Gransnet forums


is anyone else considering their carbon footprint?

(269 Posts)
Grammaretto Fri 04-Oct-19 13:01:06

Sorry if I come across as a party pooper but twice recently people who have been on climate change protests and cry when they watch the TV programmes about melting ice, extreme weather and homeless animals, have also caught planes because they say:

trains are too slow and prohibitively expensive

Isn't it about time we/they woke up to the fact that we are part of the problem ?
What do others think?

I would be truly interested to know. I see on facebook today several friends are jetting off on their third or fourth trip this year. I have flown when there is no other choice, or driven my petrol car, but I always first consider the alternative - which is often far more fun and part of the holiday. Train to Europe for example.

When I was young we holidayed once a year, in the UK, whatever the weather. We didn't go abroad until I was in my late teens.

Septimia Fri 04-Oct-19 13:18:26

We all seem to have become too accustomed to the conveniences of modern transport. Not much choice except to use a car where we live as there's very little public transport. Nonetheless, DH used to drive to the nearest station and get the train to work, which was much cheaper apart from anything else.

Like you, I spent all my childhood holidays in the UK. I also consider the journey - by whatever means, and it's usually road for us - part of the holiday. On rail journeys I enjoy being able to watch the view from the window of places that I wouldn't otherwise see.

What annoys me most, though, is the amount of freight on the roads. The canal system is hardly used except by pleasure boats and much more could go by rail, with just short road journeys either end. There shouldn't be so much lorry traffic creating pollution and requiring road 'improvements' that take up great swathes of our countryside.

Daisymae Fri 04-Oct-19 14:27:35

Yes, we should all be aware and prepared to take action to minimise our carbon footprint. However it's a drop in the ocean and action must be taken at national and international level to make any real impact on climate change.

Grammaretto Fri 04-Oct-19 14:32:09

I agree Septimia. As things get better, other things get worse.
The railway near us closed in the 1960s and it's now a wonderful cycle track which the walkers, cyclists and horse riders would be reluctant to lose.
A campaign to reopen it is beginning but there will be opposition.
How to please everyone?
We should all cut down a bit and think of our DC and DGC's future.

ayse Fri 04-Oct-19 14:52:43

I try not to use the car unless I have no choice. Fortunately we have a good bus service, in the city and a metro as well. Most of the time I use public transport unless I’m going to the grandchildren. Currently my daughter and I are trying out a car share. I use it in the week and she has it at the weekend. It’s working well at the moment but it’s early days.

Unfortunately the cost of a train journey and return to my daughter at the other end of the country is prohibitive. Even coaches cost more and additionally take over 8 hours so just now I take a plane, much to my chagrin. I do catch public transport to the airport and on the way back if it’s not too late.

I travelled on the trains daily as a child and later in my earlier years. I would prefer to go by train but as I said, the cost is enormous.

Even worse, long distance annually at the moment to New Zealand to see the rest of my family. It takes me all year to save and my family do usually contribute.

I’d like to see train tickets reduced, not much chance of that!

Sooner or later I’m sure governments will impose more tax on travelling by plane. At that point I’ll consider the coach.

I agree that freight should be taken by train as it always was in the past and that would need far more infrastructure, just as there used to be with goods yards, new tracks etc.

To answer OP, I do think about my carbon footprint and have tried to minimise use of plastics, recycling, repurposing, change of diet.

rosecarmel Fri 04-Oct-19 15:01:39

There's no public transportation where I live- You simply cannot get one place to another without a car- So I do make some efforts to use it less by accomplishing as much as possible in one day-

BradfordLass72 Sat 05-Oct-19 05:39:39

I have the teeniest, tinyest footprint as I don't fly anywhere and travel in a local van with several other people.

However, if I had the opportunity I should certainly fly wherever I wanted. At 72, life is too short to go on crusades, I did all that in the first 60 years of my life and it changed nothing.

NotSpaghetti Sat 05-Oct-19 10:48:23

Yes. We offset our flights from last year after being very careful to offset via a reputable offset scheme. This took quite a lot of research.

This year we have checked our day to day footprint online and made some small changes to our lives to make it smaller.

We intended to holiday this year (without flying) but discovered that to make the journey by public transport would have meant we needed a week either side of our vacation! Not many of us have a month or more to holiday.
We didn't go.

Theoddbird Sat 05-Oct-19 10:53:52

I haven't flown in many many years.... I won't and have not renewed my passport. I drive a small engine car for work. I live on a boat with no central heating. I am vegan. I buy good I preloved clothes. So yes I keep my footprint low. I am just one person though....

Tricia5 Sat 05-Oct-19 10:54:01

We all have to play our part but I would have thought more of the children’s ‘strike’ if they had stayed in school and given up their free time to protest.

