11 December 2020

Reduction

In my humble opinion, we should all be doing more to save our planet. Global warming is happening right now. We shouldn't leave it all up to governments, major industries and international organisations. There are things we can do ourselves to reduce the world's enormous carbon footprint in order to benefit future generations.

They may not be entirely original but here are eight ideas I want to share:-

1) Switch off lights when you leave rooms. They should not be illuminated unnecessarily. A side benefit is that your energy bill will be slightly reduced each month.

2) Do not waste food. Try to use up leftovers and when grocery shopping think about what you really need before your next visit to the supermarket. 

3) Linked with 2) keep crackers, sliced bread loaves and biscuits (American: cookies) airtight. In this way you will be reducing waste. After all nobody wants to eat soft biscuits or stale bread and these products will last longer if they are airtight.

4) Only replace electric appliances and mobile phones when they stop working and cannot be repaired. You may have spotted a super-duper new flatscreen TV in the electrical store but if your old one is still working fine then just stick with it

5) If you are a parent in a town or city, your child really ought to go to a neighbourhood school - preferably a school that the child can walk to. The ferrying of children to and from schools day after day, mile after mile, year after year in private motor vehicles represents a huge drain on natural resources.

6) Drink more tap water and less fizzy drinks, tea or coffee. Do not buy bottled water.

7) If you are lucky enough to have a garden, patiently and continuously make your own compost  with organic matter and vegetable peelings etc..

8) Try to make your clothes last. Don't be replacing them all the time as you ride the bandwagon of consumable fashion. Maybe buy better quality clothes in the first place.

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Climate change is of course a big, urgent and important subject and we all know why there is a worldwide move towards wind and solar power. Similarly, we are all aware of the reasons for recycling and why the ownership of electric vehicles is on the rise. Even the growth of veganism and vegetarianism may be connected with this conservation movement.

I have suggested eight ways of assisting the reduction of humanity's carbon footprint. Have you got an idea or two you would like to share? Perhaps you would just like to say something else on this  topic...

56 comments:

  1. Is the car a necessary evil? We should walk and cycle more and use public transport. If you're lucky enough to have it.

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    1. There are too many big, petrol guzzling vehicles on our roads. Most people do not need vehicles like that.

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  2. 38 million vehicles in the UK.

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    1. Does that include Clint?

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    2. Is he an hybrid? I suppose aeroplanes cause much pollution too? Should we go on sun holidays abroad? Not that we can at the moment.

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    3. Holidays? Perhaps we should be allowed just one return flight per year and any extras to incur financial penalties. Trouble is the airlines and travel companies would not like that would they? Also all flights to Portugal to be banned!

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  3. Well to enter the car debate, I can't cycle 6 miles with heavy shopping but will soon move into town so that I can walk. My Smart meter which came about a month ago keeps me on track to how much electricity I use in the day, so turning off lights and then rushing to see how far the green indicator goes down is still a novelty!

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    1. I knew you were thinking of moving Thelma but not where you were planning to go. When you say "town" do you mean Malton or Pickering? Maybe York?

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    2. This at the moment is wishful thinking. But when I do move it will be to West Yorkshire, Todmorden, although I do fancy Kirkbymoorside up the road.

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    3. Todmorden? It's got a different climate up there. Is it because of family?

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    4. Yes my daughter lives there. Only came to Yorkshire because of all of them. I bought a cottage in Whitby and then they promptly moved to Todmorden ;) At that stage Paul bought a cottage where he wanted to live. But this move to Yorkshire changed his life as well and he loved it. So Yorkshire air must have some magic in it.

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  4. I do not drive
    I do not fly
    Most of my electricity is generated by solar power.
    I grow my own vegetables and I barter for fruit .
    and I still don’t do enough.

    Neil , this is a timely blog, thank you.

