s high-pitched song dances around the garden. “Poor thing.”

I look around scanning the rose arch, yew and hawthorn hedge, the scattered shrubs and summer flowers, searching for the wren. I know it is a wren for she told me yesterday when we walked around the garden. She had named the plants and knew which season they would be in flower and the colour and size of blossom, which ones were scented and which ones they’d placed in the wrong spot, where they couldn’t flourish.

A lifetime of knowledge.

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