HannahLoisLuke Sat 05-Oct-19 10:55:22

I haven't flown anywhere since 2011. Actually don't even holiday in uk very much so no long car journeys either.
Trains are prohibitively expensive, and you end up standing at busy times.
I do yes our paltry bus service as much as possible, otherwise it's my very old car.
I refill shampoo, cleaning stuff etc at local health food store to cut down on single use plastic and recycle everything possible.
My clothes are washed inside a mesh bag to cut down on particles going down the drain and wipes of any kind are banned in my house.
I've been mostly vegetarian for seventy years, but do eat fish and occasionally chicken.
Always looking for new ways to be environmentally friendly, it's a habit now.

jura2 Sat 05-Oct-19 10:55:48

yes, I am making a really special effort this year- and think about my actions, purchases, every day. Owe it to our grandchildren.

Davida1968 Sat 05-Oct-19 10:57:30

Same as jura2.

MissAdventure Sat 05-Oct-19 11:01:47

I'm not actively considering it, but I suspect my carbon footprint is quite miniscule due to being poor and frugal.

Calendargirl Sat 05-Oct-19 11:02:58

When you have family who live other side of the world, flying is the only way you can get to see them.
Back at home, I walk whenever feasible, go on public transport if further afield, try not to waste anything really.
We are all minute cogs in huge wheels, but can only achieve so much.

grizzlybear27 Sat 05-Oct-19 11:03:48

I am trying, and now have solar panels, that pretty much make us self sufficient in electricity. Also Biomas boiler, as we have as lot of coppiced woodland. I try to only eat meat once or twice a week, and only eat organic. I have stopped flying, as it is not much fun nowadays, and more a hassle.

Hm999 Sat 05-Oct-19 11:06:40

In my lifetime we've allowed public transport to be downgraded and become a cash cow for big business. Beeching 1963 and ' “A man who, beyond the age of 26, finds himself on a bus can count himself a failure.” Margaret Thatcher is reputed to have said in 1986, the year her government privatised and deregulated Britain's bus networks.' (The Economist)
I'm with Daisymae, it's what governments are for, seeing the bigger picture and doing something about it.

nipsmum Sat 05-Oct-19 11:08:00

How virtuous you all are.

Jishere Sat 05-Oct-19 11:11:54

What I find very hypocritical is people in positions of campaigning about climate change and yet they still use planes and don't seek any alternative methods. This subject is slightly turning into a class row - do as I say not what I do! With Harry and even Emma Thompson flying in last year. But all is ok because the everyday person will off foot their carbon copy by not flying and using the train. Flying will be left only to the campaigning elitist which it seems they would like!!

Calendargirl Sat 05-Oct-19 11:16:10

It’s interesting how this sort of post mentions making things better for the grandchildren.
My own DS and DIL do not make anything like the effort DH and I do to save the planet. Not too fussed about recycling stuff, nip about in the car when I feel they could walk, DIL buys quite a few clothes and not sure what she does with old ones, but probably doesn’t send them to charity. And they are the ones with children.
I privately think they could do with making more of an effort, but as adults it’s really their choice.

BlueBelle Sat 05-Oct-19 11:22:26

I do think about it quite a lot I do have a small carbon footprint as I don’t have a car I cycle walk or use public transport I do a couple of short haul flights a year to see grandkids otherwise I m fairly green I don’t eat meat or fish enjoy veggies and plant based ‘meat’ and am now starting growing my own I shower not bath I only water the ground when drought conditions are around I m very conscious of plastic and I m changing my habits a lot I recycle my clothes and books and buy mostly (not all) recycled items

nipsmum not a very nice post what’s your reason for that

GillT57 Sat 05-Oct-19 11:24:22

I do what I can without being a hypocrite. Less single use plastic ( no shower gel bottles or bottled water), heavily insulated house with very efficient boiler, vegetarian, walk or car share on local trips. But: we have worked hard and now plan on having the big trips we couldn't do when we were younger, and there will be a few flights in the next couple of years. When I watch athletic championships in Doha in air conditioned stadia, which is true madness, I am not concerned about my flights.

Oopsminty Sat 05-Oct-19 11:29:52

I think this is such a nice topic and most of us are pretty clueless about it all.

Developing countries. Are they to be stopped developing? The problems in South America. They want to rear beef. We don't really want them to. I imagine all bit it though, if the price is right.

I was in hospital the other day and just glancing around noticed how much plastic is used. I googled and found an article from last year saying that the NHS binned 334,000 single use cups a day.

Makes the Christmas cracker spoils look positively innocent.

Massive, worldwide problem.

Answer? Not a clue.

We can say we're doing our bit which is great but it's a drop in the ocean. Literslly

Oopsminty Sat 05-Oct-19 11:31:53

That should read 'we'll buy it'... not 'all bit'!

Oopsminty Sat 05-Oct-19 11:33:26

And I didn't mean to say it was a nice topic either! I probably meant massive. No more messages from my phone.