Reducing our Carbon Footprint

After being challenged by Riding Lights' performance of Baked Alaska, my husband and I came home and wrote a list of simple changes we need to make in our household to reduce our carbon footprint. Mostly, we need corporately to make small changes, to make different choices throughout our day, which will lead to changed habits. Perhaps these changes will be a little uncomfortable; perhaps they will make our lives a little more difficult; but they are small things really in light of the realities of climate change, and the devastating effects being wrought on communities in other parts of the world. The question is, do we care? Do we care enough to make these changes?

Here is our list .... Yours might be slightly different, but please think about what you can do in your small corner ...

1) Get an adequate washing line and reduce my use of the tumble dryer.
2) Fully insulate the loft, and improve the insulation of our house as much as possible.
3) Get a standby switch so all appliances can easily be switched off and not left on standby.
4) Make sure all our light bulbs are the new LED low energy bulbs (more expensive but last longer).
5) Buy more loose, local produce. Use our local market.
6) Eat less meat.
7) Use the car less. Walk or cycle when possible.
8) Set up a regular shopping delivery (to stop us having to nip to the shop in the car so often).
9) Sign up for The Rubbish Diet - and get others involved too!
10) Buy second hand wherever possible.
11) Take shorter showers; don't overfill the kettle when boiling it etc.
12) Consider investing in solar panels.

This weekend I had the chance to speak on a friend's show on a local radio station. I was talking about our Mustard Seeds Home Education group (Read post here) and reflecting on our involvement with the recent Reconciling a Wounded Planet conference and the impact it had had on me. I was billed an eco-mama, but I am more of a carbon addict looking for ways to tackle our societal addiction. Another friend posted to the show's Facebook wall what is called the waste hierarchy, or the 7Rs. I had never heard all 7, though I am familiar with the 3Rs "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle". Here are all 7, in case you haven't heard them either ....

1) Remove: eliminate waste by choosing not to buy things.
2) Replace things with lower hazard alternatives e.g. choose Ecover etc.
3) Reduce
4) Reuse e.g. repair damaged goods, use Freecycle etc.
5) Recycle
6) Recover - home compost.
7) Refuse - We can use our consumer power to say no, and make a difference.