Tuesday, 1 July 2008

Manifesto - Low impact living for the common man.

Low impact living is a choice, a series of choices.. fundamental choiices about the lifestyle you lead...

So begin at the beginning.
•  Look at where you need to be - to be near to work family and friends - and move there.
•  If you can't move then change the rest to be near where you live. (a tough one that)
•  Live in a house that's as small as you need.
•  See that it's well insulated and cheap to heat.
•  Live with someone! The more the merrier!
•  Choose a flat, not a semi-and a semi, not a detached.
•  No flying!
•  Sell the car and walk, cycle or use public transport..
•  If you have to have a car where you live - go back to the start of the list... You're not trying.
•  Consider car pools, car hire or taxi for when you really must have wheels... (Or ask your less enlightened friends!)
•  But choose an eco-friendly car...
•  Throw out the bathtub and fit a shower with a lo-flow head.
•  Shower with a friend ;-) (not obligatory, but fun)
•  Eat less meat less often (.and choose game not farmed, and avoid beef & lamb)
•  ..or better - eat no meat
•  Buy food that is locally grown and in season
....or grow your own.
•  Pass by all that eco-produce shipped from far off places...
•  If you're going to cheat choose Fair Trade..
•  Buy renewable electricity - it costs more which encourages you to use less ;-)
•  Use less electricity. There's not enough renewable to go round
•  Buy a sweater (use it, and turn the heating down)
•  Learn to cook with the microwave as much as possible
•  Stop buying things you don't need.
•  Don't throw away things that can be re-used. (Re-use is better than recycling)
•  Sell or give away your unwanted re-usables so someone else doesn't need to buy new.
•  Mend and renew.
•  When you buy new, reward craftsmanship. You're buying less so you can afford it.
•  Remember that no flying applies to what you buy too...
•  ...even from eBay.
•  Have no children, or if you have children, have no more.
•  Lobby hard....

It's more or less in priority order.. except that the last two should be up at the top. Each child you bring into the world has a lifetimes impact on the environment.. ..And so do do their children... And theirs...

..And big organisations have much bigger impact on the environment than you do. Lobby your local schools, councils, transport operator and businesses on for instance:
•  Policy and targets for switching to greener cars, reducing flights and using public transport for business travel
•  purchasing policies to buy more locally manufactured materials
•  Better public transport - more frequent, to more places, and driven by 'green' fuels.
•  Using renewable electricity and reducing waste.
•  Providing vegetarian options in canteens and for school meals - and having a policy for using less environmentally damaging meat. Less beef, more chicken. (That should save them money too..)
•  Point out to shop owners when they're not using low energy lighting. (another money saver)
•  Ask for local seasonal produce wherever you can't get it. And less packaging please!

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