I have just had the good fortune or should that be misfortune of trying to calculate my carbon footprint online! After completing my fifth or so survey this evening I am none the wiser as to whether the results are good or bad. I’ve done one by the World Wildlife Fund, United Nations and one called CoolClimate Calculator to name but a few. There are things I know I do that are good like getting my electricity on what is called an “Octopus super green tariff” which uses green energy measures for my electricity and carbon offsets my gas usage. Also not owning a car or a pet even and using public transport, but there are things I do that don’t help such as eating meat, purchasing goods (or should that be bads) from Amazon and flying to Dublin last year. So on the eco tour of my life choice journey it’s kind of a swings and roundabouts ride or snakes and ladders game you might say but hopefully and mostly going in the rightly sourced direction!
I do think that it’s important to try to be ethical and think about the environment consequences of what we do, thoughtful with what we consume both purchases for our homes, body and charitable donations to others too!
But it’s not that easy to work out what you need, want or don’t need or don’t want. Or know how to buy something ethically or unethically. I can shop locally for food my favourite baker on the Quayside near me is selling great fresh bread and locally sourced milk, but when I go in there one of my main problem is also not buying there delicious cakes, ummm cakes!!
One of my biggest purchases last year (in size and cost) was no not a cake! But to invest in a new bed my last one was knackered with rusty springs, rusty springs I tell you. Well in need of replacement even before the pandemic started but the bed firms stopped doing disposal and recycling of old beds during the covid-19 lockdowns so it was very difficult trying to sort out getting a new bed while sorting out the departure of the old one. But how do I know what is an ethically sourced bed or not.
I bought the bed from a local store of a national chain of stores that had a shop in Exeter, because I do like to support stores with a local base when I can and when I know what I am purchasing, but I have no idea if it was an environmentally friendly or unfriendly purchase.
I think we just need to be mindful of what we are doing and purchasing and why at all times as the little consumers that we are, I have just remembered a phrase my Grandpa used to say about having or buying something which was ‘it’s only a bargain if you actually need it’.
So maybe I can’t be the most ethically sourced consumer on the planet but what I can do is not be frivolous with the time, money and resources that I do have at my disposal.