Monday, March 28, 2016

Do you really care about the environment?


I regularly see posts on social media about climate change and the environment and what people need to do to avoid catastrophe for the world.  It made me wonder: how much are people actually doing rather than saying?  I came up with a few questions:

  • Do you drive an electric car?  These are now made by major manufacturers such as BMW, Ford, General Motors, Nissan, Toyota and VW.  If you do drive an electric car, do you typically charge it using eco-friendly sources of power, such as solar?
  • If you don't drive an electric car, do you at least drive a very fuel efficient one - one that actually delivers 60 mpg (4.7 litres/100km) or better?
  • By default, do you walk or cycle whenever possible rather than driving?
  • Do you have solar panels on the roof of your house?
  • Is your home well-insulated against heat and cold?
  • Do you take long-distance flights to holidays in foreign countries?
  • Are you a vegetarian?  If not, are you significantly cutting back on consumption of meat?
  • Do you only or mostly buy locally-produced food and clothes?
  • Have you substantially increased the amount of recycling you do in recent years?  Do you recycle the majority of household waste, by weight and by volume?
Don't get me wrong.  While I feel a little smug about my answers to some of these questions I also find myself making excuses about the answers to others.

However, it does seem that there are many people, like Leonardo di Caprio, who are happy to lecture others about their carbon footprint while living a pretty un-environmentally-friendly lifestyle themselves.

So, how do you match up?

2 comments:

Slim said...

I try to do my bit, but only where it does not inconvenience me or cost me too much. A small additional cost is fine for 'eco' products and services. I do not agree with 'green' tax levies, which seem to have done little more than line the pockets of 'connected' energy industry individuals.

I know you have seen this Sean, but when you travel to other 'less developed' parts of the world such as Asia and Africa and see the pollution it makes you wonder whether the West would be better off helping others instead of themselves (OK, so that won't happen).

So I try not worry too much. I know us humans are doing damage, but if Bono and Leo can't fix it then how can I? We are all in the hands of 'the system', which depending on who you believe is controlled by big business (tobacco, energy), or the banks (esp. East Coast US banks).

Frik Linde said...

1) Do you drive an electric car?

No, mainly for 2 reasons: Not much choice in SA at present, plus I do need an off-road vehicle due to the terrain I live in requiring such vehicle at times. However, as soon as something practical becomes available in SA, I will indeed go electric.

2) If you do drive an electric car, do you typically charge it using eco-friendly sources of power, such as solar?

When I get a suitable electric vehicle, it will have to be charged by solar panels as I am off-grid.

3) If you don't drive an electric car, do you at least drive a very fuel efficient one - one that actually delivers 60 mpg (4.7 litres/100km) or better?

I have the use of 2 of my business' vehicles: A fuel-heavy 4x4 (diesel) which I use when necessary and a very fuel-efficient VW Up which meets your spec!

4) By default, do you walk or cycle whenever possible rather than driving?

Yes indeed.

5) Do you have solar panels on the roof of your house?

Yes, I am off-grid and have a large solar photovoltaic installation to see me through several consecutive non-sunshine days.

6) Is your home well-insulated against heat and cold?

Yes. When purchased, the house had only sisalation, but I added the thickest isotherm available plus twirly-birds for heat extraction in summer.

7) Do you take long-distance flights to holidays in foreign countries?

No, partly because I suffer from a severe case of aerophobia.

8) Are you a vegetarian?

No.

9) If not, are you significantly cutting back on consumption of meat?

I am on the Banting Diet for various health reasons. However, our species' diet evolved from mainly meat-eating to more vegetarian, which seems to not have been ideal for health and other reasons. "During the time since the beginning of the Neolithic, the ratio of plant-to-animal foods in the diet has sharply increased from an average of probably 65%/35% during Paleolithic times to as high as 90%/10% since the advent of agriculture." I am in any event not convinced that eating meat results in more greenhouse gas release. (http://www.beyondveg.com/nicholson-w/hb/hb-interview1c.shtml)

10) Do you only or mostly buy locally-produced food and clothes?

Yes - as far as possible.

11) Have you substantially increased the amount of recycling you do in recent years? Do you recycle the majority of household waste, by weight and by volume?

Yes, but also actively reducing packaging materials as far as possible.