Thursday, 3 September 2009

first step 10%

The Silver Bean Car Club of Lewes is now the proud owner of a brand new Toyota Yaris. Our carbon emissions are so low - 106g/km - that our annual road tax is only £35. I've been involved in this car club for about three years and it has been so easy and saved us so much money that I never want to own a car ever again. The average car driver emits about two tonnes of CO2 a year and CarPlus estimates that sharing cars can cut that dramatically as well as create huge savings. The car is centrally parked and it costs £2 an hour to book, plus petrol, after an initial registration fee of £75. Nobody's making any money on that but it pays off the cost of borrowing. With 11 of us in the club, we're full at the moment, but we might well take on more people in the future. If you're interested please email

Talking about cutting carbon emissions, this week saw the launch of an exciting new national initiative called 10:10 whose aim is for us all and collectively to reduce our carbon emissions by 10% in 2010. The point is that it's all very well for us to aim for 85% reduction in emissions/fossil fuel use by 2050 a la Copenhagen, but it's what we also do in the interim that matters: the line of trajectory. Transition Town Lewes's forum agreed last night to take this on as a major theme and I will be writing about this in the months to come. At present we in the UK each emit roughly 13 tonnes of CO2 per year. We'll need to aim for around one tonne by 2050 (if we're going for international equity). The first step is interesting: 10% - that's more than just recycling and turning down our thermostats, which I think we've all done now. It's about changing our habits more profoundly: changing the way we source food, buying far less stuff, halving our flying, sharing things. See here for some ideas about practical actions.

It's actually quite diffucult for our family to reduce our carbon emissions further: we're down to about 5 tonnes of emissions since we started as a household a couple of years ago, and apart from not flying, it's all been quite easy. Two of those tonnes are down to central government decisions on roads, airports and schools. But Dirk has just had a thousand pounds of surprise royalty from a piece of music he wrote and, inspired by Transition Town Lewes's Open Eco-house event in July, we're finally going to spend it on on an eco-lite retrofit of our house: perspex secondary double glazing from, interlining our curtains in our main room; low-energy lightbulbs throughout (except the main kitchen light), reflector behind the radiators and draughtproofing windows and doors. I find the prospect strangely exciting.


stringsideup said...

Hi, I want to get perspex secondary glazing too! But the link goes to a Chinese fashion shopping site...

adrienne campbell said...

Sorry! It's Let me know how you get on.