A bit late, I’ve signed up at the Environment Agency on some pledges. An interesting mix for people to sign up to. You too can sign, click here.
1. I promise I will take a shower instead of a bath.
I haven’t had a bath in years!
2. I promise I will put a water saving device in my toilet.
We tried this and found it didn’t have nearly enough flush power to deal with… you get the picture. So we thought we’d have a policy of flushing less frequently, but that stained the bowl and smelt bad. So now we’re back up to frequent full flushes. We will get a better design of toilet when we refurb the bathroom.
3. I promise I will turn the tap off when I brush my teeth
Oh, I don’t know how long I’ve done this for, but it’s certainly since before I left home ten years ago.
4. I promise to use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones
How many batteries do I use? My phone, my laptop are obviously rechargeable. I do have many radios with ordinary batteries, one or two torches. Clocks and remote controls don’t really work with rechargeables. So I don’t really do this, but I don’t consider myself a big battery user.
On this point though, it’s worth remembering that dead batteries really shouldn’t go in the domestic waste. Save them up and take them to your tip every so often where they can be reprocessed, and all the nasty but valuable chemicals can be reused and recycled safely.
5. I promise to use a reusable bag when I shop, rather than plastic carriers.
I have several reusable bags.
Do I remember to take them with me to the shops? Only occasionally!
6. I promise to air my washing in public – not in the tumble dryer
Oooh. I’m really bad on this one. What with doing all my laundry at the laundrette, it’s really tempting to bung the whole lot in the dryers before I leave and then (theoretically at least) I can just put it away when I get home. Even in this hot weather I’ve been tumble drying my jeans. Very bad. And there’s no question that I’ve put enough coins into the laundrette to have bought myself a washing machine at home several times over. We just have nowhere to put it.
7. I promise I will boil only the water I need, rather than filling the kettle every time.
Yes — more or less. None of the kettles I use most often has a water guage, so the one at home gets filled with a pint glass every time – half a pint to drink, the rest to make sure there’s enough water in there to boil safely. It’s an old kettle and if its too full or too empty the automatic switch is unreliable.
8. I promise I will share my car journeys to work with a colleague, cycle or replace those car journeys with public transport at least once a week.
Hmmm… sort of… I try and go to the Council House by bus. There’s an excellent service from close to my house to the city centre. I can get in very quickly and there’s a bus every five minutes or so in the day. But… the Council car park is very tempting. Particularly if I’m coming home late, when the buses are less frequent, or going somewhere other than home after the trip to the council.
My commute pattern to Chesterfield by car is at such strange times and frequencies that I don’t think there’s much mileage in trying to share that journey. Although for the last few days I’ve been giving a lift to a keen young member who’s interning in the office.
9. I promise that I will pay back the environmental impact of any air travel I take
Have never done this yet. I don’t really have a plan to do any flying this year — except it would be nice to visit two friends in the Geneva area later this year, and we’re vaguely planning to do a European city visit around about December. There are offsetting links on the Environment Agency website.
10. I promise I will organise or volunteer for an environmental project in my local community.
I really should. But maybe after the elections next year.