Orgiva is a sleepy town in southern Spain. I count it as home turf and this is a proposal to make the first town in the world to go Planet Positive.
For those of you who are interested you can down load it planet-positive-orgiva
Happy reading. If it does not come through, then email me at email@example.com
Enjoy what remains of the day!
16th May 2009
I have decided to carry out an 18 year carbon experiment andto take my son, Ziga, Planet Positive.
Below you will see my first pass at a table for collecting data but I need some help in calculating his footprint and living Planet Positive.
I have already started collecting the data on a weekly basis but need some help in finding out some footprint data as well as getting some tips about where to buy low carbon products.
Key questions that I have
1. Should I include a partial footprint of his mother to cover his food from the breast?
2. What about the embodied footprint? I have noted some of the key items that he is using. Does anyone have any data on these?
3. At what age does he become responsible for his footprint?
4. Should I include a share of the carbon costs of hospital, health visitors, and doctor’s surgery visits?
5. What about his share of the embodied carbon of the car and other things that he shares?
6. What metrics should I be using for him and does anyone have any target data base information. I could use UK data but of course this does not take into account embodied information.
Food Milk, Water
Misc Nappies, Cotton Wool
Hot water for cleaning/steaming
House Share of heating, Share of power, Car trips for him
Clothes Baby grows, vests, shoes, hats, coat
Equipment Prams, cot
Thoughts and links to useful websites would be great and If anyone wants to join me on my journey
please let me know!
9th February 2009
I have a love hate relationship with Aga’s. Some of my earliest and fondest memories as a child are my visits to my Uncle and Aunt’s farm in Somerset. Mainly Cattle but a few pigs who ate the waste food from the kitchen. My most vivid recollections revolve around the kitchen and the big Aga that sat as a centre piece. Whatever the time of year and whatever the weather the Aga was on, keeping the kitchen warm and cosy. I remember coming in from the cold with uncle Roy after milking the cows and we would all huddle around the Aga basking in its warm radiance. Then Auntie Tui would pull out rolls of bacon that had been slow cooking for an hour, quickly fry up some eggs, make tea from the kettle from the hob and then we would all sit down to a well earned breakfast and family chatter and laughs- Magic!
More recently my step mother redid her kitchen and decided that she wanted to replicate her childhood memories of the country at their new place in London. We had a somewhat heated discussion over this for it has always struck me that an Aga is great in a cold, damp farmhouse with no central heating but a total anachronism in the middle of a city,in a well insulated modern kitchen. The house has central heating and so there really is no need to have it on all the time. In fact it gets so hot in summer that it has to be turned off. She put it in anyway - fair enough!
I was reminded of this argument by a Radio 4 programme (You and Yours) yesterday which featured a discussion between George Monbiot and an Aga representative. George has similar views to mine, but backed up with more salient facts such as ‘An Aga produces 6 tonnes CO2e per year almost as much as the average household in total’! The argument from Aga was that whilst, yes, it used more energy, it was in fact a lifestyle choice and people should be allowed to choose.
This issue goes straight to the heart of what Planet Positive Living is all about. Yes it is about making choices but more importantly it is about making the right choiceand unfortunately having an Aga is not one of them. I apologise to all of you who already have or who are thinking about getting one, but I see no justification, on any level, of choosing such a cooking system for our modern way of life. Slow, energy inefficient and a throw back to a time gone by - unless you live in a drafty kitchen in which case you should get it insulated!
Aga, I am sorry to say it but like the big American car companies that have singularly failed to move with the times, your time is up and your business is ultimately doomed to failure. Or as Darwin ( 200 this week) might say - Adapt or Die!
29th January 2009
I have been offline for a while supporting Leanda (my partner) in the birth of our new son ( no name yet). It reminded me of a drunken conversation I had some time ago at a wedding I attended. I was sitting next to a 30 something woman whom I was regaling about my eco-credentials. We were having a great conversation about saving the planet and doing the right thing and I was feeling quite virtuous until she asked me how many children I had; ‘Four’ I replied ‘and one on the way’.
It was like the a bombshell had hit; her support for my efforts evaporated in front of my eyes as she called me a hypocrite and worse. ‘How could I justify, even for one moment, having more than one child when our planet is under such strain;surely if I was the true environmentalist that I claimed then I would have refrained after my first or second child’.She called my reckless and irresponsible and then told me that she and her husband had decided not to have any children as this was the true eco-path.She then got up and left me in disgust, leaving me to ponder my position.
I must admit that I was shocked and at first incredibly angry. I mean how does she know that one of my kids will not be the person to save the planet by finding the solution to cold fusion, or become another Mother Teresa or even the next Jonathan Porritt?
But I guess she does have a point. The world does have limits and from her perspective I am being grossly selfish in my procreation; by having more kids I am denying others access to resources in the future.
But what do you, my blog colleagues all think? - Am I being selfish, should I feel guilty or is she being over righteous and does saving the planet go as far as denying our right (?) to have children?
Your thoughts would be most welcome
15th January 2009
As many of you will know Steve Malkin (MD of Planet Positive) is trying to live the life! He and Ros have bought a small holding down in Kent along with a some pigs, sheep, chickens. They are growing their own veg and generally trying to live the life.
But it is not easy and there are many hard decisions along the way
Should they take the pig to slaughter, should they be even eating meat?
Should Steve sell his 15 year old (2nd hand) Jag or just keep on recycling it
Should the kids cycle to school along narrow dangerous roads or must Ros for the sake of their safety continue to drop them
How do they source and install a small diameter turbine and is this the right thing to do
It is not easy living a Planet Positive life, it means changing our habits and changing some of the things that we take for granted. And in this change we will be faced with many dilemmas and even ethical challenges.
Not everyone will be able to create a small farm like Steve and Ros but you will be faced with similar challenges- let’s here about them.
And so to get the ball rolling I have asked Steve and Ros make a guest appearance in my Blog over the weekend, to share some of their challenges and successes. Enjoy!