    I note, with some interest that Hamel has not commented since my comment about monopolising this blog.
    I am saddened about this. Not because I feel my assessment of the situation was in any way incorrect, it wasn’t , but because it seems he may have gone for good.
    If you are reading this Hamel , my comments were suggesting a “less is more” approach rather than a total abstinence.
    Mz Ursula has also been rather silent too.
    Of this, I will say nothing more than “good”


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    1. Dear Soupspoone (spelt correctly this time!) - it's nice to learn that you are doing more than most to save this planet. Thanks for calling by again. With regard to your previous comments about comments, I agree with you about the "less is more" approach. In my estimation, both John (Hamel) and Ursula are intelligent, humane people with forthright opinions and a lot of knowledge about various aspects of life and learning but occasionally their penchant for long comments was threatening to take over this humble Yorkshire blog.

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    2. It's quite unusual for someone who has only been in Blogland for a maximum of 11 days to have had such a significant effect.

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    3. Yes, even for Hameldy it took about 3 months.

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    4. I am surprised that no one said anything before , including yourself Neil, being a straight talking Yorkshireman.
      Mr Edward’s, I might have only been on the new Google system for a week or so but believe me I wrote my first food blog back in 2007, so I am well versed in the ways of blog etiquette.
      I may look at a few other blogs tonight if I have the time, it’s a rainy afternoon here and it feels like snow

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    5. Hameldaeme first began commenting on my stuff in March (as 'Anonymous') when I reviewed Penelope Lively's "Treasures of Time" (27th March 2020) and he also then commented on some earlier posts I'd done. After a few weeks I suggested that his comments were too long (often longer than the original post), that he was in effect taking over which was a breach of etiquette and that he would be better with a blog of his own. I also suggested he might like YP's excellent blog, so I might be responsible to an extent. He has since been relatively restrained on mine and I have enjoyed and welcomed his knowledgeable and pertinent contributions (he recently pointed me to an excellent video) whilst trying not to get into long detailed discussions. I'm sorry he seems to have abandoned me too, but I think he got too much encouragement here.

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    6. Something I noticed too. Surprised that someone hasn't commented before, and even tempted to say something - but it's your blog YP and I assumed you were happy with the take-over!

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  5. I am pleased to say I do most of what you suggest anyway. No 6 is my downfall. I dont particularly enjoy water on its own so mix it with a little cordial and do have a tea and coffee in the mornings. I re-use cardboard boxes to send to others and keep string, ribbons and buttons to re-use on craft projects. I use old plastic bags for bin liners. I keep old envelopes to make shopping lists on ot make notes.

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    1. The committee have assessed your credentials and I am happy to inform you that you have been awarded a Grade B for your reduction efforts ADDY. By the way, it's no wonder that you don't like drinking London water!

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  6. I do 1 to 7 all the time and am now about to change my previous bad habit relating to number 8 and stop buying clothes just because I like them rather than need them.

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    1. Good to hear that you take reduction seriously JayCee and that it matters to you.

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  7. Everyone can do something. Not everybody is willing or able to do all of the above, but at least half of these points should not be much of a problem for anyone.
    I don't drive, as you know, and my standard drink is tap water - supplemented one to three cups of coffee per day, which is of course also made with tap water.
    I do like my hot shower in the morning but try to keep it short.
    Also, many clothes and other textile items at home do not need to be washed at the highest temperature your washing machine allows, unless you are caring for a sick person and have to observe extra high hygiene standards.
    I try to shop package-consciously.
    Instead of buying more and more things, I use my "stuff" for as long as possible, and some things we borrow within our circle of family and friends.
    BUT...
    ...I am constantly using electricity, both for work and in my free time; even when I am out walking, my mobile phone's battery keeps the phone and camera alive, and will need recharging every other day or so.
    Also...
    ...not buying new clothes and other new things means a lot of people who work in the producing industries will have less to do, and risk losing their job.
    It would be so nice if we could find a proper balance in that!

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    1. Thanks Meike and also thanks for the Christmas card. It arrived a few minutes ago. I have one written for you. I will post it in the next day or two.

      I wonder how much energy mobile phones suck from the planet - production, replacement, transport and the endless recharging. It mush be a hell of a lot.

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  8. We do all of these (address for medals on request) except that since we got LED light bulbs (to replaced ones that had failed) we leave them on more because switching them off saves so little, and it's better not to have to walk to the other end of rooms in the dark.

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    1. I find that a lot of LED lights are dimmer than one would hope - rather like me!

