With the growing consciousness of disastrous climate change, many people are trying to alter the way they live in order to decrease their carbon footprint. It’s not easy to change the habits of a lifetime but lockdown does at least give one pause to reflect on this and even, in some instances, make immediate changes. No flying off for winter holidays now, or even driving around England visiting friends or sight-seeing. As when attempting to diet and cut out favourite foods, it is best to find satisfying but healthier substitutes and in the latter case, having extra time to pursue hobbies fits the bill.
Daily habits are sometimes harder to be conscious of. For example, despite knowing that fleece clothing is harmful for the environment because it sheds microfibers, I fell for an advertisement and click-bought several fleece-lined joggers. Quite apart from the wish to insulate my legs, I really need to be able to insulate my brain from all-pervasive consumerism! Now I have to remember to put the joggers in the washing machine in the Guppyfriend bag that prevents their polluting particles draining down the plughole. There is a new edition of Mike Berners-Lee’s handbook ‘How Bad Are Bananas?’ which I recommend to help with decision-making. For instance, for a new grandchild, we had to weigh up which nappy choice had the least negative environmental consequence. The book advises that reusables can have a footprint that is less than half that of disposables. However, if you wash them on a very high temperature and tumble-dry them, they work out worse than biodegradable disposables. Luckily we have the extra time to work out all these complexities.
By the way, there is carbon calculator that one can use in order to track one’s emissions and offset them at: