So, once again, something that has happened in my life has resulted in me learning from it and also looking at a simple situation from an environmental viewpoint. Let the journey begin!
So a couple of weeks ago I decided to sell my car as I’m moving to London. I’ve now moved but have been all over the place so didn’t get this written when I’d hoped! But anyway, growing up in Kent, especially the arse end of nowhere which is where I live, public transport isn’t really a thing. Or if you can find a bus stop, it’s probably going to be a 30 minute walk minimum. I don’t mind a walk, but no way am I doing it to sit on my least favourite form of transport. My car has always been a bit of a third arm for me and I do feel lost without it. Not only is it super handy for the essential trips but when I’m bored, stressed, want to listen to sad girl music and cry, I will go for a drive.
The problem with these drives is I will always end up at a shop of some sort. And as a result I spend money on stuff I really don’t need just because I feel I need to make the trip worth it. Here comes the problem. Waste.
Every time I buy something; clothes, food, hamsters (I was particularly stressed that day and it’s safe to say I no longer have the hamster), there is a knock on environmental impact. More waste is created from the packaging of these products, the process of making them, the pollution from these processes but also driving my car. Not to mention, a waste of money.
When I sold my car two weeks before moving, I could no longer do this. I was stranded in a village with only a pub that happened to close that week due to a positive Covid case. Fucking nightmare. Not being able to do my usual trip out meant instead of finishing work and popping out in my car, I would go for a bike ride, a walk, just chill in the garden. You can probably see where this is going…
It made me think, what is the actual damage caused by these seemingly harmless trips out actually doing. Some numbers for you:
- The average petrol car produces 180g of CO2 per km. Diesel, it’s 173g
- Transport contributes to 27% of total UK CO2 emissions
- Passenger cars make up 55% of UK transport emissions
- Levi’s estimate a single pair of their jeans emits 33.4kg of CO2 into the atmosphere. This is the same as driving approx. 1000km in a car. Wtf.
I’m not going to bore you with more numbers but it’s pretty mad.
So what did I learn? Basically to just think more before hopping in the car and to question my actions more rigorously. As I’m now in London and considering I work for Rapha, I thought I should probably get myself a bike. This has 1. Made me realise I’m quite unfit, and 2. The airs quite dirty. But I’m also now finding that when I’m out or bored and still fancy a trip somewhere ( usually) Zara), I ask myself 3 questions that you might find useful.
- Is it necessary?
- Do I need it?
- Am I causing unnecessary harm to the environment?
There you have it. If you take anything away from reading this, please let it be the message to just think a little more about things you may think are harmless but are actually pretty bad. Obviously still go out and do all the things you want to do. I’m not saying you have to sit at home with the lights off, eating grass. But just think.
Peace and Love