The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

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The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#1  Postby Keep It Real » May 31, 2019 10:25 pm

Of course everybody's lists might well be massively incomplete but still, maybe of some interest.

The bads: I smoke and drink...a lot. I eat hot/cooked food (that's a bad, according to a few, perhaps). I consume a lot of meat and dairy. I have my electricity supplied through a non green tariff.

The goods: I haven't set foot on a plane for well over a decade. I deny myself a car. I deny myself a pet. I rarely run the central heating, even in winter. I campaign on green issues...a lot.

Interesting thread :o
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#2  Postby felltoearth » Jun 01, 2019 12:49 am

Your drinking has likely contributed more GHG than my flying.

The Environmental Impact of Alcohol
There are a number of ways in which alcohol production negatively impacts the planet, starting with the process of growing the ingredients necessary to produce alcohol. Grains, potatoes, rice, botanicals, sugar cane, and agave are all significant ingredients in the alcohol industry, each of which require a significant amount of water, fertilizer, land, and use of machinery.

In essence, these resources are being used to produce beverages that aren’t necessary for human survival, which could be diverted to providing food aid for those in need.

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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#3  Postby Keep It Real » Jun 01, 2019 6:19 am

Quite possibly. I think the article's suggestion that my drinking is literally snatching food from the mouths of the starving is...a stretch, however. There's also this:

“A diagnosed flying addict (and some may exist) would appear to differ from the frequent flyer who is feeling guilty about the environmental consequences of flying. Indeed, the latter would appear to be entirely rational. Flying may be associated with feelings of guilt and suppression, but so are many other activities, like driving to work, using plastic bags, and using electricity from coal-powered generators. This does not make flying an addiction as defined by the DSM-5. In addition, a flying addict would be addicted to the act of flying when, in reality, people fly as part of a broader tourism or business journey or experience. Flying may be incidental to the motivations for travel, merely an unavoidable part of attaining a particular experience. In other words, the focus of flying addiction is likely to be complicated and shifting, unlike, for instance, gambling addiction, that is more clear-cut.”

Pathologizing a behaviour like flying may be stretching the addiction analogy a little too far, but I don’t see a theoretical reason why someone could not become addicted. However, it’s hard to see what the actual object of the actual addiction might be. Is it the actual flying and being in the air? The thrill of take-offs and landings? Is it the feeling of being attended and catered for (especially when flying business class) by the airline staff? Is it the anticipation associated of visiting somewhere new? All of these suggestions could be empirically tested but probably from a purely motivational view rather than from an addiction perspective.


https://www.psychologytoday.com/gb/blog/in-excess/201511/can-flying-be-addictive
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#4  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 01, 2019 8:21 am

I think there needs to be a distinction made between activities that one just doesn't do, and actions one does/doesn't do expressly through concern for ecological footprint.

For example, if someone's afraid of flying and therefore doesn't fly, the outcome may be better for the environment, but the motivation isn't pro-ecology. I don't drink, but there's no ecological motivation there for me, just a happy coincidence.

For the latter ecological concern motivation: I don't drive and never have, I eat locally sourced food stuffs and minimize meat consumption, I am conscientious of waste in all forms both in generating it and of where it's ultimately going, I don't partake in the throw-away economy, I carry a bag around to avoid a smidgen of the excessive plastic pollution generated by stores over here.

But on the other side, I feel perpetually guilty about buying plastic bottles of drinking water but will eventually be able to prioritize funds to install a bloody expensive water filtration system.

In the middle, I use air con in the bedroom at night, but I don't feel in the slightest bit guilty about it because it's impossible to be alive and have no impact whatsoever so one must make rational choices about what is an acceptable impact; given that temperatures here are in the high 30's at night time, I wouldn't survive long without ac.
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#5  Postby BlackBart » Jun 01, 2019 9:53 am

felltoearth wrote:Your drinking has likely contributed more GHG than my flying.


Tobacco too is hideously damaging. Cigarette filters, surprisingly, are made of a plastic that is no less non-biodegradable than other plastics. Six trillion of them end up in the environment every year. Six trillion.
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#6  Postby laklak » Jun 01, 2019 2:20 pm

Let's see - I quit smoking, so that's good. I switched to light beer, gotta be better than that massively earth-killing regular beer. I eat mostly locally produced foods from the farmer's market - but - I buy Marmite and HP sauce and that's shipped in from the UK. I also shop at the oriental grocery and ALL that stuff comes from God only knows where (if you can't read the label just look at the pictures). Wine, now that's problematic because I'm partial to Italian vintages. I don't use bottled water. I've upped my veggies and cut down on meat. I only run through about 4-500 gallons of diesel a year, far less than the average semi-truck, but they're 2 strokes so they're a bit smokey. I drive a pickup, never take publc transport (fucking TB ward, those busses), and fly once a year to South Africa. Another plus is I've switched from lead to frangible ammunition, despite the far higher per-round costs. The A/C and pool heater/chiller run pretty much 24/7/365.

