Save the planet from what?
Save the planet from climate change, of course, about which I wrote about recently. I said governments, businesses and individuals all need to act and act now. Although I have come late to this party, I can now appreciate the seriousness of the situation.
Do I need to save the planet, personally?
Everyone needs to reduce his or her carbon footprint. I console myself by noting that mine is not as large as those of some people. Is that because I am doing things better than most people? Sadly not! I am just not rich enough to consume the Earth’s resources on as big a scale as some. Can I therefore do nothing and leave it up to the big spenders? Unfortunately, every one of us has to play a part in this, because average people and poor people are more numerous than rich people.
What can I do to save the planet?
As I see it, there are several things I could do – or stop doing – mainly involving travel.
- Travel less, especially by air. For various reasons, I do not go abroad very often, but I get the point.
- Travel less by car. Hmm, that’s a hard one. Although I haven’t driven far in the last couple of years due to lockdown and post-lockdown restrictions, I have been driving ever since I passed the test, which was a very long time ago, and I would hate to be without a car. Perhaps I could make fewer car journeys, but we need to be realistic about the possibilities.
- Walk or cycle. I do like walking, depending on the weather, but it also depends how far. Perhaps I could find more local places to shop, or visit for any reason.
- Use public transport. At present, I am reluctant to do so because not everyone is wearing a mask and social distancing but I must keep this under review. I would be more likely to do use public transport if it was more frequent and reliable.
Could I save the planet any other way?
Here are some more ideas.
- Stop using gas to heat my home. Another difficult one. I have always been quite economical with heat and light, but to change from gas would mean a big capital outlay, much disruption and probably being cold. Of course I would not need to use as much fuel if the climate warmed up, but let’s not look forward to that.
- Buy locally produced food and other items. That would cut the cost to the planet of transporting everything around the globe. I must find out where things come from. It’s amazing how much is made in China. Apart from china – that’s made in Staffordshire, I think.
- Recycle. I certainly make use of the blue bin, but I wish councils were clearer and more consistent when they tell us what goes in what bin. I also take stuff to the tip and I have a small compost heap but I must look out for ways of recycling things more directly, like reusing and repurposing. Some say I don’t dispose of anything as readily as I should and I tend to wear old clothes until you couldn’t give them to a scarecrow. There’s a man I know who makes a living recycling old IT equipment including phones, who I am due to visit.
Another couple of major changes need consideration
- Get an electric car. There are many issues to consider, which I may go into in detail in another post, but that would help save the planet only if the electricity was being generated sustainably. I would still need to minimise my journeys.
- Become a vegan. I will discuss this too in another post.
Who’s going to save the planet?
I know there are other things I could do, but some would make only a marginal difference. Please let me know if I’ve missed anything significant. As you may have guessed, there are a lot of things I need to work on. I don’t think I am alone. Please review your lifestyle and find ways to save the planet. You may need to manage the risks involved in some of these decisions. Perhaps my book, Load the Dice would help?
You might also need to avoid being misled by statistics as there are many who would like to mislead you. Perhaps another of my books would help?
Whatever you do, be honest! Don’t make decisions you can’t put into practice or keep up for long, but DO SOMETHING!