Smarter, greener

27/08/2020
Heatwaves, apoplexy, and meat-free burgers. DCC’s Smart Green team member, Martin Hunt, talks about how he's living a smarter, greener lifestyle. 

Thursday

Spent part of the morning musing on the irony of the UK temporarily bringing in coal-fired electricity to run the additional air-conditioning load in the sweltering summer heat. There’s a positive feedback loop right there but of course, it won’t last long; the lovely British, warm, wet winter will kick in soon to save the day. Note to self, could be worse, could be living in parts of California, Oman, Saharan Africa, or [insert a new favourite unliveable hot place to the list]. *

Needed tea fix and headed for the kettle, giving a swift pat to the gleaming glass of the ever-impressive induction hob on the way. Boiled just enough water for one cup.  Felt virtuous.

Saturday

08:00. Developed apoplexy. The ‘environmental protection’ agency across the pond not only cancelled the requirement for fossil fuel organisations to measure and report their fugitive methane emissions but “….it also raised procedural barriers that future administrations would have to overcome to restore the regulations”. This fact bellows like a foghorn all day. The key driver for climate change mitigation is good economics and self-interest, and yet the source of said apoplexy was short-term self-interest going in the opposite direction (the bad one) and taking us all with it. Whether it was Ireland’s Edmund Burke, England’s John Stuart Mill, or America’s JFK who originated or quoted the adage, it’s never been truer that good men need to do something to stop those less good from accomplishing their own ends.

Sunday

Kicked back. Went for a walk in the Peaks.

Monday

Found out today that a friend was moving on to his next career step, working for a renewable energy supplier with some interesting offerings for domestic battery storage and trading of solar power generated from your own roof. Chatting with him, it was striking how much of his decision was made on the back of the ethics involved. There’s a real value to working ethically and it’s great to see people voting with their feet in a way that can drive boardroom and shareholder decisions. 

Tuesday

Had FreeFrom burgers this evening. Griddled, these were, frankly, fantastic and if you’re really stuck on the meat bit… well they’re like a combination of beef steak and corned beef. If you’ve not tried them before, give them a go. It’s not an instruction, just a suggestion. There’s a high percentage chance you’ll be pleasantly surprised and beef farming is a major source of global emissions, so you’ll be doing your bit for the planet too. Maybe having-your-Wagyu-and-eating it can be put off until you’ve tried the alternative (it’s not a life and death decision…oh, hang on…).

Wednesday

World Council for Global Sustainability. Me for President ( …Hmm, need a magic wand. Time to check Amazon Prime – shopping online is 24 times more carbon efficient than old fashioned retail…).

*The latest stretch of coal-free power on the UK grid has come to an end with the National Grid turning to coal for the first time in nearly two months. At 55 days, the run of no coal-fired energy fell short of the 67-day record set earlier this year. Britain has operated for almost 3,300 hours without coal so far in 2020 - over 60% of the year. The coal change was done to help meet peak power demand during an ongoing period of sweltering heat that the UK has had in decades: the country has now experienced temperatures above 34C for the longest stretch since 1961. (The Guardian)

By Martin Hunt, CSA Manager