On balance I'm probably an eco-criminal.
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#7  Postby Svartalf » Jun 01, 2019 2:35 pm

BlackBart wrote:
felltoearth wrote:Your drinking has likely contributed more GHG than my flying.


Tobacco too is hideously damaging. Cigarette filters, surprisingly, are made of a plastic that is no less non-biodegradable than other plastics. Six trillion of them end up in the environment every year. Six trillion.

well, here, cig filters are mostly paper, but the amount of tar and whatnot they retain from being smoked through makes them very biodegradation resistant.
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#8  Postby Thommo » Jun 01, 2019 2:48 pm

From what I can glean the most popular cigarette brand in France is Marlboro with a standard cellulose filter.
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#9  Postby Blackadder » Jun 01, 2019 7:19 pm

laklak wrote:Let's see - I quit smoking, so that's good. I switched to light beer, gotta be better than that massively earth-killing regular beer. I eat mostly locally produced foods from the farmer's market - but - I buy Marmite and HP sauce and that's shipped in from the UK. I also shop at the oriental grocery and ALL that stuff comes from God only knows where (if you can't read the label just look at the pictures). Wine, now that's problematic because I'm partial to Italian vintages. I don't use bottled water. I've upped my veggies and cut down on meat. I only run through about 4-500 gallons of diesel a year, far less than the average semi-truck, but they're 2 strokes so they're a bit smokey. I drive a pickup, never take publc transport (fucking TB ward, those busses), and fly once a year to South Africa. Another plus is I've switched from lead to frangible ammunition, despite the far higher per-round costs. The A/C and pool heater/chiller run pretty much 24/7/365.

On balance I'm probably an eco-criminal.


I'd say you're on the Most Wanted list and pretty near the top too. :lol:
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#10  Postby Keep It Real » Jun 01, 2019 8:33 pm

BlackBart wrote:
felltoearth wrote:Your drinking has likely contributed more GHG than my flying.


Tobacco too is hideously damaging. Cigarette filters, surprisingly, are made of a plastic that is no less non-biodegradable than other plastics. Six trillion of them end up in the environment every year. Six trillion.


I smoke roll-ups, with swan extra slim filters, which I estimate to be approximately 1/4 the size of, say B&B pre-roaled "straights" filters. Averaging circa 20 a day, that's 7300 filters a year for me personally...maybe 1 bin bag full? Hard to say. They certainly don't get recycled, and that's a fact. About the same as 1 broken dumped CRT TV perhaps.

The carbon footprint of clearing land then growing, harvesting, processing, packaging, transporting and, of all things SMOKING the god-awful things...immense. One of the dirtiest of dirty habits methinks. And so very pernicious/hard to dodge, for me anyway. I'm still trying BTW - next (FUCKING LAST!!(ie, there is no try, only do)) "attempt" scheduled for 5/5/2019.
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#11  Postby Keep It Real » Jun 01, 2019 8:44 pm

Thommo wrote:From what I can glean the most popular cigarette brand in France is Marlboro with a standard cellulose filter.


Everybody knows the French only smoke unfiltered Gauloise ;)
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#12  Postby Keep It Real » Jun 01, 2019 8:48 pm

laklak wrote:On balance I'm probably an eco-criminal.


Arthur : All my life I've had this strange feeling that there's something big and sinister going on in the world. Slartibartfast : No, that's perfectly normal paranoia.

