No offence taken, of course: I've got a well-documented love of Implementations' bronze tools. I agree it's a big outlay for a little tool, it carries a lifetime guarantee, and should last a lifetime too. And who wants top open something desperately practical on December 25? It just reminds one of jobs yet to be done ("a Karcher pressure washer? Thanks so much, I'll go and rinse down the decking right now!")
Most of my tools have been much-treasured gifts, and I intend to be using them into retirement: my Felco secateurs from my sister, various trowels and a spade from my partner, and rakes and a huge pickaxe secondhand from my dad, which I haven't had cause to use but am eyeing up a concrete path in my garden that needs breaking up. I'd much rather buy one pricey but very well constructed tool than a succession of cheapo ones. It is easy to spend a lot of money on our gardens and even "being green", though.
For instance I often encourage people to buy worm composters but I always balk when it comes to the price: most models cost at least £80 and up, which is a lot of cash for a glorified dustbin, some coir bedding and a few accessories. A few councils now offer deals on wormeries, as they do on compost bins, so that's worth looking into: the Wrap site can help. And of course you can make a wormery out of a set of drawers, as Alys Fowler does in her excellent Thrifty Gardening book, and just buy in the worms. But for most of us don't want to "make it at home with a small aubergine".
A Bokashi bucket is a chunky investment too: I want to try it but can't quite bring myself to spend the requisite £70 or so (although Tesco do a good deal on two buckets for £42 I just noticed), not to mention the continuing cost of the bran containing "effective microorganisms" that ferments the food. But I do need to find some way of speeding up the decomposition process.
This is something I have been thinking about of late because, despite my slow progress on the garden front, the one thing I have managed to keep up with is composting. When I moved house in August it was from an area with a food waste collection to one without, and I cringe every time I have to put some meat scraps or some other non-compostible foodstuff in the waste bin. And the compost heap is bursting full and I am putting in far too much citrus, which turns the heap too acidic.
The wormery is going strong: I've moved it into the garage for the winter. Worms, like us, dislike being too Thecold and tend to go on strike, so this will help to keep them moving, although they won't be able to handle as much food as in the summer. I'm also hoping to secure an old woollen blanket at the local junk shop to wrap around it and increase the insulation while still letting in air, which will help too. I need to empty out the bottom tray but it's a messy job that can't really be done in the dark - which seems to be half the day at the moment.
So what to do? Thankfully my perspicacious colleague the lovely Lia Leendertz reminded me of the totally free and easy solution to my kitchen waste overload: trench composting, which I used to do a lot of at the allotment in wintertime when heaps tend to get overfull (yes I do miss it, and walk past the little plots down my road with great envy). You can trench compost any bare area of soil, but it's most useful under beans and squash. Full instructions here if you're not acquainted with its charms. The other solution to the citrus issue - and a great one for all anyone feeling the credit crunch - is compost heap jelly.