The dribble-soaked smiling guide to going green
Go green to save the planet… and £80,000 - Scotsman.com News
LIVING an environmentally friendly lifestyle can save more than £80,000 and cut carbon emissions by nearly 900 tonnes, a scientist will tell a group of schoolchildren today.
Dr David Reay, who is giving the opening speech of the second annual James Clerk Maxwell Lecture Series at the Edinburgh Academy, has calculated how different choices over a lifetime can have a radical effect on a person's impact on the planet and their finances.
A fairly affluent western person who is "ignorant" of climate change might produce 1,251 tonnes of greenhouse gases, costing £131,000.
However, a similar person who lives a "climate-aware" life might produce just 370 tonnes at a cost of £48,845, a saving of 881 tonnes of emissions and £82,155.
Let us look at how saving that £80,000 changes your life:
AWARE AMY Vs GREEDY GEORGE: HOW GOING GREEN MAKES A DIFFERENCE
• CHILDHOOD: Wears disposable nappies as a baby and is driven to nursery and primary school in his parents' four-wheel drive car. Gordon also leaves computers, stereos, televisions and video game machines on for hours when not using them. Instead of putting on a jumper, he turns up the heating in his room. Family holidays involve flights to France and Egypt.
• EARLY ADULTHOOD: Buys a seven-year-old old Ford Escort as a student, flies to Thailand on holidays. On getting a job, he upgrades to a VW Golf GTI, goes to a large out-of-town shopping centre, buying food from all over the world, and takes holidays in Spain.
• FAMILY MAN: Buys a Volvo V70 estate car, food bill and miles rise as children are born. Holidays are in the United States. Children leave home, reducing emissions, but Gordon buys a Mercedes Benz S500 and now holidays in Peru. He consumes 33kg of food from around the world a week, resulting in 4,370kg of greenhouse gases a year from transport costs.
• RETIREMENT: Buys a Jaguar XJ8, takes annual holiday in New Zealand.
• DEATH: Chooses a brushed steel coffin and elaborate concrete catacomb.
Lifetime emissions of greenhouse gases: 1251 tonnes
• CHILDHOOD: Wears washable nappies, saving 12kg of greenhouse gas emissions a year, compared with disposables. Parents take her to nursery by bicycle and she later goes to school by bus. Family holidays are in UK towns, such as Plymouth and Chester. Amy turns off appliances after using them.
• EARLY ADULTHOOD: As a student, she uses a bicycle and public transport to get about, stays in UK for holidays. Sets her computer to go to sleep mode when inactive for more than a few minutes. Uses low-energy light bulbs. On getting a job, buys energy-efficient appliances, insulates her well-designed home, recycles and composts, buys local food.
• FAMILY WOMAN: Arrival of children sees increase in emissions, with amount of food bought rising to 33kg a week. Buying local food limits rise in emissions from transport costs to 147kg a year. Holidays spent in Skegness and exploring home city.
• RETIREMENT: Uses public transport to get around and continues to holiday in UK.
• DEATH: Buried in a hessian sack.
Lifetime emissions of greenhouse gases: 370 tonnes
If that isn't the best £80k you will ever spend I don't know what is.
You will be pleased to know that Dr Reay is writing a book for children explaining it all, look out for it for Xmas 2008, as he says "The inspiration was only ever a dribble-soaked smile away."