Hello and welcome to Shades of Green. Our blog’s purpose is to share how Portsmouth Green Party members are trying (and hopefully succeeding) to live green in Pompey and how the Green Party is working on your behalf to make Portsmouth and the UK as a whole more sustainable.

Stick around for some superb eco-friendly tips (like how to recycle batteries or where to donate unneeded elastic bands), green debates (can we really justify eating meat? is carbon offsetting really the way to assuage your guilt over air travel?) and even the chance to put some much needed pressure on our political official (because it’d be nice to have recycling bins in Commercial Road, like other cities on the South Coast).

It’s not always easy to green in Portsmouth but it might be easier than you think.

Why Shades of Green?

Don’t worry; it’s nothing to do with that book/film franchise. As with all political parties, our members and supporters are not a monolith. There are hundreds of reasons to vote Green and hundreds of shades of green within our party.

On our blog, we also aim to dispel some common myths about the Green Party and its supporters; we’re not all hippies who buy everything organic and wear sandals year-round (although in all fairness, some of us are).

Many of us still drive (even if we try to cycle), we like long baths (we just reuse the water), and we have good intentions that don’t always pan out (like vowing to not use single-use plastics until you’ve run out of water mid-jog and there’s no refill station around). We all are imperfect but we are trying to be better and we wanted to share our journey with you.

Our main bloggers for Shades of Green are Portsmouth Green Party members Tamara and Emma, but let’s hear from them in their own words.

Tamara

“Hallo, I am Tamara and full disclosure… I eat lentils… and I also wear sandals (beautiful pink and sparkly ones, but still – sandals)…and I don’t eat meat…and I bully my household into recycling everything.  Yes, it may have been I who collects my hair from my comb and puts them in my garden to deter snails… and I love it and I can’t wait to share all my crazy and enthusiasm of my journey towards zero waste and sustainable living with you, dear reader!

But before you begin to think I am the perfect specimen of green living (indulge me for a moment!), I admit that I am terribly lazy so recycling piles up, I often/mostly drive even when I could cycle, I love to eat crisps, I have a love affair with Ikea, I buy stuff I don’t need all the time and I fly high in the sky pretty regularly. I experience clinical depression and this can greatly affect how green I can be – so some days, weeks and months are greener than others.  I am trying to take small, manageable steps towards living an earth-friendly life and that involves knowing my limitations – both emotionally and financially.And you know what, that’s ok! So, please join Emma and I and the rest of the lovely folks here at Portsmouth Green Party as we take individual and collective small steps towards living a sustainable life.”

Emma

“Hi there, I’m Emma. I’ve been a full-time vegetarian since 2010, an animal lover since my family adopted our first cat when I was three, and one of those self-righteous eco types since my mid-teens. Also, I’m a little sarcastic.

Unpopular opinion: I didn’t vote Green in 2015 or join the Green Party for entirely environmental reasons. I voted for the Greens because I felt let down by my previous political party and I joined the Greens because as a queer woman they had the best policies towards women’s rights, the LGBTQ+ community, and social justice in general.

I get (most of) my eco-credentials from my dad who grew up after the hippies but before the yuppies; if you live in Portsmouth, you’ve probably seen him pulling plastic bottles or drinks cans from the top of bins or from the gutters in order to recycle them. I don’t claim to be that committed to the cause.

Things I do that are less than 100% green: I travel by plane quite a lot (I’m a travel writer), I eat tons of processed food/take out, I buy things I don’t need, I never remember to take my travel mug, and I use so much electricity.

As Tamara said, I hope you’ll follow us along in our journey to be better Greens and (hopefully) make Portsmouth a greener place.”

Shades of Green’s first ‘proper’ blog will come next week and show you how to recycle things you never knew could be recycled. If you’re excited; remember to follow Portsmouth Green Party on Facebook, Twitter, and Instagram.