I’ve signed up to this initiative in which you pledge to try to cut your carbon footprint by 10% in 2010 (ok, I’m a little late in starting but better late than never).
The thing is, when you live in rented accommodation you can’t do the big things like insulating your loft or changing your boiler. And I do try to be as good as possible, so I’m already doing most of the things on the list. So I’m really going to have to make an effort to cut back where possible to get 10% off.
Here’s the areas that 10:10 suggest you look at to try to cut your footprint
1. Holiday Travel: I used to be pretty good at this – holidaying in the UK or by train in Europe. But in 2009 I had two holidays which involved flying, including one transatlantic flight so that’s pretty bad. But I can’t cut back entirely this year because my Mum wants to go to New York for her 60th (and she never goes on holiday). All my other holidays (just got back from the Lake District and currently planning Glastonbury, Scotland, and Austria / Croatia) will be by train or coach though.
2. Heating: I moved in November and my new house is a lot colder (really badly insulated) so I think I’ve been abusing the thermostat a lot more this winter than last. It’s all very well saying I’ll try to do better now it’s April. I’ll have to remember to pile on the woolly jumpers in 6 months time rather than crank up the heating again next winter.
3. Electricity: I try to turn everything off at the plug when not using it. Apart from the initial novelty of having a tumble dryer when I first moved house I have been good and resisted using it, because they are real energy munchers. I can probably save a little bit here just by being a bit more careful.
4. Travel – Mr Beet sold his car in January, so he’s probably done his 10% in one fell swoop. Damn him! Already a public transport kind of person, so not much pruning to be done here.
5. Food: here’s where I think I can really make some changes, although it won’t be easy. Less food from abroad, less meat and dairy, keeping on top of what’s in the fridge so things don’t get thrown away. I think if I try to make my own luches at least some of the time, and eat out less, then that will all help me to keep track of what I’m using.
6. Waste disposal – I’m a pretty good recycler, although I used to be even better because I lived round the corner from the dump where they had a separate container for everything. So overall, I’m doing worse on this than last year! Will try to make it up by not buying things like bottled water, and not accepting plastic bags and plastic cutlery.
7. Water: I’m a big fan of the bath versus the shower. And also I’m a big faffer so even when I do have showers I’m in there so long I think I might as well have run a bath. Shallow baths are a compromise.
8. Buying new stuff: Basically, trying not to. I think most people have much too much stuff anyway. Apart from presents for other people I am going to try not to buy anything new for the rest of the year. I mean, I can anticipate that I might have to buy a few things, if my work shoes fall to pieces then I’m not going to start wearing flipflops to meetings, but if I have it as an aim then at least it will really make me think whether I need something before I buy it.