Cardboard Christmas

Today, my daughter and I measured up the garden with the aim of buying the greenhouse in the Boxing Day sales, if one such were available, and then took ourselves off to one of our oft-visited garden centres. There wasn’t one – but by the exit there was a section with used packaging for customers to take away. Brilliant! A successful journey for us, in any case.


Whilst I might be pleased to have found a source of cardboard to protect my soil, I remembered that for some this would be a bed in a doorway. Now, I don’t feel guilty about trying to get a greenhouse to grow more food and today was a convenient day to do so. At the same time, I am still part of a culture which puts individualistic consumerism before getting it right for all in society.

I have found a justification for behaving as I did today. I wonder if next year I wouldn’t be better helping at a hostel for the homeless or charity for the elderly though?

Anyway, while I ponder this, the cardboard has gone down while the weather is still reasonable. There has been some excitement at the prospect of snow, though if you have nowhere to sleep tonight I think that is the last emotion you’ll feel.

About Helen

I have always been interesting in living a more environmentally friendly lifestyle and used to do what I could. Now, I have come to realise that we have reached such a point in terms of environmental degradation that it is more important - perhaps - to focus on building resilience. I therefore do as much as I can to reuse, grow my own and encourage a supportive community, for example. I also keep reading and learning all the time.
This entry was posted in Gardening, Permaculture, Social and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

6 Responses to Cardboard Christmas

  1. I take it that you see homeless begging for money like we are finding them here in the Swedish countryside. We live in the out skirts of a tiny village. We have homless here. They stand in the public bathrooms in the square to keep warm. Others sit infront of the grocery stores begging. We have two different groups in our area. We have Swedes that are homeless. Our social system We have immigrants that do not speak English or Swedish. Some are gypsies and some are illegal refugees.We have tried to ask them where they live or where they spend the night.They are very cautious and frightened. I read in the newspapers that Stockholm’s police had found the gypsie’s tent city hidden in the woods. The police tore it down and most of it’s contents mysteriously caught on fire. We have suddenly had the temperatures plummet here in the last week. We had highs today with Sunshine of -15 Celsius. I wonder how they did last night. We have given them money. I would like to do more….

    Stockholm’s charities have reported that the numbers of homeless pensioners are on the rise. That over 2500 homeless in Stockholm’s area alone. I am ashamed that we,Swedish society, have allowed this to happen. I remember last year when they found a man who froze to death in a plastic box that stores sand for sidewalks. That man was mentally ill. He owned an apartment, but needed help and social services neglected him and he died because of it. The thought that plays over and over in my head is, There, but for the grace of God, go not I.

    • Helen says:

      That’s really shocking to hear, Honey! I don’t really know how bad things are here. At least the temperature is generally about 5+ degrees at might, though it is predicted to be below freezing over the next few days.

      Having technically been homeless several times (twice within my daughter’s lifetime), I know only too easy it is to end up in this position.

      • I am sorry that you have have had it so rough in the past. I agree it is easier than one might think to fall into such a situation. It is hard to get out of it without a helping hand.

        I guess I can talk to our local church and ask what the community is doing to help these people. This would not be happening 30 years ago in Sweden. People would have been appauled. I pray that now the Social democrats are back in power that positive changes will be made.

  2. It’s the perennial question for people of conscience. To not even ask such questions would be indescribably worse, I think. Finding the balance, now that’s the thing.

I love to read about your own experiences and any other feedback you have, so look forward to your comments below.

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