For Buddhist Action month thebbudhistcentre.com have posted the first five of ten things to reduce your carbon footprint (taken from the very good book 'how bad are bananas') I'm doing three out of five at the moment, (still tempted by that out of season produce) - what about you?
1. Shop bought water in plastic bottles: it’s not just the plastic in the bottle – but the many transport miles that have an effect! 160-215g CO2e per bottle VS drinking tap water 14g CO2e for 1 pint
2. Cow’s milk: a large Latte: 340g CO2e VS an Americano with a shot of cow’s milk = 53 g Co2e, or better still, try soya or hemp milk!
3. Air-freighted vegetables or grown in artificially heated greenhouses e.g. 250g asparagus from Peru in January (same with – baby corn/ carrots/ mangetout /green beans/okra/etc.) = a staggering 3.5kg CO2e! VS seasonal local vegetables - 250g asparagus grown locally and in season = 125 g CO2e. It makes sense to get a veg box!
(Mike B-L points out, btw, that apples/bananas/oranges are shipped not airfreighted so have a much lower CO2e)
4. Tomatoes! 1 kg of out of season cherry tomatoes, grown in artificially heated greenhouse in UK in March are the highest carbon food in the book at = a staggering 50kg CO2e!! VS Tomatoes, 1 kg grown locally & in season (July) = 0.4kg CO2e
5. Load of laundry, washed at 60C, in a combined washer-tumble-dryer 3.3kg CO2e VS same amount of washing, washed at 30C and dried on the line 0.6kg CO2e.
Of course a better question might be how to reduce them as a society - The Undercover Economist, which I've just started reading, suggests auction carbon licenses is the way to go - as the amount companies are willing to spend on licences reveals the true monetary cost of reducing emissions (after auctions in the US it became obvious carbon scrubbers cost much less than energy companies claimed, for example).
Another question might be something like, what about all the other bad stuff we produce and either pump into the atmosphere, the sea or just leave lying around?