Making fewer car jouneys

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Andy Hamilton
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Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #235984 Andy Hamilton
Wed Jun 22, 2011 5:44 am

A third of peolpe are making fewer car journeys apparently. It often appears that this recession has been one of the greenest things to happen to the world!
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236023 President Bartlet
Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:31 am

From a climate point of view it's good news, but I know I felt depressed when I heard this because if people have managed to reduce car use because of lack of cash, then they could have reduced it before to save CO2 emissions.

The chances are we have reached climate tipping point, beyond which runaway climate chaos is very likely, but up until very recently people kept driving and in fact it was increasing.

I write as someone who has put their money where there mouth is- I don't drive and don't own a car.

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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236055 red
Wed Jun 22, 2011 11:49 am

swing and roundabouts i think.. i guess a lot of people on a tight budget might not be able to afford the same moral stance as before.. so eg.. more intensively farmed animals for cheaper meat.

sometimes its really hard to do the right thing... particularly if you are short of cash.

small scale stuff but i was in the shop and noticed our favourite instant coffee is now available in a refill bag rather than a glass jar - so much better.. less packaging, recycling of glass uses lots of energy etc, but it was cheaper to buy the same coffee in jars.... gah....
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236061 JulieSherris
Wed Jun 22, 2011 12:34 pm

red wrote: snip.....
small scale stuff but i was in the shop and noticed our favourite instant coffee is now available in a refill bag rather than a glass jar - so much better.. less packaging, recycling of glass uses lots of energy etc, but it was cheaper to buy the same coffee in jars.... gah....


Yeah, we were shopping a couple of weeks ago & noticed the very same thing! The jars worked out at two thirds of the price of the 'less packaging' refill - what's that all about then?
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236080 Green Aura
Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:32 pm

The refill packaging is actually less environmentally sound than the glass jars!

Glass is re-usable, which these things aren't and at the end of it's useful life (gets broken for example) is almost infinitely recyclable without degradation of its properties. So it's just another example of greenwashing I'm afraid - and as you say more expensive to boot!
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236083 gregorach
Wed Jun 22, 2011 3:54 pm

Green Aura wrote:The refill packaging is actually less environmentally sound than the glass jars!


Whole Lifecycle Analysis strikes again! :wink: :iconbiggrin:
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236086 RuthG
Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:10 pm

I used to drive to a town about 13 miles from home to do my weekly shopping. Going, shopping and coming back used to take me about 2 hours. I discovered that using the local smaller town for the weekly shop, I could walk there (three miles) with a backpack and not only did I save on the driving/travel, it took no longer and I got exercise too. The other added benefit was that I couldnt buy too much or else I wouldnt be able to carry it home again, so only buy what I actually need. Now I might go into the larger town once a month, if that (cant get the ingredients for my muesli locally).

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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236087 red
Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:15 pm

Green Aura wrote:The refill packaging is actually less environmentally sound than the glass jars!

Glass is re-usable, which these things aren't and at the end of it's useful life (gets broken for example) is almost infinitely recyclable without degradation of its properties. So it's just another example of greenwashing I'm afraid - and as you say more expensive to boot!


hmm I would love to see some figures on this - do you know of some?


although glass is recyclable, it does take a lot of energy to do so, and lots of energy to make in the first place, and there is waste in that recycling system too - and then you have to add in the extra fuel costs of transporting a much heavier and bulkier cargo to the shops. and fuel used for to transport the recycling glass away, and extra costs in transporting those heavy jars to the coffee manufacturers. obvious if the jars could be 're-used' as opposed to recycled.. good.. but we have more jars than we need or can give away. We buy very very little in glass.. coffee has been our downfall.

food for thought (scuse pun)

to be totally eco friendly i would drink no coffee. or make something out of dandelion roots... thats not going to happen soon.... but we do drink coffee from beans we grind ourselves too.. which is probably better
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236088 wulf
Wed Jun 22, 2011 4:28 pm

Every step you take out of the process has the potential to help. In some cases, economies of scale probably kick in and make a mass-produced item better or at least reasonable (I've heard it suggested, for example, that apples carried by sea from the other side of the globe may not be too much worse in terms of carbon-equivalent emissions than ones grown at the other end of the country). With coffee, grinding your own with a hand-grinder probably wins although it might still be more efficient to have them roasted at the shop / factory. Instant coffee involves making a very strong brew and using processes with high energy inputs to produce powder / granules so, apart from being less pleasant than the "proper" stuff, loses out on green grounds too.

