Looking for hints and tips from what you personally do for the environment

Lol, I guess people shop and collect experiences these days.

Become a Vegan.
So much goes into sustaining what we want. What we want is mostly a dispassionate denial of the suffering that comes at a cost. Not just our lives but the many lives exploited.

A friend of mine at work, Mike Berners-lee, wrote a book about this called How Bad are Bananas.

Sorry old bean not true
We have entered the Anthropocene
I’ve published about this in peer reviewed journals and studied geography and every other subject on it
We are endangering the life of the biosphere itself due to positive feedbacks of global warming

We are way beyond the carrying capacity of the biosphere as a whole I’m afraid
See eg William catton 1980 ish Overshoot
P.s. I have pv panels cycle to work all my life I hate cars and planes I eat very little meat etc but all that 8s carbon consumerism - what matters is voting for and talking about this problem, which I have noticed that you do huw
Yes we must ethically bring the population down but in fact the core of the problem is targeting economic growth and allowing private banks to create our money supply based on interest bearing debt…

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The earth will exist long after the human race dies off. As mentioned earlier, the major problem by far is overpopulation. I’d submit that the celebrated improvement in crop yields is relatively short term and will last only as long as the soil is capable of retaining nutrients. Mass starvation will occur In those places that do not reverse population growth. The best the average person in the developed world can do is minimize meat and seafood consumption in favour of legumes, eliminate single use plastics and stop wearing polyester (microfibres ending up in the oceans). Everything else is noise, irrelevant, or simply public relations to feed the public relations behemoth that is Greenpiece.

Here is my result concerning the carbon footprint:

It seems to be slightly below UK average but 133% of 2020 target. In order to reduce the carbon footprint I should:

  • Reduce the air travelling
  • Eat out less frequently
  • Turn off hifi when not used
  • Buy less stuff

Take the test and you can get some useful hints how to change your behaviour for sustainable future.

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It’s not as simple as that. In rich countries, our spiralling populations are heavily dependent on food imports. When there’s a shortage due to drought or whatever, it simply pushes up the price a little for us, just enough to exclude others from the market. When you can buy an overpriced courgette that’s been air freighted from Africa in a load of plastic packaging, I think it is evident that this is already happening.


True but volunteering to get off. :flushed:

Have 2 compost bins in my garden! : )

My garden isn’t very big, but it’s amazing how well these compost bins fill up with pulled weeds, pruned shrubs, household food waste; egg shells, banana skins, apple cores, etc, some paper and any suitable biodegradable matter. Also have a chipper to slice up the seasonally pruned apple and pear tree branches. The chipper is plugged into the mains but it’s not on for very long and this is far better than driving it to the local waste centre, or employing someone to take it away in a truck. The compost bins don’t smell [ unless you stick your head inside] even with a small garden one bin can be handy, and can usually be purchased for a few quid from ones local county council.
The compost i get from these bins is a really nice bonus, as is the worms [and other creepy crawlies] that habitat these bins, are excellent workers that produce fantastic compost : )


I hate flying so try to avoid that, though occasionally must or not go on holidays with the family… We have (a one third share of) an 11kW wind turbine which produces more electricity over the year than three families living here use, even with an electric car. House very highly insulated (way beyond building standards 12 years ago when built/converted). Work from home to keep travel down. Planted vast numbers of trees (well into the 000’s) which more than offset what we burn. Keep turning off the lights left on by wife and two teenage daughters. Buy things that will last long term, not requiring regular replacement. Would like solar panels and battery storage (to use more of what we produce) though the latter is not green (if you use what you produce you stop someone elsewhere using it so they have to use something dirtier) and not economic so some years off getting them.

3 flights in 15 years (and carbon offset, used to be 2 most years), electric car, recycled sawdust logs for a lot of house heating, majority seasonal fresh food either grown by ourselves or where my wife volunteers at an organic farm, freecycle rather than refuse, support local and international environmental charities. etc etc

I can equally list things we don’t do or could do better. We still burn heating oil and our house is old and cold with only so much insulation possible. I’m sure our fridge and wardrobe contain millions of food miles We have another diesel car, we are consumers of ‘stuff’, our holiday travel often still includes ferries or driving a distance etc etc etc.

I guess the most important thing we have done, and the issue of the environment was part of the decision although far from the only one, is that we are childless by choice.

As for future change, one observation and one suggestion. It is very interesting to see my elderly parents’ view on the environment, then of my generation and finally the nieces and nephews. My parents do not have the slightest awareness or thought for any environmental concern. Even the mildest ‘green’ policies such as the plastic bag tax, recycling, wind turbines and the like they see as irritating and just inexplicable. Only the cost of (over) heating might make them blink. I guess my generation is shifting more but the younger ones are, in my experience, far more aware and prepared to take action. Here’s hoping.


If this approach was a ‘categorical imperative’, it alone would solve the environmental impact problem. Simple policies could make this the norm, and reward people for this way of thinking.
[writteb by a lover of ‘nature’ who is also a father of three]

To clean the toothbrush afterwards. What do you use?

I use tap water for cleaning my toothbrush. I don’t use any water for cleaning my teeth just toothpaste.

I never let the water run when brushing my teeth.

Jen and I recycle all our green waste and glass.

No plastic shopping bags used.

We live near bush and I monitor 12 traps in the regional park for stoats and rats and also poison stations for possums. Due to concerted efforts by many volunteers there has been a noticeable increase in native birds in the area. Including Tui, Morepork owls and Keruru the worlds largest pigeon with beautiful green,white and blue lovely plumage.

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At least your CO2 emissions will be significantly lower than a petrol car, although in these days of climate change denial, that is pretty much off the political agenda.

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VFascinating responses thanks to all who replied.

Earlier in the thread I was reminded of the Monty Python “Blue Peter” sketch. All I had to do was develop a virus that would kill half the earths’s population (preferably the right half) and then stop.

The thread has really struck me how the feeling of community in the wider humanity context seems to be by and large and thing of the past. A lot has happened between “all you need is love”, “Give peace a chance” and “Imagine” to today. Whilst we we all apparently willing spend endless hours helping someone set up an iPad and ND5, there is clearly a sense of community on here but in such a narrow context.

The amount of us who put an SEP field around this life and death issue is incredible but perhaps understandable as in an era where every move T May makes is an “existential crisis”, this really is one.

I hope you are correct @BruceW and our next generation “get it” and have the vigour of youth to make politicians fear for their jobs unless they do something radical.

I am blessed with 3 children, one daughter environmentally conscious in extremis, another more measured and a son who is in the SEP field category.

Whilst I realise anything I alone do will be whistling into the wind but I believe in the ripple effect. In the absence of any real leaders anymore politicians need to know that there are enough of us willing to discomode ourselves to bring about a future.


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Key things I have set up or do. Some or most have direct financial and/or comfort or health benefit to me as well as being environmentally beneficial, and I admit that was pften the primary driver.

LED lighting throughout my home.

Triple glazing & high level of thermal insulation put in the house when I renovated.

Heat recovery system on the shower from one bathroom (home-made, and not feasible on the downstairs bathroom).

Heat recovery full-house ventilation, serving all rooms (multi-zone).

1500L water butt (old plastic oil tank on fed by large shed roof and standard water butt fed by greenhouse roof), used for watering greenhouse and veg plot.

Self-sufficient for veg for half the year.

Keep bees.

Cycle to work.

Never throw things away just because old, only when no longer repairable.

Re-use plastic carrier bags many times, until falling apart. (Then they go to electricity generating municipal incineration.) use Non-disposable bags as much as possible.

And part of my work is directly involved with environmental protection.


I omitted to ask: what is SEP?