Tuesday, 2 February 2010

The 10%ers

Normally I'm too lazy to think about New Year's resolutions. I'm a sucker for self-improvement, but I'm tired of the inevitable failure. However, this year I had a resolution that was hard to refuse.


Photograph by The RSA, used under Creative Commons

Heard of 10:10? It's a campaign to kick-start climate action, and get climate change on the agenda of this and every other country across the world. The idea is that we cut 10% of our harmful carbon emissions in 2010, and show Government how slow they're being. For a climate-worrier like me this is hard to ignore: activism meets personal development.

By comparison a New Year exercise regime seemed rather inconsequential. So I signed up, like Colin Firth, Delia Smith and, err, Cardiff.

Shortly after Christmas I sat down to contemplate my commitment. Where would I start? After all, I've done the obvious stuff.

Luckily I found a handy article by Chris Goodall to assist. According to him:

"Every year, each person in the UK is, on average, responsible for about 14 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions. (The government's published figures suggest a lower amount, but they omit things such as international aviation.) So, if we want to make a genuine cut of 10% across the board, we need to reduce our emissions by about 1.4 tonnes each. Let's call it 1.5 tonnes, just to be sure."

Now I like to think I'm greener than the average UK person:

  • I cycle, or get the bus, to work 4 days each week.
  • I never holiday abroad.
  • My house is stuffed full of insulation.
  • I eat local organic vegetables (and grow them myself in the summer months).

With this is mind, I guess that I'm responsible for about 12 tonnes of green house gases each year. So, I need to cut 1.2 tonnes of carbon out of my life in 2010. Gulp.

I've got a few plans. I'll keep you posted.

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