We all want to do our bit these days – save the planet, become an eco-warrior, be a responsible citizen – and I’m no different to everyone else. But I think we need to acknowledge that there’s a healthy dollop of self-interest in most people’s desire to be an environmental hero … it’s not enough to be a quiet composter or a reticent recycler. We don’t want to hide our solar-powered light under a bushel, we want to be seen to be doing something virtuous and then to be praised for it.
We crave 500 likes for our Facebook post about walking barefoot to Chipping Sodbury to highlight the lack of managed hedgerows in the Cotswolds. And we’re desperate for David Attenborough and Greta Thunberg to follow us on Instagram, where we post photos of ourselves chained to trees or – less dramatically but more practically – turning down our heating and putting on an extra jumper.
So … what to choose in my quest to become an eco-hero?
I considered and rejected:
- Eco-terrorism (too dangerous)
- Greenpeace (too seasick)
- A rescue dog (too time-consuming)
- An earth-sheltered house (too dark/too much like a Bond villain’s lair)
And then, after much searching, I finally found my calling; I’ve become a vegetable rescuer. Rescuing vegetables is the ideal eco-action for beginners – I’m helping to cut down on food waste as well as reducing food miles and supporting local growers, and all from the comfort of my own home.
I feel really good about myself as I bring my veg box in from the porch every Sunday morning; I’m a knight in shining artichokes, ridding the world of an over-supply of brassicas. There’s always a frisson of excitement as I rip the tape off the box – what oversized, undersized, deformed or surplus produce needs my help this week?
Plus, of course, it gives me the opportunity to tell all my Facebook friends how eco-savvy I am, and to post lots of lovely veg pictures on Instagram.
David and Greta – if you’re reading this, please give me a like.