Environmental behaviour

To my mind, climate change is the most significant problem facing humankind. Doing something about it requires us to make decisions based on numbers that will often result in painful truths regarding our habits and behaviours. Being ‘environmentally friendly’ has nothing to do with disposable coffee cups or single use plastics, and everything to do with rejecting consumerism. Perhaps the most rigorous way of comparing environmental measures is Life Cycle Assessment (LCA). After doing a PG Cert in the subject, I never want to do one again myself, but I am pretty much always interested in the results. Several of these posts therefore include reference to LCA, and all of them have some numbers in that might challenge your views.

The Quest for a Circular Economy – Business as usual with a bit more recycling? The Welsh Government’s consultation on their waste management strategy prompted some musings on the usefulness of otherwise of the Circular Economy concept. March 2020.

The carbon footprint of production, and how much it matters – Part 1. ‘stuff’ – how large are the environmental impacts compared to other aspects of our life? March 2020.

Flying less, or not at all. Some thoughts on aviation, particularly in relation to people who fly for work purposes. October 2019.

Every little doesn’t help. Environmental spill-over effects. Discussion of the ‘spill-over effect’, based on a recent article in Nature Sustainability. October 2019.

Recycling and climate change – why every little doesn’t help. How important is recycling in the fight against climate change? October 2019.

How I learned to stop worrying and love climate change. Written by John Taylor, who has managed to “make everything as simple as possible, but no simpler” (quote usually misattributed to Einstein). June 2019.

Milk, protein and the rise of plants. Written becauase I live in a bit of an environmentalists bubble, and I fear that many of my friends don’t eat enough protein. June 2019.

Pro-environmental behaviours that actually make a difference – if it isn’t about coffee cups, what can we actually do that has significant environmental benefit?

Who left the lights on? – a discussion of domestic electricity use and light bulbs…

On why we should stop worrying about disposable coffee cups – the organisation I worked for started selling reusable coffee cups and I was sufficiently annoyed by this to calculate the approximate CO2 impact of disposable coffee cups.

What does a low carbon diet look like? – I felt a bit bad about the trivial nature of sandwiches (see below) so I followed up with a post about diet in general.

The carbon footprint of your sandwich a gloriously detailed example of what LCA experts can do if there isn’t anything more pressing to worry about!

What happens if Russia turns the gas taps off? A post written following a lecture I gave to MSc students about the future of gas supplies and usage in the UK.

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