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    2. Not with 15W or 20W bulbs. If you were to connect 150 20W LED bulbs together (the power consumption of a 3-bar electric fire) it would be a lot brighter than you are. Like an atom bomb going off!

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    3. Christ! We do not want an atom bomb going off in our front room while we are watching "Look North"!

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  9. I've started buying second hand when I can, so not another new thing has to be produced. As I get older I find I want less and less.

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    1. There should be no stigma attached to buying secondhand clothes etc.. In fact - quite the opposite. We should be proud to do it.

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  10. We do most of these things as a matter of habit after being 'skint' for most of our lives. One thing I am cross about is that apart from stopping the carrier bags I do not see much being done about reducing the plastic.
    We take our own bags shopping but it's very difficult to buy most goods without collecting plastic.
    By the way, yesterday's reply from you gave us both a giggle.
    Briony
    x

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    1. It's nice to tickle your fancy Briony! You are right, it is so hard to reduce plastic usage. Profit-making companies don't seem to be making a lot of effort in that regard.

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  11. We do most of those things already, but then our generation mostly always has. Make do and mend has always been a way of life out of necessity.
    People are up against peer pressure and constant bombardment of adverts for unnecessary consumer goods that are overly complicated just for the sake of it. It's not easy to resist when the pressure not to look out of place is so great. Only now I'm older do I no longer care what people think about my appearance or possessions.
    I do however have sympathy with the school run issue. Children simply aren't safe from predators who have the internet for bad examples to follow and their own vehicle to coax a child into harm's way. When I walked to junior school every day it was with a bunch of other kids and there were few cars on the road. There was once an incident where some "pervert" left rude hand drawn pictures tucked into the wall along the footpath. There was outrage and it turned out to be one of the older boys! It's a different world now.

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    1. Jean - I was mostly thinking about Catholic schools. All across England, many Catholic families eschew their local non-denominational schools and battle miles in their vehicles to get their kids to Catholic schools day after day. The huge environmental cost of this has never been truly measured. Why are there Catholic schools anyway? It doesn't make sense to me.

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    2. The same reason there are C of E schools and Jewish Schools. I was fortunate enough to go to one of the top Grammar Schools in Liverpool but only 90 people each year who got their first choice in the 11Plus were that fortunate. So many looked for the best alternative and if they could get their child there they did what was necessary. Life is never black or white YP.

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    3. That is true but there if we truly care about reduction, it is worth looking at the worldwide taxiing of schoolchildren.

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  12. I'm pretty careful about not wasting things, I think. I'm continually amazed at our upstairs neighbors -- our weekly food waste collection usually consists of a tiny compost bag or two containing some peelings and bones, but their collection bin weighs a TON! I can't imagine how much food they're throwing out.

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    1. Having followed "Shadows and Light" for a good long while I can testify that you are pretty thrifty Steve.

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  13. I do all of that except that I am not good about turning lights off when I leave rooms. I seem to be constantly moving from one place in the house to another and I guess I want the rooms to be lit. Also, we have a lot of lamps rather than overhead light fixtures so that requires a different sort of attention. Not a whole lot goes to waste here in our little world. Especially food- chickens are quite good at taking whatever we throw out and turning it into eggs and fertilizer.

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    1. I get the impression that you and Glen are more environmentally responsible than a lot of Americans. Same applies to Steve Reed and to Jennifer in Florence.

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  14. These are all excellent suggestions and most are things I have done all my life mainly because I was raised to be frugal and not waste anything. I do have a big problem with the way many products are made these days though. Many years ago you could buy an appliance (refrigerator, TV, etc.) and it would last quite a long time, often 20 years or more. If it broke down before it got too old you could get it repaired and thus avoid buying a new one and sending the old to a landfill. Well that is the old days and these days most things are not built to last - intentionally! I was even told that by a salesman the last time we replaced our refrigerator. The one we replaced had lasted over 20 years but I'm sure this one won't last that long. Most televisions today can not be repaired. Printers are also a good example. If a printer lasts over two years you are lucky and they usually cannot be repaired. I try to recycle items like these but often I know they still end up in a landfill somewhere.