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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#13  Postby Spearthrower » Jun 01, 2019 10:19 pm

One frustrating thing here in Thailand is that everything... and I mean everything... comes wrapped in plastic. Single bananas in a shop... wrapped in plastic! Buy some fruit from a street seller, it comes in a plastic bag, which they then put in a plastic carry bag, complete with 2 plastic packets of sugar & sour flavours. It's a daily fight to stop stores giving plastic bags - you ask them to put the plastic wrapped goods in a single plastic bag rather than separating them out into 3 or 4 bags, then they try to double up instead. There's a burgeoning sense here that plastic is something environmentally damaging, but for the most part it's just so common and so widespread that it's going to take another generation before anything changes.
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#14  Postby don't get me started » Jun 02, 2019 8:12 am

Spearthrower wrote:One frustrating thing here in Thailand is that everything... and I mean everything... comes wrapped in plastic. Single bananas in a shop... wrapped in plastic! Buy some fruit from a street seller, it comes in a plastic bag, which they then put in a plastic carry bag, complete with 2 plastic packets of sugar & sour flavours. It's a daily fight to stop stores giving plastic bags - you ask them to put the plastic wrapped goods in a single plastic bag rather than separating them out into 3 or 4 bags, then they try to double up instead. There's a burgeoning sense here that plastic is something environmentally damaging, but for the most part it's just so common and so widespread that it's going to take another generation before anything changes.


Yep, something similar here in Japan. Buy a cold drink and a tub of ice cream at a convenience store, they will probably be bagged in two separate plastic bags and the staff will pop a plastic ice cream spoon in for you, (individually wrapped in plastic), as well as an individual wet tissue also in a plastic wrapper.... It is getting a bit better in some shops, but still, hugely excessive wrapping is the order of the day.

As for my habits... well let's start with the positives. I don't drive. Never have. Don't have a driver's license and don't ever expect to have one. I take public transport a lot and also cycle or walk. Living in Osaka means that public transport is safe, clean, efficient and reliable.
Don't eat so much processed food. Never McDonalds, Lotteria, other burger chains. Very occasionally KFC when the missus buys it and brings t home.
Eat a lot of fresh vegetables most of which are pretty locally sourced. (The supermarket sometimes even has pictures of the farmers standing next to their fields out in the boonies of Wakayama, Nara or Mie)
Don't eat that much beef...apart from the occasional splurge at a Yaki Niku (cook at the table barbecue) restaurant.


Negatives...probably too much fish. Japan still seems to regard the ocean as a larder that will never be empty (as well as a garbage bin that will never be full). Use disposable wooded chopsticks way too much.
Like Spearthrower, I use the AC a lot in summer. Nighttime temps into the mid thirties in summer, with massive humidity means it is pretty hard to sleep without AC. (But I am pretty good with the cold, so no heating for me until it gets below about 10 deg C) And never any heating at night, even when it snows.

I usually fly 5 or 6 times a year. Mostly in East Asia but probably one long haul to Europe or N. America in any given year. (I always take the bullet train when I go to Tokyo... I never fly domestic in Japan unless its Okinawa or deep Kyushu.)
Drinking beer...yeah. A fair amount.
Two kids being raised in Japan...yeah, I can see how that is a minus in the ledger for consumption. Tons of plastic shit toys, although I try to encourage them to find other ways to play. (More or less 5 years of disposable nappies really brought it home to me how much kids can consume...)

So yeah, I have an impact and am pretty good in somethings (driving) pretty bad in other things (AC use). Probably like most people.
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#15  Postby juju7 » Jun 02, 2019 8:58 am

https://www.france24.com/en/20190531-ta ... astic-bags

Tanzania latest African nation to ban plastic bags
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#16  Postby surreptitious57 » Jun 02, 2019 9:06 am

Good :

I do not fly
I do not drive
I have no children
I walk every where
I do not waste electricity
Everything I buy gets eaten

[ similar to you KIR except I am not eco driven ]

Bad :

I mainly eat processed food
I am alive [ although this state is only temporary ]
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#17  Postby Alan B » Jun 02, 2019 12:34 pm

Over here Morrisons supermarket have started selling recyclable reusable paper bags alongside the usual plastic bags (same price - 20p). They are tear resistant and water resistant and are stressed up to 16kgs.
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#18  Postby surreptitious57 » Jun 02, 2019 12:56 pm

Long as you remember to bring them with you every time you go shopping else you will have to buy new ones
I collect plastic bags so hope Lidl doesnt stop selling them although they probably will just like everyone else
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#19  Postby felltoearth » Jun 02, 2019 1:10 pm

Sorry, you collect plastic bags?
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Re: The tale of our ecological footprints as best we can convey

#20  Postby Alan B » Jun 02, 2019 1:31 pm

As long as one 'collects' plastic bags, they don't get into the environment...

I continually re-use plastic shopping bags so that they stay 'safe'.

The problem is the irresponsible disposal of said bags (and other plastics).
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