Green Lizard's Blog

The planet is our home; we need to be more responsible. Here's what I do.

Green hero: Donnachadh MaCarthy

So where does our green journey start?

There was an enthusiasm and a book.

500 ways to save the planet without costing the Earth

A simple message and five hundred fantastic tips. There’s a checklist in this book.

It’s in sections related to all domestic areas that can benefit from green improvements.

Each year we reference this book to see how we are doing, to find new projects and keep upping our game.

The range of accessibility is perfect. From everyday actions that are simple like turning off lights when you leave a room and turning off taps during teeth brushing to contemplating building a house from straw bails.

There’s practical information laid out very clearly.

So why is Donnachadh my hero?

Because his life is reflected in this book. Without wanting to sound like a stalker, he campaigns for change every day.

In the introduction he suggests:

imagine a world where:
Climate change did not threaten our coastline and future food supplies.
All our food was free from chemical contamination and genetic modification.
We had no huge landfill sites and toxic waste incinerators.
We were free from the disease and cancers caused by toxic pollution.
Our home and industries were powered by renewable energy.
We were self sufficient in water supplies.
Our extraordinarily varied wildlife was safe from extinction.

The book was first published ten years ago. And reading this concept again, makes me shiver that these things are so much more threatened now.

I wrote to Donnachadh a couple of years ago to thank him for this book as it has changed my life and as a result I now keep up to date with what he is doing. Whether it be campaigning for safer cycling in London of enabling his neighbours to plant fruit trees.

He also opens his ‘green’ house to visitors once a year to share how a normal domestic dwelling can be adapted to reduce carbon our footprint.

I shared this today because it struck me that trying to be more green is a challenge and one of the commonest reactions is that the effort of one person isn’t enough.

But there are people who are making a difference. So that helps me know I can too.

From this process I have learned about many things including permaculture, started the allotment and we’ve changed our lives.

his website

It’s not specifically this book that matters. There are many similar ones that are tailored to different countries too. It’s about trying to change.

Thus is my personal view. This book is available as an eBook too. If you read this Donnachadh, thank you once again!



9 comments on “Green hero: Donnachadh MaCarthy

  1. Lucy Corrander
    March 9, 2014

    Hello. I noticed from a comment on Solarbeez blog ( )that you might be interested in following a tree along with Loose and Leafy. There’s a growing list of participants and more information here It would be great if you were to decide to join in. The more people, the greater the variety and age and location of the trees, the more interesting it will be.



    • lizard100
      March 9, 2014

      Sounds great I will check out your link. Does it matter if we are in The Netherlands?


      • Lucy Corrander
        March 9, 2014

        Delighted that you are in the Netherlands! The majority of participants so far are in the UK or North America but we want to widen the scope of the project. A blogger in France. is following a chestnut tree and I’m hoping we may encourage bloggers in the southern hemisphere to join in too. It will be interesting to follow opposite seasons at the same time.


      • lizard100
        March 9, 2014

        That’s great. Will photograph our tree today


  2. Rambling Woods
    March 9, 2014

    We are on a similar journey here started 5 years ago after reading a book. Now my husband and I have planted over 100 native plants in our yard. I was thrilled to be able to raise some monarch butterflies for release and have made our home much more green..I will look at this book too..Michelle


  3. litadoolan
    March 10, 2014

    Inspiring book thanks for pointing this one out.


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a blog by a multilingual expat-since-birth, linguist, researcher, mum of three, living in the Netherlands and writing about bilingualism, multiculturalism, parenting abroad, international life...

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