I have done a few posts on #green issues and it is a topic I want to keep people talking about. With all the concentration on COVID this year attention has gone away from things like climate and pollution. There has been extra pollution from disposable PPE, but then a lot of people are travelling less. I wonder if more will want to keep working from home when it is over. Employers may be more open to it where they have seen that productivity does not suffer.
I am trying putting out some #greendifference Tweets on little things people can do to reduce their environmental impact. A lot of them cost us nothing. A simple one is to leave warm water to cool down instead of letting it drain away. That way your house gets a little extra warmth rather than just warming up the sewage system.
I was reading an article today in The New European (not on the site) about what are the best containers for drinks. Worst to best they were:
- Glass - I would expect it to be good, but it uses a lot of energy and is heavy to transport. Ideally we should recycle it all, but that still uses lots of energy.
- Plastic - Very light and with some potential to recycle, but plastics degrade with recycling and will eventually have to be dumped or burnt.
- Aluminium - It is intensive to extract from ore, but can then be recycled more or less forever. We just need to ensure that it is recycled rather than going to landfill.
A better option is to get a reusable bottle and fill it with water or cordial. I very rarely have fizzy drinks and see no need for bottled water where the tapwater is drinkable.
I look out for products with a lower environmental impact, although a lot of these come at a premium price. Given that I am not badly off I can afford this 'green tax' and will just buy less of the disposable items I do not need. For a while I have been using this dental floss. It is made from a PLA material that naturally breaks down. You initially buy it in a glass bottle, then get refills that use purely paper packaging. All other floss I have seen comes in plastic and may well be made of plastic.
It looks like they now do larger refills that need a different bottle, but then that and the metal cap are recyclable. I know people do not generally like glass in the bathroom, but these seem pretty tough.
I am likely to need more running shoes soon and will look at getting some with a lower environmental footprint (pun intended). Some of the big manufacturers are getting into this, but only on a tiny part of their ranges. I have been looking at companies such as Hylo, Allbirds and Veja who are going all in on using recycled and organic materials. If we can support such companies rather than others who are less ethical (in environmental and human rights terms) then we can influence where industry goes.