We have a pad of scrap paper - backs of things mainly - on the kitchen table and a pot of assorted biros to hand with which to write our shopping lists, notes, make calculations or draw diagrams of things we are trying to explain to each other. The pen stock has diminished over the years and we now have difficulty finding something to write with at times so new writing implements were called for. Not wanting to buy disposable pens which will just add to the amount of plastic being thrown away we were on the look out for something "greener".
We must have spent half an hour looking at pens in W H Smiths yesterday morning and although there were dozens to choose from hardly any were refillable, a couple were 70% biodegradable but only came in green or red ink, there were no refills available for the refillable pens .... it seemed a hopeless quest.
This afternoon Mr M has been researching on the internet looking for ecological types of pen and although there are pens out there that are "green" many have to be bought by the 100 and we only want a couple or else they are available in the USA but no mention of here or ...... ! Maybe I should try making a quill pen and some elderberry ink?! We do both have fountain pens and maybe that would be the answer or perhaps a pencil as long as the pencil was made of something recycled or biodegradable and not plastic!
Yesterday we also went to our local health shop to buy a 5 litre pack of Ecover washing up liquid from which we fill our small bottle by the sink. We normally have to order this but today we noticed that there was a choice of Vegan or non vegan 5 litre washing up liquids! Since the Wanderer has taken to being a "nearly" vegan I was interested to find out what the difference was as I guessed/hoped that Ecover didn't test on animals. It seems that what is called Chamomile and Marigold in English is called Chamomile et Petit-lait in French and on checking the dictionary petit-lait is whey and not marigold which I know is souci. So is it better to buy the vegan version or would the whey be going to waste if not used in the washing up liquid?! I shan't tell the Wanderer next time she comes about our washing up liquid containing animal products!
We shopped for our milk, eggs and some vegetables at the farm shop we usually patronise a couple of miles from home this morning too and earlier in the week we drove to a nearby town South Petherton where we like to buy our bread from the local baker, our fruit and vegetables from the green grocer and Mr M likes meat from the butcher. All well and good but is it greener to be supporting the local shops where the owners take a pride in their produce and know where it all comes from (mainly local apart from oranges and bananas of course although we did once hear a stall holder at Salisbury market shouting out his wares amongst which were "Lovely British bananas"!) but using the car to drive to these shops or to go to the supermarket which we could walk to but where much of their stock has itself traveled many thousands of miles even though we might not ourselves be adding to our carbon footprint?
Sometimes I feel I shall give up and drive to the supermarket to buy a packet of sliced bread and some ready meals and if I don't take a list I won't need a pen to write one either!