500 Year Vision

Take pleasure from walking lightly on this Earth

Be Eco Clever


Be Eco Clever – from eco worrier to eco warrior in a few simple steps.

Climate change in one paragraph: In short, if we carry on putting so much CO2 into the atmosphere, and if China & India increase their output to the same levels as the west, we will cook the planet – I admit this may not be the scientific term, but the scientific debates are well covered elsewhere* . If we carry on at the rate we’re going, there will certainly be life on planet Earth in 500 years time – insect life. Cockroaches are very robust.

And now the good news. As well as being stunningly stupid, the human race is also amazingly intelligent. Every single day, someone, somewhere thinks up another brilliant planet saving solution.

Green grumblers make excuses for their own lack of action – why should we (in the west) do anything, when China and India aren’t. But why assume that the engines behind the growing economies of China and India cannot be powered by renewable energy sources? If we can make it cost effective, it will be used.

So, you’re no yoghurt knitter, but as an intelligent human being, you have realised that the time to do nothing has ended. So, I’d like to offer you an easy option: what if you, personally, could impact on climate change. You could be the green superhero who saves the planet (and we’re not talking about the Incredible Hulk here). It’s completely, totally possible!

Anyone can make a positive impact on our custodianship of the creation (as some Christians call it), from registering your support for a mandate to combat climate change (totally free) to making every possible lifestyle adaptation considered helpful, but here are ten simple steps towards that goal.

For convenience I’ll now divide you into one of two personality types by means of a personality test. Answer the following.

Do you prefer to a) save money, or b) spend money?

Advice for A’s:

  • Energy saving light bulbs will pay for themselves
  • Shower quickly
  • Sort waste (compost, reuse, recycle) .
  • How about a cycling holiday?
  • Use Ebay, Amazon & Freecycle to find new homes for your old stuff.
  • Make sure you reuse your plastic bags
  • Food miles: Drink cheap French wine (in the UK, Californian in the US and Australian in Australia).
  • Use local markets.
  • Hot drinks – fill your kettle only as far as you need to. The tap isn’t going to go away.
  • Get on your bike & cycle to work (or find one on Freecycle)
  • Switch over to rechargeable batteries (they’re getting cheaper now, too!)
  • Remember to switch off your TV & computer equipment when not in use.
  • Make your own cleaning products (1 part white vinegar, 3 parts water, few drops of lavendar) and put it in a nice spray bottle
  • Insulate your house
  • Travel in twos (always scrounge lifts from your friends with cars). Run your second hand diesel car on biodiesel.
  • Generate your own electricity by building your own water or wind turbine.
  • Recycle your bath water for the garden
  • Defrost your freezer (make use of minus temperatures outside in Winter months)
  • Use your washing line – it doesn’t rain that often!
  • Use your milk man – it may cost more, but the less you go to the shops – the less you’ll spend

Advice for B’s:

  • A cutting edge solar panel to provide you with hot water or electricity, and kudos.
  • Invest in an aerating shower head which will cut the amount of water you use.
  • Buy a wormery & buy lovely new recycle friendly bins for your kitchen.
  • Make sure you buy carbon credits when you jet off on holiday, or hire an eco cottage for a break in your own country.
  • Remember to donate your old stuff to charity to make space for the new.
  • Buy a set of Onya bags for grocery shopping
  • Drink expensive French wine (in the UK, Californian in the US and Australian in Australia).
  • Buy local products.
  • Buy an Eco kettle – which holds a reservoir of water.
  • How about a lovely new bike, complete with magnet powered lights and dynamo light up pedals?
  • Have you seen the new, super fast battery chargers?
  • Buy a socket adaptor which will switch things off for you when not in use. How clever is that!
  • Buy eco friendly washing and cleaning products
  • Buy a new ‘a’ rated, energy saving house.
  • Travel in two’s. Always offer lifts to your poor friends without cars. Now how about one of those hybrids?
  • Subscribe to a green energy tariff and let someone else do the hard work.
  • Buy a reed bed filtration system to provide ‘green’ water – such as GROW
  • Buy new ‘a’ rated kitchen appliances
  • Use your ‘a’ rated dryer if you really have to.
  • Use your milk man. They’re convenient, deliver a range of fresh products, and each milk bottle is reused 10 times.

If you’re already doing all of the above, I hereby grant you permission to indulge in a spot of personal smugness. Send me an email & I’ll give you a certificate confirming your green superhero status.

On a serious note, one really synergistic development is use of carbon offsetting schemes which purchase Eco Clever technology and donate it to people who would not be able to afford to buy it – such as 3rd world projects and schemes run by Western Not for Profit organisations. And the great news is that the more we use new Eco Clever technology, the less it will cost for everybody.

All we need now is someone to invent CO2 free flights and we’re sorted. Any ideas anyone?

* Read publications such as New Scientist – (search for ‘IPCC report’ on the newscientist.com web site)

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