Archive for January, 2006

Personal Environmental Allowances?

Somewhere or other...(can't remember) I saw the idea floated that we should have personal environmental allowances just ...

January 31, 2006

Somewhere or other…(can’t remember) I saw the idea floated that we should have personal environmental allowances just as we now have tax allowances.

This is a massive, intriguing and ultimately anti-libertarian idea. How on earth would the personal accountability be managed without some sort of totalitarian surveillance (which is itself already happening of course – automatic number recognition anyone?)

What is more feasible, and ultimately more inspiring, is for people to voluntarily adopt a ‘mykyoto‘ style approach.

Here are some thoghts from Headcorn Sustainability:

  1. Cut energy use – e.g. boil only the amount of water you need for that cup of tea. If everyone in the UK did this for just one day, we could save enough energy to light every street lamp in the UK the following night.
  2. Don’t leave your TV on standby. If everyone in the UK did this, over £50 million could be saved each year. Turn the iron off when you have only one thing left to iron.
  3. Buy energy efficient light bulbs, they last twelve times as long as a conventional bulb and save up to £57 over their lifetime. If everyone in the UK used just one energy efficient light bulb, we could close a power station.
  4. Think before you buy and cut down on food miles. Your average supper could have travelled up to 20,000 miles to get to your plate. Ask questions. Do you really need beans from Kenya or strawberries from California? Buy locally where possible. Don’t be a fashion victim. Often your local charity shop will have excellent goods and it is a brilliant way of recycling.
  5. Refuse excess packaging. Over 22% of the cost of perfumes and cosmetics is packaging. Give it back to the shop.
  6. Take a bag with you when you shop. Over eight billion plastic bags are used in the UK each year and most of these end up in landfill.
  7. Try to take fewer car trips. Research shows that 70% of car journeys are less than 5 miles and over 40% are less than 2 miles. If you have to use your car and it is a diesel, consider switching to run on vegetable oil.
  8. Drive in a greener way, no harsh braking, less acceleration and keeping to the speed limit can use 30% less fuel.
  9. Say goodbye to junk mail. Register with www.mpsonline.org.uk and help stop the one million tonnes of junk mail sent to us each year.
  10. Remember the golden rule: Reduce, Re-use, Recycle.

Assess your carbon footprint…and commit to change.

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