Environmental

On my post about mileage and so on, BW commented “No environmental conscience chez toi, then, eh? 😉”   And I can’t deny, that annoyed me a fair bit.

So…

    • That weekend, I hired a car that was supposed to have a better Eco-profile than my current car. Sadly, that turned out to not be the case – it got a lot less MpG than mine, and generally wasn’t very good.  But the intentions were there, at least.  Even though I should’ve stuck to my usual car.
    • Where possible – in this case, the run to and from Oxford – I carried friends, rather than everyone driving individually
    • Taking public transport was simply not a realistic option, for a range of reasons, including
      • I’d still have to drive to my nearest station, and (as I understand it) shorter journeys like that are the worst environmentally, as most of the nastys happen on start-up/warm-up, rather than on longer runs
      • The runs to Oxford and Chichester would both have been over three hours each way, and cost more than the fuel for the entire weekend
      • The journey to Kent wouldn’t have been possible at all
    • Also, knowing the mileage etc., I make use of a carbon offset programme – it’s not perfect, but (I hope) it helps
    • The Big Cat Experience in Kent use most of the money from the experience days and so on to go towards ecological and animal protection/preservation projects overseas.

Outside of those things, there’s also the following other little bits

  • I’m still using a car that’s now ten years old (and passes the MoT emissions test with flying colours) rather than using up a load of resources with a new vehicle
  • My domestic waste/rubbish is absolutely minimal – indeed, if I didn’t have cats, I’d be easily able to get away with one domestic waste collection per month – and I recycle far more than most people.
  • I rarely fly anywhere – the last time was two years ago
  • Most of my electric/electronic devices are recharged via a battery bank that charges off a solar panel, rather than via the mains.

There’s probably other stuff as well, but anyway, it’s a pretty good start.

I fully accept that my environmental profile isn’t perfect – my main downsides are electricity and driving. And I balance as much of that as possible. However, I’m also pretty sure that it’s a lot better than that of most people.

Even more importantly, no matter what I do to improve my profile, it’s utterly irrelevant in comparison to other environmental things. For example, if the new phase of advertising on video screens (particularly the stand-alone street-furniture versions) were deactivated/turned off overnight it would save more in a week than I could contribute in a lifetime.

So – do I have an environmental conscience?  I’ll let you decide – although I think the answer is generally yes.

3 thoughts on “Environmental

  1. Z says:

    What we do individually really doesn’t make any difference, which isn’t the same as saying it doesn’t matter. Many of us do our best, within the limits we set for ourselves, and it’s all a bit haphazard. I daresay we’re all doomed anyway.

  2. Blue Witch says:

    We aim to make people think… 🙂

    And there was a 😉 on that original comment…

    Our solar panels have saved just enough CO2 in their first year of operation to ‘cover’ what our annual long-haul trip will cause. But, I don’t forget the damage done in their manufacture.

    Older cars have pros and cons. As you are suggesting, their initial production causes the most environmental damage.

    But, don’t start me on the environmental damage that so-called ‘carbon offset schemes’ cause though. Better to plant your own trees somewhere local to you than cause vast swathes of less fortunate countries to be mono-culture planted.

  3. Lyle says:

    To be fair, I did include the 😉 in the quoted comment…

    And yes, I realise that older cars have pros as well as cons – but while it breezes through emissions tests, and still gives me 50+mpg (when the newer ‘eco’ models I’ve hired recently have given me 10-15mpg less than that) and is reliable, then I’ll keep it going.

    As for carbon offset etc., I figure at least it’s balanced things out a bit. I’ve also paid for new trees at the local Forest Centre ( https://www.marstonvale.org/Pages/Appeal/Category/dedicate-a-tree ) along the way.

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