September - October 2019

September - At the shops

1. Think before you buy: gold does not always glitter brightly. A new £500 gold necklace has a carbon emissions tag of 400kg CO2e, the mining process damages landscapes, ecosystems and contaminates water, and can be associated with human rights violations.

2. Think before you buy: the manufacture of a new car uses a lot of energy and resources which generate 6 tonnes CO2e for a small vehicle (more than half your total year’s carbon budget), 17 tonnes for an estate car and up to 35 tonnes for a top of the range Discovery Land Rover.

3. Buy local and in season produce and look forward to seasonal changes. For example a punnet of strawberries flown in or grown locally in a hothouse in winter has a 1.8kg CO2e emissions cost. Whereas locally grown in the UK in summer its only 0.15kg a punnet.

4. Do you really need a new computer, laptop or phone? Manufacturing new goods has a high environmental cost. A new laptop has a carbon footprint of 200kg and a high end desk top 800kg CO2e.

October - What's on the menu? 

1. Think about your food before it reaches your table. 45% of the carbon emissions from food comes from production (on the farm), 28% in food processing, 7% in packaging and 19% from transport. Home grown has the lowest carbon footprint!

2. Learn how to cook a new vegetarian or vegan meal each week. Why? Switching to plant based protein is better for your health and carbon budget. 1kg weight: beef/lamb 19kg CO2e (cows and sheep burp methane); chicken 4.5kg CO2e; beans 2kg CO2e; and lentils 0.9 kg CO2e.

3. Cut back on cheese and dairy products. Cows burp methane a very strong greenhouse gas. Eat more plant based alternatives like oat or soya “milk”, hummus, olives, nuts and seeds.

4. Stick to tap water. Bottled water comes with a 320g per litre carbon footprint, whereas tap water is a mere 0.24g CO2e per litre. If you don’t like the taste of your home tap water, install an under the sink water filter.