Wednesday, 14 September 2005

Environmental self-help

Who knows what if anything is going to happen as a result of the Kyoto protocol or the "rival" Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate, never mind when. Well, the health of our planet isn't going to wait on politicians - why should we?

New Scientist's 10 September 2005 issue contains a good article by environmental scientist Dave Reay about how each of us can do our bit to combat global warming. Not much, individually, maybe - but it would add up. Here they are.

Ten steps to saving the planet

  1. Dress for the weather - don't turn up the heating in the winter, wear more layers; vice versa in the summer; and insulate your house.
  2. Get out of the car - use public transport if you can.
  3. Get into composting e.g. with composting worms - so your waste doesn't contribute to methane production
  4. Fly less, especially short haul - take the train, consider Climate Care, hold conferences where less travelling is needed, or conference electronically.
  5. Change your driving habits or better still, your car - use slower cruising speeds, avoid short unnecessary journeys, share cars, service them regularly; consider smaller cars, and maybe diesel, dual fuel, hybrid or biofuelled ones.
  6. Remember the appliance of science - consider more energy-efficient appliances, low energy bulbs, but making new equipment costs energy so consider keeping gear that's working and less than 5 years old and run them efficiently e.g. clean seals on fridge coils and doors; turn off rather than put on standby.
  7. Avoid flatulent and jet-setting food (yep that's how they put it!) - less meat/dairy apparently means fewer methane-belching ruminants; buy local, in-season produce which doesn't cost energy to ship round the world, or grow your own.
  8. Learn the 3 Rs - reduce, reuse, recycle, particularly packaging, junk mail; buy less stuff ; reusing plastic bags can make a difference
  9. Improve your ethics at work - turning lights off, using energy-efficient office appliances, using energy-saving settings, printing on both sides of the paper and recyling waste paper
  10. Go green at the final checkout - cremation or caskets and vaults cost energy, consider natural burial e.g. (and I recall being very interested in an old New Scientist article about freezedrying your body to produce soil enriching powder, believe it or not).

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ChickyBabe said...

Was doing well until I got to no. 7. Then I cracked up laughing!

Improbulus said...

Yeah me too that's why I emphasised it was their words not mine!