11 April, 2022
In our previous article I challenged you – yes you – to give yourself a climate crisis score from zero to ten, zero being a ‘Trump’ and ten being a ‘Greta Thunberg’. I foolishly nominated my score and since then can hardly appear at Bennett’s without being asked to explain it!
So let’s get personal and outline some of the aspects of my Mangawhai lifestyle that contributed to my score, and some of the opportunities still available to me to get closer to Greta. Some of the aspects of my lifestyle were in place before climate change became so important, some in response to the crisis.
In years to come I do not want to tell my grandchildren that despite all the evidence of the climate crisis I simply did nothing. Easy to believe that it is up to the government to solve our problems, but it’s really up to all of us.
Where to start? To reduce energy our home is somewhat more compact yet well suited for a retired couple. It is very well insulated. Our power company provides exclusively renewable energy and we have had rooftop solar panels for over ten years. Our appliances, especially heat pumps and LED light bulbs, are highly energy efficient. Not sure we can get our power bills any lower.
I have yet to indulge in an EV car, but in the meantime my lovely Suzuki Ignis is one of the most efficient petrol cars available – under 5ltr/100km and one of the lowest emission ratings around. My driving style and car maintenance enhances petrol efficiency. Naturally I use public transport around Mangawhai where available.
We are fortunate to have a relatively large section and therefore have planted trees. I am also a subscriber to ‘Trees That Count’ and actively sponsor planting of native trees around Aotearoa (formally known as New Zealand).
To reduce landfill methane naturally we recycle our glass, plastics and paper. We actively undertake composting, and utilise a worm farm. All obsolete computers donated to me are e-wasted.
With food being a critical aspect of the climate crisis I’m a vegetarian and try to also be dairy-free, thus making minimal demands on ruminating livestock that hugely pollute our atmosphere with harmful methane gasses. We have a veggie patch and also benefit from access to super local produce in preference to competing imported products.
When making investments I don’t support corporations that are contributing to the climate crisis. There are tons of excellent “green” funds and financial institutions nowadays, so an easy decision.
I endeavour to spend my money on locally and nationally produced products where possible. This not only supports Kiwi businesses during hard times, but also eliminates the pollution generated by transporting products from all over the planet to our humble domain. Whereas international aviation and shipping pollution are not included in our national figures, it’s still huge pollution.
Inevitably I actively invest considerable time in researching and communicating the climate crisis. Lots of books, subscribing to international forums, tons of websites, plenty of webinars,
and in particular having access to our wonderful Climate Change Commission based in Windy Wellington. From only a few years ago when information was scarce and frequently rejected, It’s now a case of information overload.
I naturally hope to influence – in a positive and constructive way – my friends and community at large as part of my commitment to climate change, and truly welcome and value the support of the Mangawhai Focus in achieving this goal. I’m also happy to give presentations to community groups when invited.
So, where’s room for improvement? Anyone want to give me a spare Tesla? My beloved ride-on mower and most of my gardening equipment is petrol powered. This equipment will gradually be replaced with electric gear, however it may be a while before I have a solar powered mower. I will need to continue to fly in the future both nationally and overseas, but will sponsor Trees That Count to offset the huge emissions that jet planes currently generate. Certainly computer-based video calls and Zoom sessions have hugely reduced the need to travel, but it’s not the same.
Finally, I am contemplating replacing my electric toothbrush with an old-fashioned manual brush!
So, where’s room for improvement? I am contemplating replacing my electric toothbrush with an old-fashioned manual brush!