2010-07-12 03:26:54 UTC
As a consumer, I would love to know where I should concentrate my efforts. Shall I spend time and energy to minimize the amount of chemicals that I dispose with my waste, shall I focus on searching for local and organic products, shall I try to change my habits to reduce my carbon footprint, such as becoming vegetarian or learning to grow vegetables or to sow my own clothes?
In my day, with a fixed budget and limited time, it would be great to know what's my most important/urgent behaviour to tackle.
Fro instance, this morning I was having a shower and again I was looking at the organic ingredients of my shampoo, trying to figure out the impact of my hair wash. I was happy there was no petrol involved, but the ingredients seem coming from all the world, and I realised I didn't have a clue, whether I was doing the best thing I could.
In the UK there is a project called Carbon trust, but for what I know of it, it is sponsored by the business who wants a carbon label on his products. I wonder instead if there is a project, sponsored by a Government, aiming to create some type of macro-labelling for every single product-service, helping consumers to make a more informed choice.
Such project seems to me incredibly complicated, for the difficulty to collect life-cycle information across a worldwide supply chain, beside to keep the data up to date and finally, to sum them up in a some sort of environmental score. But maybe smaller projects are already on going and it would be just enough to join all of them together one day, from different countries.
What do you know about this? Are you also aware of academic studies trying to tackle the complexity of such task?
Thanks a lot for your replies
I love this forum because it gives a good insight of what's happening expecially in Canada and in Australia and I hope the answer will come from one of these two countries one day.
Food Miles vs Nitrogen Fertilizer
2009-08-10 17:16:51 UTC
In an article from Tim Hartford on the FT last month, I read something like:
"An environmentally conscious consumer in the crisps aisle of the supermarket will probably be thinking about packaging or food miles. The Carbon Trust reckons that about 1 per cent of the climate impact of a packet of crisps is from moving potatoes around. The largest single culprit is the production of the nitrogen fertiliser, and half of the climate impact in general takes place at the agricultural stage."
I tried to know more about these numbers, both from Tim Hartford and from the Carbon Trust, but I am not very satisfied with their answers.
Can anybody in this list point me to more specific studies, information, etc?
I have read so much on food miles and so little on fertilisers. I am not an expert in the field, so I am searching for some information large-public oriented.
Personally, I just would like to know if the battle for food miles is just an ant compared to the big elephant of the fertilisers.
Thanks very much for your help
Re: Can Efficient Devices Erode Efficient Behaviors?
2009-07-27 02:11:40 UTC
John, I loved this article. This has been my hope for years, that change will happen through competition or through trying to be cool. If you get any more material in this matter, please do let me know. Nicoletta
Re: Data on Values and Changing to Sustainable Living Habits
2009-07-07 04:46:57 UTC
Hi Bruce, I found your comment on the Autralian community rebuilt brand new along sustainable lines quite interesting, I am surely going shortly to dig in it.
I keep on thinking why people don't change their behaviour, and of course I have my own answers. Every single time I squeeze the lemons with my hands (no bottled lemonades, no electric squeezer), every time I grate the Parmesan with my grater (no electric grater, no parmisan in plastic already grated), every time I see the little flies around my compost pot in the kitchen, every time I wait for the bus with my daughter in the pram, under the rain or under the hot sun (no car), every time I rinks with cold water the dishes and freeze my hands (no waste of hot water), and so on, every single time I try to reduce my carbon footprint I think: wow, it is a bit heavy, how easy could be to use an electrical appliance, more hot water, a car, etc instead. I have been trying to reduce my footprint for ten years now, a bit every year more, but it is not easy, it is not exciting, it is not handy. It involves research, patience, time, sacrifice (if you spend more time doing every thing by hand or on feet, you have surely less time to read, relax, or even watching television,a nd yes I like watching movies). Of course, I do believe in it, it is my life, my passion, and I feel I can't do differently anymore. But that doesn't mean that it becomes easy with the time. This is why I am attracted by stories of people that found atheir lives improved, when they moved to a sustainable practice. I can say about myself that is better for my children, in the long term, but I find extremely difficult to translate it in inspiring stories for my friends.
The richest part of the world in my mind is a bit lazy, attracted by beautiful things, artistic manufactures, products, appliances that make our life so easy!
Any comments from people that do belive that their life is much easier and nicer now, after a sustainable choice, are really welcome.
Re: Feedback on New Site and Digest
2009-01-17 03:03:13 UTC
Hi I have been browsing a little throught the forums, it is very clear the way you can configure your own views and the stylesheet is very pleasant and clear. I found the reply time a bit slow sometimes,3-4 seconds on a Saturday morning Greenwich time, when Canada is still asleep, so when there shouldn't be lots of traffic. Could performance become an issue when more people will use it heavily? Just a suggestion to keep monitored. Well done, looking forward to see the new digest. Nicoletta
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