I’m going miles off topic here, but I read a book by a comedian called Mark Watson on my holiday a few weeks ago called ‘Crap at the Environment’. Aside from being hilarious, it’s quite an informative book and got me thinking about simple ways to reduce my carbon footprint, which, to be honest, I’d never thought about in the past.
Reading it, there’s a bunch of things you can do to reduce your footprint that I never would have thought about before:
Animal produce and livestock has a bigger carbon footprint associated with it than the entirety of travel methods put together (cows are gassy, like, and make methane, which ain’t good)
Putting a brick in the cistern of your loo can reduce the amount of water wasted when flushing
Also, I did one of those carbon footprint calculator things. I honestly thought I was doing really well. My electricity and gas bills weren’t terrible, I don’t travel very much – my little corsa only did 5,000 miles or so last year which is good, so, I felt confident enough when asked about my holidays to include my trip to new york which was over a year ago, but I figured I could take it. Anyway, I was doing pretty good right up to the last page where it asked about my ‘secondary footprint’ – things like going to the pub, buying local produce, how often I eat meat etc. This sky-rocketed my carbon footprint! I was at 10.4 tonnes of carbon per year or something like that, when the national average was 9.8 or something like that. It also kindly informed me that I was living as if there were 2.4 earths, but, as it felt the need to point out, there is only one!
Although, thinking about it, buying local produce can really reduce your carbon footprint. Or even, ‘less-foreign’ produce – for example, my favourite wine is australian wine (which, so happens, is Watsons favourite wine too), however, australia is, in fact, half a world away. Why not just buy french wine? To be honest, I don’t notice a huge difference between wines, I just so happened to like one that comes from australia that I picked up once when it was on offer in tescos. I’m sure I’ll find one from france that I like next time I’m there.
This also made me think about hospitals. They’re REALLY fecking wasteful. If the calculator says I’ve got a footprint that 2 planet earths couldn’t even handle, what the hell will it think when I tell it I work in a hospital?! Everytime you even look at a patient you wash your hands – if you use water, you’re probably wasting water, as you won’t fill up the sink to do it, you’ll have lots of running water. Also, you’ll then use paper towels to dry your hands, and to add insult to injury, you’ll then discard that paper in a non-recylcing bin. You should be locked up for that kind of behaviour! Alternatively, you could use alcohol gel, but the plastic container holding the gel as well as the process of making the alcohol which is infused into the gel is hardly ecofriendly either (and the plastic won’t be recycled when the container is empty). Lets also consider the use of disposable gloves and gowns – every time any doctor see’s a patient just about, they’re in a gown and gloved up. Again, not recycled. I do absolutely all of these ‘bad’ things I’ve mentioned here, but, I think there should be plans in place to try and reduce this.
Anyway, enough of this. For anyone who’s interested, I found a website with 101 ways to reduce your carbon footprint, which I’ve favourited. I’m gonna try and reduce my footprint a little bit. Good luck to anyone else who tries!
I’m off on an ecological adventure to watch Hugh’s Fish Fight on 4OD…