Common sense things to do to reduce your carbon footprint

I had a scintillating conversation on the topic of sustainable eating habits with a vegetarian friend. “I am torn”, she said. “I have just found out that almond milk may just be worse for the environment than eating Cumberland sausages. I became vegetarian to make a difference to the planet, and now this!”

Looking for simple answers to complex problems seems to be the flavor of our times. Well-meant activism manifesting everywhere — often without the necessary fact base. Common sense helps you get off to a good start to reducing your environmental footprint. Strawberries for Christmas? Probably not locally grown in London. Argentinian prime beef covered in Zanzibari spices? Not great for the environment. After the obvious ones it gets trickier, however. Salmon or avocado? Sausage or cheese? Or indeed, almond milk or your regular, dairy based swill?

As a society we are only at the very beginning of assessing the true environmental impact of our daily habits. The only way to be sure is by creating a fact base in the form of carbon footprint calculations that allow facts-based comparisons.

In the meantime there are some simple ways to look out for our planet in our day-to-day

  1. Stop smoking — cigarette butts are the single greatest polluter of oceans according to an NBC (https://www.nbcnews.com/news/us-news/plastic-straw-ban-cigarette-butts-are-single-greatest-source-ocean-n903661) report.

Since I began writing this post the COVID-19 situation has changed the public discussion around sustainability. Protecting food and extending shelf life while reducing food waste has become a daily topic, while pollution and waste are secondary to public health during a pandemic. At the same time mother earth’s lungs breathe a sigh of relief as industrial production especially of non-essential goods has plummeted and the world travels more carefully. While public transport is a great idea in normal times, Londoners are well advised to walk these days.

With best wishes for the health of you and your family,

Hery Henry | www.heryhenry.com

Entrepreneur, Investor, Problem Solver and Sustainability Enthusiast

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