Covering the Goulburn and Murray valleys

Living lightly

Benalla Sustainability Group member Wendy contemplates the battle of wills between herself and her husband on living lightly, at home.



There’s a battle going on in my house, all the time. 

It is a battle of wills, of minds and of intellect. The battle is for the small actions for the planet. I could tell you of many and varied issues, but I will pick a couple just for the moment.

I am always trying to live lightly, minimising power and water use, growing my own veggies and looking after the natural environment.  This does mean sacrifices — some of us make them easily and some find it hard. 

My husband and I are both committed to this, but one of us is more committed than the other.

For example, I like to have the windows open for air movement. My husband likes to have them shut — because the insects might get in. And sometimes they do. And I like to just wait until they go out. And sometimes they do.  But when they don’t, apparently they need to be sprayed. 

So the battle begins.  I don’t like sprays and the impacts they have on the air, our health, other creatures and the planet as a whole.  My husband doesn’t like insects and the impact they have on him.  Like settling on his bald head and annoying him — I never feel them through my thick hair.  And sometimes they do bite or fall in the salad.  So he has a point. I agree to them being sprayed sparingly. Only in the house. I accept my small defeat.

But then the weather really warmed up and the ants started moving.  Not just the usual little black bothersome ones that come in the house sometimes. The big red meat ants!

Well they were outside with massive nests and mostly away from the house. Their best spot was at the gate to the property, which is about 300 metres from the house.  I think this is fine. 

BUT hubby is the one who opens and closes the gate while I drive through.  What happens while he stands and waits?  They crawl up his legs — secretly.  It isn’t till we are moving down the lane that they begin to bite.  A lot!  There is a scramble, the smart work pants are off and the dance is spectacular.  I try not to laugh.  It doesn’t work very well.  But I know there is another battle about to begin.

It will be about Antrid.

I get home early that day after work and let the chooks out while I water the veggie garden from the rainwater tanks that provide ‘all’ our water, including drinking.  I need to prepare defensive tactics.  But that is another story for another time.

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