4fooey

May 15, 2008

War on waste

Filed under: Environment, Politics/News — Tags: , , — 4fooey @ 1:54 pm

People in the UK are needlessly throwing away 3.6 million tonnes or around £10 billion worth of food each year, a recent government funded report suggests – it is reported here: Food waste on ‘staggering’ scale. Of all the food we buy, the report says households throw away 18% of all food bought, while families with children throw away 27%. Plus of course, the packaging associated with all the food we buy consumes a lot of energy and resources. The food industry is just one aspect of our wasteful lifestyles.

With the issue of climate change hanging over us, we should all try to consume less, and waste less, of everything: food, clothes, energy, and other resources. It’s hard for individuals to tackle the energy generation issue (e.g. most planning depts won’t allow small wind turbines in your garden), but in other areas of modern living we can each make a difference, by consuming less – the bonus here is that we will spend less, which is also good in the current economic climate. For example, by fitting energy saving light bulbs in our homes, buying energy efficient appliances, turning down the heating a few degrees, turning off the telly overnight (rather than leaving it on standby), boiling less water in the kettle, and just trying to use less energy, we can easily cut 10-20% of our energy consumption, and therefore save on our energy bills. With a bit more effort you could save 30-50%. Multiply this effort across the whole country and we are saving vast amounts of energy, and reducing the carbon emitted as well.

Consuming less, and using less would have a huge impact on climate change and resource usage. This would of course have a negative effect on our economy, which relies on our current levels of consumption, but over time it’s something we should be doing and adjust to. Technology and innovation will play an important part in this, so long as the will, from governments and individuals, is there.

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3 Comments »

  1. Following up on my post on Waste, I noticed on the ‘In Pictures’ section of the BBC site, a set of pics showing the mountains of rubbish left by Rangers fans while in Manchester this week to watch the UEFA cup final: Your pictures: Manchester trashed. The council estimate there was over 100 tonnes of waste, mostly drink cans, food packaging and plastic carrier bags. This is a disgusting mess and shows the attitude of so many people – wasteful, mindless, and irresponsible – all for one football match! Among the 100,000 who had travelled down from Glasgow, there were thousands who didn’t have a ticket but watched the match on a big screen – what a total waste of time.

    Comment by 4fooey — May 16, 2008 @ 1:11 pm

  2. You forgot to mention that some energy is less wasteful (in terms of the pollution created by its generation) than others. If you go to my Cloud Journal, you can change to 100% green electricity (shameless plug!)

    Comment by Margaret Nelson — May 17, 2008 @ 6:53 pm

  3. Thanks for your comment Margaret – I had a look at the Good Energy site (via your fantastic Cloud Journal): it’s interesting that they claim to be from 100% from renewable sources. If this is true then how do they get it to you, since the electricity coming into your home is from the local network which will not be from a renewable source – I guess they pump the same amount or a surplus of renewable energy into the grid at their end, while their customers draw from the grid wherever they are located. I use EcoTricity, who guarentee to invest money (profits?) from their service into renewable sources, specifically wind, like the turbines at Swaffham in Norfolk. You’re right though, if we are going to use energy then better that it has as little impact on the environment as possible – my point was that people can use less, 20% without much trouble, or 30-50% less with more effort.

    Comment by 4fooey — May 17, 2008 @ 10:04 pm


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