Carbon footprint


For all the talk of carbon footprints, saving the planet and hugging a tree, for all the adverts and government guidelines and green taxes and initiatives, nothing focuses the mind on energy saving quite like being unemployed.

With outgoings exceeding income, suddenly that light on in an unused room or tap running longer than needed feels as wasteful as lighting Havana cigars with fifty pound notes.

When I was doing up Croker Towers, I went through a bit of a lighting stage. Halogen downlighters were fitted, uplighters were sourced and tasteful table lamps purchased. Dimmers offered subtle shading and mood lighting became an obsession. And as the sun went down, Croker Towers would become a little haven of softly illuminated style and bliss. Yet as I sit and write this late at night only the desk light in my study burns, all other sources extinguished at the alter of cost.

I’ve even been carefully working out how short a period I can have the water heater on to supply my hot water needs. I never used to think about it before, just have it set to an hour each morning and evening, job done. Currently it’s running at half that.

I shave about once every three or four days (unless I’m seeing The Blonde, or attending an increasingly rare job interview). Saves water see? And whilst Gillette may well be the best a man can get, at a price fast approaching a million pounds a blade I can live with a few cost savings there too.

The Polite Hatchback only rolls off the drive once or twice a week, I walk most places now. A tank of diesel lasts me a month.

In fact, it sometimes makes me wonder whether the whole recession is one big eco conspiracy. Think about it, two and a half million people and rising currently economising like mad on fuel, energy, shopping and food. As green initiatives go, it’s a winner.

Actually I have a conspiracy theory about conspiracy theories too. Many of them are so clearly ridiculous that I sometimes wonder if they’re not put out there by “official sources” to hide those that are true. After all, what better way to discredit the real ones than to circulate lots of spurious ones that will be dismissed out of hand, and hope the genuine articles get flushed by the general public at the same time.

But as I say, it’s just a theory…


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7 Responses to “Carbon footprint”

  1. Al Says:

    Make sure that you pamper yourself with a luxurious bubble bath despite the water heating cost – because you’re worth it! Al xxx

  2. lost Says:

    Teehee, we’ve always been a bit stingy about lighting heating etc. The thing is to change how you look at it.

    FWIW: going without heating has had significant benefits too. DH has psoriais which almost entirely disappeared until he had to share an office (and suffer heating/airconditioning again), and we get fewer colds ithout heating and its better for snuggling together too.

    Informally we use electricity like tea bags: one item each and ne for the pot is a good limit.

  3. houndog Says:

    OMG you are starting to think like a pensioner before your time?

    The big problem with this eco stuff is that capitalism requires an every increasing consumption and eco awareness just makes you look poor.
    However there are a number of intellectually aware people who are taking “the future of the planet” seriously and have money and credit ratings to buy their way towards “zero carbon”.

    They tend to concentrate in the educational, financial and medical professions (Observer readers?) and live in university towns.

    Time for a change in career path?
    Try selling wood burners or apply for a job at “Ice Energy” (The latter is accused of employing, probably totally unfairly, redundant car salesmen).

    Check out “Eco build” for next spring and invite yourself along to a booming industry?

  4. Matt Says:

    Whats happened? Are you working all hours in a new job? Stuck in bed with the blonde? The world needs to know!

    • charliecroker Says:

      Matt, the blog is updated every day, maybe you’re stuck on a link to one page? Click the blue “Reaping The Benefits” banner at the top and it should take you to the latest post, with previous ones underneath.

      Hope that helps.


  5. Matt Says:

    Joy! My bookmark link was to, so it finished at the end of July.

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