2010 – the year of 10:10. All very nice, but what should we do to reduce our household’s carbon footprint? And as with all New Year’s resolutions (because this is surely what this pledge amounts to) how do you keep it up?? Resolutions can rapidly become rhetoric, and flounder on the rocks of practicality or fatigue, and most frequently, established habit.
One way is to build changes into your routine so that it just becomes the way that you do things. Another is to get ‘buy-in’ from everyone in the household. It’s hard to regress to the way we used to do things if our kids are watching self-righteously and saying ‘but you said we shouldn’t do that any more…’ or you know that everyone is making an effort and you can’t let them down.
Yet another is to work out the collateral advantages of your actions. So if you are using less electricity or fuel, for example, you are saving money. If you are walking more, you are building exercise into your busy life.
Here are a few things that our family sat down on 31 December 2009 and agreed to do. We don’t think that they will make us feel worthy or deprived. Please feel free to add other constructive suggestions that you are considering.
1. Monday is now a telly-free day. In fact it is a screen-free day so that people don’t just migrate from the telly to the computer.
2. We will turn off the computer earlier.
3. We will now drive to supermarkets a maximum of half as often as we used to, and use them primarily to stock up on store cupboard items. We will source fruit and veg from local shops and meat and sustainable fish directly from farms, producers and farmers markets.
4. Following on from this, we will spend more of our income in the village and buy less consumables elsewhere.
5. We will use our shopping trolley to carry stuff home from the local shops and hold our heads up high even when people laugh…..
6. We will drive at a maximum of 70 mph on motorways and try to chill out more when travelling and not to zip from A to B as fast as possible. We will drive slower on minor roads.
7. We will carry on turning down heating, turning off lights and making sure that electrical items aren’t left on standby.
Other ideas have previously been written on this blog – please scroll down to see!
Happy New Year.......
Saturday, 9 January 2010
What will you do for 10:10?