I am disabled but am I green enough?

I am disabled but can I be greener

Is it easy to be disabled and planet friendly?

I suffer from advanced multiple sclerosis so I am disabled.  I am disabled but am I green enough? Can I balance my disability with being an ecological friendly person? Sometimes I can and I do make planet-friendly choices but there are many other areas that are a total car-crash. In the latter case I have no choice because I am not given an option.

I do not drive, double vision is the culprit. I use public transport for nearly all my journeys. If I have to travel a mile or so I use my TravelScoot, a funky mobility scooter nicknamed The Trike powered by a Lithium Ion battery. Hopefully I’m using clean electricity to charge the battery. So put a big tick next to clean transport.

I go shopping for fresh food every day on The Trike so very little food wastage.

Not quite so healthy

We live in a 140 year old terraced house built long before cavity brick walls were a thing. One of the consequences of my multiple sclerosis is that I’m not good at controlling my body temperature. In the winter I really feel the cold so the central heating is on a lot more these days. There is no insulation except in the loft. Our lovely Victorian sash windows do not have double glazing. This is a bit of a disaster.

Our tiny garden

We have a silver birch tree and lots of insect friendly plants in our garden. I water the plants and garden pots only when it is necessary. I am too disabled to use a watering can filled from a water butt. Instead I have to use a hose connected to an outside tap. Not good but there is no other option for me.

Blister packs, no option

A large proportion of the pills that I take come in blister packs and I take a whopping 13 pills every night. Blister packs are not recyclable. I put them in the general household rubbish bin. It’s what happens next that worries me.

The plastic is the type that is indestructible. In time it becomes brittle and breaks up into tiny shards. Many animals eat these shards thinking it is food and the plastic goes up the food chain. This is not good.

Recycle

I recycle plastic bags at the local supermarket which uses the plastic to make chairs and benches. But what about all the crinkly plastic used as sweet wrappers, bags for salad, and supermarket veg? Not to mention plastic for shrink wrapped meats. This wrapping can only go into the general rubbish bin. Where does that end up?

I am disabled but am I green enough?

I know my efforts to be friendly to the planet are miniscule. Climate change does not discriminate – everyone is affected which is why it is important for all of us take action in whatever way we can no matter how small. The impact of human beings upon our planet over the last 50 years terrifies me.

We are destroying the planet for our children. Is it all too late? What more can I do?

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November 2019

4 responses to “I am disabled but am I green enough?”

  1. I used to be a green activist – from demos to standing as a green in elections, plus promoting organic food for decades – but it’s got harder as my MS has added problems. Not least being the dependence on others without my ecological concerns.

    It sounds like you are doing far more than I am.

    • Hello Roland,

      I’m a recent convert although but I have been aware of the problems for years. I not an activist but believe we should all make a contribution. My daughter is a vegan and made me more conscious of our impact upon the planet but I still eat meat and cheese but plastic is the big enemy in my eyes

  2. Kay says:

    Not an answer but my (wonderful) cleaner decided some months ago to go for a plastic-free life. She has weaned me on to eco cleaning products but she has gone much further. Apparently, it’s only some makes of tea bag that are plastic-free! She says that you should look at HOW products are made – ‘green’ factories have better manufacturing processes which don’t create toxins/pollutants. She buys milk locally in bottles, makes her own yoghurt to avoid plastic containers, has found various local suppliers who sell loose pulses, dried fruit etc, so you fill your own containers – same applies in the butcher’s, where she brings her container to the counter and accepts no other wrapping. She doesn’t use aerosols. (etc. etc.) Depressingly, she has calculated the weekly cost of the total operation as being exactly triple what she used to pay…

    • Hello Kay,

      Your cleaner is a treasure!.

      The problem is not only money but time. I don’t drive (blame MS) so going to the different shops means taking an unreliable bus or train to another town to buy ‘green’ food and materials. I must use local supermarket. Its Waitrose so could be worse. I would like to make a bigger contribution but at the same time I must work within my limitations. As always life is a compromise. The question is how much of a compromise, MS restricts me in so many ways but I do my best. 🙂

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