There’s a lot said about how today’s society makes people dislocated, angry, lonely and solo.  But that doesn’t mean you have to be lonely.  The Green Revolution also has its own way of looking for things to do to stave off that feeling and here are a few carbon-OK ways to have fun.


  1. Check out the radio stations on your computer.  They are great, free and take no more power than your computer  will if you are using it.  Nice background music and infinite choice.
  2. Walk. Going for a walk is always relaxing, kilojoule/calorie burning, informative (you see a lot while you’re walking) and free!
  3. Join a choir and sing. You may have to pay a tiny annual membership but generally, choir singing, in any genre, is a large group experience, sharing lighting and resources and the bigger the choir, the better the carbon savings!  Singing in a massed group has other advantages.  You will improve, your lungs get a good workout and it is a terrific way to meet different people.
  4. Swim in the sea. This is still free (unless you are in Dubai).  It means you are not heating a pool.  If possible, ride a bike or walk or public transport to get there so you add to the carbon neutral effect.  Lock up your possessions carefully.  Don’t leave them on the beach or in the car.  Don’t take valuables with you.
  5. Make your own cappuccino or latte and give the big coffee chains the cold shoulder.  You will save money, save using their awful takeaway cups, lids, spoons etc.  Bring back the thermos flask if you need to ‘takeaway’ your coffee.
  6. Join a council garden group and start a vege plot along the rail tracks or in other public land.  Enquire at your local council.
  7. Join the council library and you can read, use their internet and join in other activities they run.  The library is always a real hub of information about things happening in your area. It is very cheap if not free (most places are free) and the value is enormous as they get all the latest books.
  8. Volunteer in elderly peoples homes and talk to the seniors.  Most have fabulous stories to tell.  Get a police check certificate to allow you to volunteer.  Again, check with the local council.  Choose a home that is vey close to your own place as it makes the commitment easier to honour.  You won’t be lonely ever.
  9. Take a course – this can be CAE, or just a short course.  Think about a musical instrument – can you practise it in your place?  You may have noise rules.  Perhaps a few of you can get together and learn something that adds up to a group.
  10. Walk around a different market each week till you get to recognize all the exotic fruits, veges and objects.  Say hello to the stall-holders.  Ask them questions if they are not busy.  Look up how to cook those interesting things in the library or on the internet. Broaden your tastes.  If you are alone and cook too much, take it to some homeless people.  Don’t eat it ALL or you will  get fat.  Sit and share it with them in a park.  Maybe not after dark though!
  11. Check out the free music concerts at the conservatorium each week and take the tram there.  You will see stars of tomorrow!
  12. Adopt a dog and walk it twice a day.  Pet owners are never lonely!  Make sure you can afford the vet fees, care and attention and that your home is pet-friendly.
  13. Visit the National Gallery often.  The displays are always changing.  Read up about the paintings you are seeing.  Ask the guides for help.
  14. Go to the movies in the morning.  The 11 am sessions are EXCELLENT as there is space in the theatre and it doesn’t stink of popcorn. Tickets are always cheap one day a week so check that out.  You will not be using any carbon as the movie would have run anyway.
  15. You can be ‘lonely’ or you can be ‘independent and self-reliant’.  Choose and remember that being solo doesn’t mean you are lonely.  Just make human contact with people whenever you can by being a part of society.  Smile as you walk around.
  16. Take up a new hobby and do it very diligently.  Practise makes perfect.
  17. Learn a foreign language. Find someone who speaks that language and practise your new words.  Library will have instruction books!
  18. Keep a detailed journal from now on but also, a bit at a time, try to write about what you did yesterday, last week, last month, last year way back to your infancy!
  19. Join a dance group.  Daggy and all as you may look, this is great exercise and the nifty steps dust off your brain cells.  And you will lose weight.
  20. Volunteer to make mud-bricks for a charity building programme.  I once had a teacher who gave out punishments of ‘OK,son, up to my building block and make 10 bricks.’ Before we knew it, said teacher had a mansion and we all learnt the art of brick building.  Very therapeutic, we were never alone and we were thanked warmly for our effort.  Take good gardening gloves and gumboots!  If no such programme exists near your place, contact ‘Going Solar’ or one of the other environmental shops.
  21. Walk your city and look at it with new eyes.  Add your favourite places to the street map.
  22. Go fishing.  Remember you need a licence and take an Esky for your huge catch.  You don’t need amazing gear – just filament and a hook and sinker.
  23. Play board games.  If you don’t have friends, go to a coffee shop with a backgammon set or Scrabble under your arm and you will be surprised how many people want to play.
  24. Track down the domestic food producers in your area and see what you can barter for their goods.  That is ‘barter’ please note.  And it is NOT interchangeable with ‘haggle’ as so many people think.  Look it up in the dictionary.
  25. Speaking of dictionaries – get one and learn to speak our own language better.  Trade some of your one-syllable words with multi-syllable synonyms.  Sound clever and you will be clever.
  26. Check out eBay, graysonline and other auction sites.  There are some great things on there going cheaply.
  27. When you are going out, take a packed lunch or picnic.  Make it delicious!  Don’t be tempted by expensive takeaway.
  28. Check out a new park or reserve every day or every week.  Go for a long walk, sketch what you see or write about it in your journal.  Consider sending your scribblings to a local paper once you edit them and make them as good as you can.
  29. Visit your family members. Maybe organize a ‘BYO’ get together/reunion in a park.
  30. Work on the family tree. This is fun and always turns up something or somebody interesting, whether in a good or bad way!
  31. Label ALL the family photos with names and dates.  One day someone will thank you. Even if posthumously in the next century.
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