    Sorry to go on so about this but it is really a pet peeve of mine. We all work so hard to conserve yet manufacturers continue to build products destined to add to the landfills in a much shorter time rather than build quality that lasts. All done in the name of money with no regard for pride of workmanship or the fact that they are adding to the world's waste twice as fast as necessary.



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    1. No need to apologise Bonnie. An interesting contribution.

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  15. All my lights are LED (and they are as bright as I want them to be ie from very bright to comfortably dim). My lighting costs for the whole house are less than burning a couple of pre-LED bulbs. I replaced most of my white goods and kitchen equipment with more energy efficient models. My electricity bill is less than it was 10 years ago but I use a great deal more equipment. I don't have an electric car because my principal journeys of any distance are from my home to Glasgow and the infrastructure is not yet there to support such journeys without great inconvenience. I occupy a house which is far bigger than is needed for one person but that suits my lifestyle (I could not have visitors otherwise). I keep my house warm. I drink a great deal of fizzy water (using a Sodastream) and tap water made into coffee. I've never consumed 'pop' or canned drinks (the occasional can of tonic for visitors' gin excepted!) Is wine production less energy consuming than for beer? I no longer fly anywhere except in emergencies. I could do a more to reduce my carbon imprint on the world but I think I've reached my limit for now.

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    1. If everybody lived like you our concerns about global warming would be much reduced.

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  16. I always thought I was very good about conservation till I moved to the mountain. There, it became a way of life. Still took a bus to work even tho I had to drive five miles to get to the bus stop. Had a garden, even tho it was meager because of the high altitude and we had to spend $$$ to build it strong enough to keep the large animals out of it. I couldn't have a compost pile as that would have really drawn the large animals! The beautiful well water that I had there is one of the things that I miss the most in "town". We don't drive much at all now, not like when we both were employed. Turning off the lights is not a problem ... if I forget, the Bear reminds me within three seconds!!

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    1. I bet Mr Big Bear growls and flashes his claws - "Grrrrrr!" Scary!

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  17. The motor car in so many ways is one of humans wipers invention and I would like to see their use much more restricted.

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    1. I have often watched cars on a main urban road in the evening rush hour and usually there's only the driver - no passengers. Car after car.

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    2. I was replying using my phone which must have auto corrected worst to wipers. It is much the same with only the driver in the car.

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  18. A long time ago, I read a story about a 6 year boy who worked in a factory and was killed by some men because he 'was annoying'. 6 year old boys are meant to run and play and learn. The story horrified me that I simply quit buying new clothes. I wear very nice clothes. I haven't bought a new outfit since my son got married 7 years ago. True story. Funny thing? You would not know if I hadn't told you. Perfectly good clothes are sent to the thrift store for no other reason than people want to replace them. It makes no sense for our planet, for humanity, for our wallets...

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    1. Happy to hear that the story affected you like that. More people - especially young women - should follow your example.

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  19. Your 8 suggestions are very simple. Now if we could persuade the guys who want to take our money to quit the hard sell it would be much easier.

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    1. That's one of the problems - the hunger for profit at all costs.

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  20. Hamel is entertaining himself on one of my blogs where I don't word count my commenters.

    Yorkie,
    I was doing this stuff 20 years ago with people laughing at me. I wish it were as simple as your 8 not at all radical steps. Sorry to be so harsh but sometimes when i look around I feel the weight of climate change is on my shoulders alone

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  21. I am tempted to be lazy and do a copy and paste job from mine to yours, but I won't.

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  22. Late to the party here! Internet problems.
    Agree with your thoughts entirely YP, but as I read them I wondered if you had considered the amount of petrol you use as you and Clint gad about the countryside? That's something else to consider, as I assume Clint is neither hybrid nor electric - and wonder how much it costs for a regular charge-up for electric cars?
    I'm not a tea drinker, so I hope you won't begrudge me my one cup of decent coffee each morning!

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Mr Pudding welcomes all genuine comments - even those with which he disagrees. However, puerile or abusive comments from anonymous contributors will continue to be given the short shrift they deserve. Any spam comments that get through Google/Blogger defences will also be quickly deleted.

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