I have the same tired but true story as many women about getting interested in environmental issues when I first had a baby; parental instincts are powerful, and we want to think of our children growing up in a world that still has a little greenery and where they can drink cold water and relish summer breezes with pleasure and not with fear.

But I found that writing about Green issues as a young mum in London meant that everyone wanted me to stick with the domestic and be a cheerleader for even the most absurd suggestions. I tried to be a saint, for a while. But I never wanted to be a full-time activist or to compose recipes for homemade cleaners. I wanted to share the practical tips I came across (which did not include such gems as ‘Write small to use less paper’ or ‘Squeeze a lemon into the final rinse cycle’). But it was the big picture that matters: our connection with the natural world, and how we could go about our business without damaging the things we love. How we could change our ways–as communities, a society, a world–and leave an environment that isn’t just tolerable but welcoming and beautiful and intact to our children.

Of course when I write a book I have to behave myself, and not criticize supposedly environment-friendly products or organizations that are really out of touch with how we live. But writing a blog gives me a chance to be frank, to tell you what concerns me, and share my efforts to understand and work on issues at home, at work, and in the world at large.