By TransitionStA volunteer- Isabelle Low
I was prompted to write this piece by an article in the Sunday Times by Dominic Lawson, saying (accurately) that anything that we did in the UK would change only 1% at most of global emissions, most of which are produced by the USA and China.
I agree with his data; I disagree fundamentally with his conclusions. Every one of us on the planet can and should modify their behaviour to make a tiny difference.
What we need to do, one by one, is:
- take fewer flights, especially longhaul;
- drive less (and walk, cycle or go by public transport more);
- buy fewer “fast fashion” clothes and donate more to and buy more from charity shops instead
- eat less meat;
- eat more vegetables and fruit which are locally grown, not imported; and
- be more energy efficient.
Making small adjustments means that you become part of the solution, not part of the problem.
I used to be a bit smug about my carbon footprint: I no longer fly; no longer drive; don’t eat meat; and source food locally. But then I did a carbon footprint check (https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx) and realised that I was so blind about heating my large house with a gas boiler. So now I’m thinking about moving to or building somewhere much smaller; and/or adding much more insulation; and/or swapping to a heat pump. A visit to a friend’s new Passivhaus (which is state of the art for clean living) certainly gave me a prompt.
I don’t have children; and will probably die before the planet is in total crisis. But why be selfish when you can help shape a better future for the next generation?