Just one little thought - re going to B & Q to buy paint testers - and I mean this kindly......are B & Q now making paint testers of environmentally-friendly paint?
Not as far as I know, Anonymous. To be honest I didn't give it much thought. My sister turned up, said "While I'm here, let's paint the living room", so we headed to the nearest big paint retailer to see what they had. I've never looked into eco-paints in the past. I suspect they cost more and have a limited range of colours. But maybe I'm wrong. I promise I'll look into it soon, and the next time I'm forced to decorate a room I'll know more about the options.
But the question raised some thoughts in me, thoughts I've been having for a while now. I didn't start this blog to be an eco-prophet. I didn't want to bring light to the ignorant and share my vision of the one true way towards sustainable living. I don't know the one true way, and I don't think anyone else does either. I'm slightly alarmed at being declared one of the 50 most powerful bloggers in the world because really I'm just a short, plump thirty-mumble-year-old part-time Open University lecturer, sitting on my bed with my laptop on a Sunday afternoon and writing about the things I'm trying to do to become a bit more eco-friendly. I worry that some Bean Sprouts readers don't realise that. I think some people think I get paid to do this. I don't. I think some people think I'm a professional journalist. I'm not. I think some people think I have qualifications and professional experience in environmental topics. Actually I just read a lot, and I am qualified in critical analysis - in separating good research from bad - so that helps. I try to live ethically as much as I can. But I'm not perfect and never will be. If you spotted in one of my photos that I was wearing a new pair of trousers, would you quiz me "Are those eco-trousers? Or are they just from M&S?"
I worry about things like Girl with a One-Track Mind, a woman who blogged anonymously about her sex life. When a national newspaper revealed her identity she lost her job, fell out with her family, and suffered all sorts of repercussions. If Bean Sprouts becomes popular enough, will journalists come and rummage through my black bin and write news stories because they found paper that could have been recycled but wasn't, packaging from ready meals, and McDonalds toys? They probably could find those things. Would that reveal me as a hypocrite?
I hope not, because there would be no way to totally avoid such accusations without living in a cave. And the one big important point I want to make in everything I write here is that you don't have to live in a cave. You don't have to be perfect. You don't have to do everything. But please do something. Don't think "It's too hard to be an eco-saint so I won't even bother trying". Instead think "I don't want to go totally vegan but I could eat a meatless meal once a week. I can't afford to super-insulate my house and install a ground heat pump, but I could stick my head in the loft and just see how much insulation I've got. I can't give up battery-powered gadgets altogether, but I can get a battery recharger. I can't do everything, but I can do something."
I'm on a journey to learn more and put what I learn into practice. I'm not perfect at present. I never will be. But I want to share my journey with you. Does that sound like a cop-out because I bought non-eco-paint? Are you disappointed in me? Please let me know what you think.