Wulf

ps. Dandelion "coffee" isn't great, IMHO, but I love the dried roots as "chew sticks"
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236100 baldybloke
Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:45 pm

red wrote:
Green Aura wrote:The refill packaging is actually less environmentally sound than the glass jars!

Glass is re-usable, which these things aren't and at the end of it's useful life (gets broken for example) is almost infinitely recyclable without degradation of its properties. So it's just another example of greenwashing I'm afraid - and as you say more expensive to boot!


hmm I would love to see some figures on this - do you know of some?


although glass is recyclable, it does take a lot of energy to do so, and lots of energy to make in the first place, and there is waste in that recycling system too - and then you have to add in the extra fuel costs of transporting a much heavier and bulkier cargo to the shops. and fuel used for to transport the recycling glass away, and extra costs in transporting those heavy jars to the coffee manufacturers. obvious if the jars could be 're-used' as opposed to recycled.. good.. but we have more jars than we need or can give away. We buy very very little in glass.. coffee has been our downfall.


food for thought (scuse pun)

to be totally eco friendly i would drink no coffee. or make something out of dandelion roots... thats not going to happen soon.... but we do drink coffee from beans we grind ourselves too.. which is probably better



I remember when shops had big jars of coffee and they weighed it out for you into brown paper bags. The bags then could be reused or composted. Local health food shops sometimes employ the same principle so you could always buy your coffee from these.

So much for progress eh.
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236103 Green Aura
Wed Jun 22, 2011 6:52 pm

red wrote:hmm I would love to see some figures on this - do you know of some?


I've just spent the last hour trying to find some but there is little about. However, these pouches are not recyclable through usual routes (there is one specialist Tetrapak recycler in Scotland but it's not clear if they take other multilaminate packaging). What they offer is you sending your pouches to a company who will upcycle them in to bags, pencil cases and even garden paving. So there is presumably a lot of energy used in sending single or even multiple pouches through the post. So you send off your pouches and the coffee company get free advertising to boot.

As for glass there's this

http://www.recyclingglass.co.uk/cms-filesystem-action/pdfs/glass_sustainability_flyer.pdf
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236115 Thomzo
Wed Jun 22, 2011 7:56 pm

There's someone in Stroud who makes handbags out of cat food pouches (hopefully she washes them first). So there's an income generating opportunity for all you coffee drinkers. As I can't drink the stuff I'm taking the moral high ground in this debate, after all, tea bags are sold in cardboard boxes.

Oh, except for the fact that I now drive myself to work (30 miles each way), on my own, each day. I did try to car share but I work such long and unpredictable hours it didn't work out (hangs head in shame and slopes off embarrassed).

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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236133 red
Wed Jun 22, 2011 9:30 pm

the whole car sharing thing is a tad harder for a lone woman, i think...

I am fortunate that i can walk to the shops - but of course can only carry so much coffee back if its in those heavy glass jars :lol:
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236145 Green Aura
Thu Jun 23, 2011 6:17 am

red wrote:those heavy glass jars
that are much higher up the recycling hierarchy :roll:
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Re: Making fewer car jouneys

Post: #236222 greenorelse
Thu Jun 23, 2011 2:07 pm

Green Aura wrote:but we do drink coffee from beans we grind ourselves too.. which is probably better


So do I. And these are a great choice - the fact of coffee drinking as something to consider giving up is slightly assuaged by buying Fair Trade organic.

They make a really decent cup of coffee, meaning I'm happy with two cups a day, max. Which is cheap!
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