Hello and welcome to The Compost Bin. I'm Compostwoman and I live with my family in rural Herefordshire. We have nearly four acres of garden and woodland, all managed organically and to Permaculture principles, which we share with Chickens, Cats and assorted wildlife. We also grow a lot of our own food, run courses in all sorts of things and make a lot of compost!

I am a Master Composter and have spent more than a decade as a volunteer Community Compost adviser with Garden Organic and my local Council.
I'm a self employed Environmental Educator so I run workshops and events where I talk about compost, veg growing, chicken keeping, cooking, preserving and sustainable living. I also run crafts workshops and Forest School/outdoor play sessions in our wood.

We try to live a more self sufficient lifestyle here, as best we can, while still having a comfortable life and lots of fun.

To learn more about us click on the About Compostwoman tab and remember to click on the photos to make them full size!

Sunday 23 November 2008

Green meme 1

I’ve been tagged - by kittyboo
and this one seems very interesting to participate in!

The Guidelines:

1. Link to Green Meme Bloggers

2.Link to whoever tagged you

3.Include meme number

4.Include these guidelines in your post

5.Answer questions ( which are quite thought provoking!)

6.Tag 3 other green bloggers.


1. Name two motivations for being green:

I was brought up in a self sufficient manner by my parents, living in the country, growing food, rearing chickens and riding horses. Although I lived in a city as an adult, I always tried to live a more self sufficient life, composting, growing veg, recycling, being a member of various environmental pressure groups etc. I can't imagine being any other way, although I have got much "deeper" green in the last 10 years or so...because....

I now live in a place where we CAN be more self sufficient and I have an 8 year old daughter. I found that being pregnant and then having a child tended to concentrate my mind even more on the issues of what we are doing to our environment which will be passed on to our children as an inheritance for them to deal with.

I got involved with various environmnetal pressure groups in the early 90's, and as a result I also started up my own Environmental Consultancy, advising mainly small community groups on fighting Incinerators, Road Schemes and things of that ilk. I gradually learned more and more and it all sort of grew from there!

2. Name 2 eco-unfriendly items you refuse to give up

My car. It would be very hard to live here and do the work I do ( I am an Environmental Educator and Forest School Leader) without a car, but I AM aware that I really ought to not use one.

Umm...I can't really think of much else? Oh..I know!

Buying books ( mainly from Amazon), rather than going to the library for them. I prefer to own books even though I KNOW I could just borrow them!

3. Are you at peace with, or do you feel guilty about no.2?

Hmm I try not to do "guilt"...I do the best I can under current circumstances and I know I *do* live without a lot of things I might quite like, because I think its not a good idea to have them from a Carbon Footprint POV!

Giving up a car is something we are jointly discussing at the moment, seeing if we could manage here with only one car is on the cards as an experiment.

4. What are you willing to change but feel unable to/stuck with/unsure how to go about it?

I would love to keep pigs and table chickens (for their meat) but am having to consider the feelings of other family members on this matter. *I* have killed meat I have raised, in the past, but they have not and are not so comfortable with the idea (yet)

We want to replace the Oil fired Aga with a wood burning stove system, and also install a solar thermal water heating system....but ill health and bad weather this year has conspired to slow our plans. Hopefully next year will be better.....!

5. Do you know your carbon footprint for your home? If so, is it larger/smaller than your national average?

Yes we do know our footprint and we are at the Govt recommended levels for 2050 - however, we still have a long, long way to go until we’re what we'd consider truly sustainable. We have plans to install Solar thermal water heating, remove our use of oil for heating and generate electricity via PV's and when we have done all that our footprint will be MUCH lower!

6.What’s eco-frustrating and/or eco-fantastic about where you live?

Eco frustrating:

The recycling scheme - We don't get kerbside collection so all our recycling efforts are done by Compostman and I loading up our car when we are going somewhere close by a recycling site!

A lack of like-minded people close by. There are LOADS of like minded people but they mainly require a fair old car trip!

Eco fantastic:

Where do I start? We have enough land to grow most of our own veg, keep chickens, we could rear our own meat. We have a wonderful woodland which provides wood for our heating and is a solace to the soul and an endless source of fun and wonder, watching the wildlife.

We have tremendous providers of good, organic/free range local food and drink and a good network of like minded people around us in nearby towns.

We are involved in educating children at our DD's school in Organic gardening and sustainability issues so are helping the next generation to learn about useful stuff.

7. Do you eat local/organic/vegetarian/forage/grow you own?

Yes, we buy organic if at all possible, we largely grow our own veg and fruit but use a local Veg box scheme or a local Organic greengrocer shop to fill in when we run out or didn't grow.

We are not vegetarian - I sometimes think we should be but we like meat too much. We do limit the amount of meat we have and will only buy good quality meat that we know has been farmed in an free range, ( usually Organic) way. We eat a fair bit of cheese and, of course, lots of our own eggs.

We forage a bit, mainly nuts, but we grow enough stuff on our own land!

8. What do you personally find the most challenging in being green?

The constant mental auditing process about everything..... its part of who I am and I have always thought deeply about things... but occasionally I look at something I would really like to have and it's just *not* right..it ticks all the " wrong" boxes from an ethical, environmental, sustainable view point ( lets say its been tested on animals and made in a sweat shop !)

....and I would love, just sometimes to feel like I could say "sod it, I WILL have it" and not have my conscious niggling away at me IYKWIM

I would love to fly to other countries again but that is something we just don't do. So any trips abroad will have to be slow ones!

Also, people are surprised at our lifestyle because we look relatively normal! The expectation is still that "being green" means looking like a hippy! But we don't!

9. Do you have a green confession?

I don't know about a confession, as I don't like to ascribe guilt to things in that way......but in the interests of this meme....

I still buy stuff from Supermarkets....we have 2 brands of Super in my home town and Te$co is one..the other had been bought out by the Co Op and I am pleading with TPTB that it is turned into a Co Op! but at the moment, I have to get some stuff from the evil giant....I get mainly cat meat,loo roll, beer and wine and milk from them ..but I wish I didn't get any thing from there! I do use Waitrose or Sainsbugs in nearby towns if I am there, and I get a bit more stuff from them,( still ethical /fair trade/organic etc...) but we try to buy most of our meat, dairy, milk, flour. pulses, nuts etc from local suppliers, Farmers Market or our local wholefood shop

If I could, I would never set foot in a Supermarket again, but its just not really possible, even here!

10. Do you have the support of family and/or friends?

My husband is incredibly supportive and without him we could not live the life we do. I have some good friends who are like minded and live in a similar manner. I have other good friends who are at least sympathetic, even if they don't live in the same way. I don't have any friends who are unsympathetic!

So..I'd love to read the answers to these questions from ...


Eco Gites.



  1. Hi CW, Thank you so much for tagging me for the Green Meme award. I will get started on it very soon.... looks interesting!!
    Love Jane xxx

  2. hullo there :o) thanks for tagging me I just did it & very enjoyable it was too!
    GTM x


Hello! Thank you for reading my blog and for commenting. I try to reply as quickly as I can and I really appreciate your interest in my life and doings here in The Compost Bin.