Wednesday 26 May 2010

My blog is carbon neutral

We put all our kitchen waste onto the compost heap and something akin to magic happens. It turns into fine, brown soil. Mr A. spreads it throughout the garden, especially on the vegetable plot and when his beans are read we eat beans at every meal, every single meal, and that’s good because I like beans. Really I do. But then I go to the supermarket and their shelves are full of vegetables that have been flown in from all over the world. Is that really necessary?

[This is one of our three compost heaps. It’s overflowing at the moment but Mr A. will soon be layering it and then the magic will begin.]

We’re always careful with our use of electricity. We turn lights off when we leave a room and we use low carbon bulbs where possible even though they’re not always the prettiest of choices. But then we go into the centre of Leicester of an evening and we are surrounded by brilliance. Do we need to have so many of the City’s historic buildings soaking up all those kilowatts?

I try to buy food from the corner shop so that I can support local business and leave my car at home… I try. When I was small there was a row of shops within easy reach for most people in Leicester. The shops sold fresh stuff because everyone used them regularly. These days it’s too easy to fill up our supermarket trolleys and we end up with out-of-date food that goes onto our compost heap... which shows that I’m even recycling my words because this is where my blog began.

I thought that keeping a blog couldn’t possibly harm the environment but Lorel Clayton at I’m Blogging Drowning Here has shown me otherwise. My blog has a carbon footprint. According to Alexander Wissner-Gross, PhD, physicist at Harvard University, the carbon dioxide emission of a typical blog is 8lbs a year. The carbon dioxide absorption of a tree is 11lbs a year, so that’s the answer. I need to plant a tree. I love trees but, as you can see in the photo above, we have no room for any more trees in our suburban back garden.

This is where Mach's grün! comes in. They are trying to raise people’s awareness of this issue and will plant a tree for every blog that explains their work... so there you have it. I’ve owned up to the fact that my blog has been adding to the world’s carbon dioxide overload. Many apologies for that, but many thanks to the people at Mach's grün! and thanks to Lorel for passing the information on to me. Click on the leaf below if you’d like to find out more about it and maybe you could get your blog carbon neutralised too.