I have been taking a course about carbon literacy recently.
It turns out that I was not as carbon literate as I thought I was.
Of course, I already knew that flying generated a lot of carbon emissions and that eating red meat and not composting food waste were two big sources of greenhouse gas emissions.
However, it turns out that calculating carbon emissions of some human activities is not easy as it seems.
The carbon footprint of letters, for example, including letters made of recycled paper which is then recycled, is much bigger than I would have guessed. Ditto for the carbon footprint of train journeys. Taking a coach is a much sustainable form of transport for long journeys, at least in the UK.
The big lesson of this Carbon literacy course is that we can’t reduce what we don’t measure, neither on a personal level nor on a collective level.
The other realisation I’ve had so far is that you cannot learn about carbon footprint and NOT act upon it. It’s like ABC. Once you can recognise letters, you cannot NOT read them, as my son regularly reminds me.
I mention carbon literacy in this week’s edition of Zero Waste London Mail because waste reduction is obviously part of the picture. Also, becoming carbon literate has lifted my spirit in an expected way.
Now, not only do I feel compelled to make additional sustainable adjustments to my life but I cannot wait to share what I have learned with family and friends because it’s information that they can act upon immediately at home, at work and in their communities.
Thorough, actionable knowledge about climate solutions is an incredible power to develop. Grab it, use it, spread it.
An excellent starting point is the 2020 edition of How bad are bananas? The carbon footprint of everything
by Mike Berners-Lee (available here
). I also recommend visiting the Carbon literacy project
If you fancy reading more of my reflections on reducing my waste and my carbon footprint, have a look to my Medium account here.
Back to this newsletter. On the menu today :
- Change the way you think about tech📱with Reboxed ;
- A new campaign linking up food waste🍞and climate change🌏;
- A practical book about sustainable fashion👗;
- Take part in a London river🐟 clean-up as part of London Rivers’ week.