Monday, July 09, 2007

Mission Possible II

At the beginning of this year I was considering taking on a mission. The two options I was considering were a seriously low carbon diet or dramatically changing my buying patterns to reduce excess production and waste. So far I've done a bit of both, not a mission but a few sorties.

On the low carbon front I have:

  • bought a good book
  • bought a centameter
  • made sure our car is tuned
  • had our insulation assessed
  • installed more energy efficient light bulbs
  • stopped one of the ways that Andy gets under the house
  • started investigating getting solar water heating.

I also intend to:

  • sort out our central heating ducting and completely stop Andy getting under the house (he sits on the ducts making them less efficient)
  • figure out our carbon footprint and then buy carbon credits to offset it.

On the buying front I spent a long time thinking about what rules I should set myself for my mission, things like "Nothing new except consumables, parts, services and presents". I didn't set any but instead I've started trying to think through "reduce, reuse, recycle" twice for every purchase.

First about the kind of object generally:

Reduce - Do I need one? Do I have something else I can use instead? Can I borrow one?
Reuse - Can I fix an old one? Can I buy one second hand?
Recycle - Can I get one made of recycled materials?

Then if I'm buying it about the item I'm buying

Reduce - Can I get one which will produce less waste or uses less resources overall?
Reuse - Can I get a reusable one? Can I get one which I can use for more things (reducing future buying)?
Recycle - Is it recyclable?

50% off costs the earth the same

So far the biggest impacts have been on my clothes and book shopping. I've got less new clothes and made more effort to get my sister's old ones, less new books and more second hand ones. Small beginnings.

[I've put back in the links which got lost due to an error somewhere between the chair and the keyboard.]

1 comment:

JeF said...

Good reminder to Reduce first... I try... Your post inspired me to buy a new re-usable cup for ICED Coffee.... (Yea, I know you're trying to talk about less consumption, but I didn't have a good cup that worked for iced coffee... I have great ones for hot, but not iced.) I bought one and am happy to report that I saved two disposable cups today. I've been meaning to buy a new one for a few weeks now. (I had one, but it just wasn't quite big enough, and I need LOTS OF COFFEE!!!)