September 9th 2020

Global warming could exceed the key threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius by 2024 – far sooner than scientists had predicted, a major United Nations (UN) update on climate change indicators said on Wednesday (Sept 9)

Vindication – tragically – of Extinction Rebellion target date for net carbon zero by 2025. We are in a real time climate emergency. Even at current 1.1C degrees we are seeing irreversible or potential tipping points. At the moment the Western part of the United Stated is burning up with unprecedented wildfires.

New Edition (Updated and expanded) of Mike Berners-Lee ‘How Bad are Bananas? The Carbon Footprint of Everything’ – September 3rd 2020

This wonderful updated and expanded book has been published much sooner than I anticipated. And it is a must read. Certainly the book of the year, if not the decade. It will change many of my guesstimated calculations. But that doesn’t matter. The clarity and intelligence of the writing is a delight. Navigating many of the more controversial debates with skill and wisdom. Giving us new information on data and zoom, updated figures on public transport. Watching television is covered in far more detail and may be a shock! A pizza gets discussed in detail. An egg has unfortunately risen from 300g to 340g…..But laundry at 30C has gone down from 600g to 330g as a result of a cleaner electric grid. As long as you dry it on the line….

I have not yet read it cover to cover but every page so far is a gem.

Monday 31st August

Note: This is the last day of my journal. I will be sad to finish. But really this is just the beginning. Now to put what I have learnt into action…

I wanted to get an in depth feel for what a net carbon zero lifestyle might look like. In order to do this, I felt it was necessary to model it as part of my daily life.

Why is the real life context so important? Because the real world is an unknown. This project changed a lot of my assumptions. It proved to me that assumptions can be dangerously off the mark Especially when clichés become embedded in climate culture. Real life is a bit different.  

If an intervention is a ‘seed’ then the context is the ‘soil’. Alongside the importance of what you do (intervention) and how you do it (implementation), the context that you do it also matters. It is the interaction between these three elements that makes for success.

Of course my life is just one context. It may mirror a lot of what other people do but to gain an ever wider understanding, it would be helpful if citizens from all walks of life trialed the net carbon zero lifestyle. Just for one day. Or a week if you are feeling a bit more adventurous.

‘Practical wisdom’ comes from just getting stuck in: “No guilt, just roll up those sleeves and do all you can” says Climate Scientist and Activist Peter Kalmus.

2 x bananas – 160g

2 x green tea – 42g

Cycle 8 miles – 24g

Curried egg sandwich – 450g

Vegetable crisps – 300g

2 x local seasonal apples – 20g

Fig cake with almonds – 350g

Sage tea – 21g

Butterbean soup – 350g

2 hours TV – 180g

Time online approximately 5 hours

Data and servers – 5 x 50 = 250g

Device laptop  – 5 x ?

Fridge – 64g

Average water use – 38g

Sunday 30th August

2 x seasonal local apples – 20g

Cycle 1 mile – 3g

1 punnet of local seasonal raspberries – 150g

2 x Matcha tea – 42g

Cycling taxi pedalme 7 miles – 7 x 36g + 252g

Note: Uphill cycle! Very impressive even with electric assist.

Cappuccino (cows milk) – 350g

Vegan carribean platter and sides – 700g

1 x apple picked in my son’s allotment – 0g

1 x fig picked in my son’s allotment – 0g

Note: On a hill in North London sits a piece of paradise. These allotments are both beautiful, creative and abundant with fruit and vegetables.

Walk 6 miles – 0g

Note: A long downhill walk through some very car dominated roads. It is incredibly polluted. And my mind boggles at the carbon emitted just on one Sunday of short car trips. But only one road was dangerous to cross so more accessible than I imagined. I kept to main roads to keep it direct and not to get lost. Finally in Finsbury Park an opportunity to dance to some wonderful drumming Completely unexpected. I must dance more outside in London.

1 mile bus – 150g

Note: The last mile felt a bit too much. specially after the dancing!

Vegetable crisps – 300g

yoghurt lassi – 300g

2 hours TV – 180g

Time online approximately 5 hours

Data and servers – 5 x 50 = 250g

Device laptop  – 5 x ?

Fridge – 64g

Average water use – 38g

Saturday 29th August

Load of laundry – 600g

Note: windy day so maybe savings on carbon to be made today. Wind turbine generated energy rather than coal and gas? Dried on the line as always.

Matcha tea – 21g

2 x fried bread with 2 eggs – 750g

Cycle ride 4 miles – 12g

Feta, spinach pastry – 300g

Latte with oatmilk – 50g

Swim in lido -?

Shower 3 minutes – 90g

2 x local seasonal apples – 20g

Japanese tea – 21g

Broccoli, chilli, garlic, anchovy wholewheat pasta – 600g

Washing up with electric kettle rather than gas boiler – ?

Time online approximately 5 hours

Data and servers – 5 x 50 = 250g

Device laptop  – 5 x ?

Fridge – 64g

Average water use – 38g

Friday 28th August

Organic local oat porridge and local honey – 120g

Craniosacral treatment – ?

Italian savoury pastry with egg – 400g

8 slices of wholemeal bread with peanut butter – 600g

Leekand ginger white miso soup – 150g

1 hour TV -90g

Time online approximately 5 hours

Data and servers – 5 x 50 = 250g

Device laptop  – 5 x ?

Fridge – 64g

Average water use – 38g

Thursday 27th August

3 x bananas – 240g

3 x japanese genmaicha tea – 63g

1 x coffee latte with oatmilk – 50g

Handful of cashew nuts – 32g

Broccoli, anchovy, chilli, garlic with wholemeal pasta – 600g

Shakshuka made with local seasonal aubergine, onions and tomatoes and 2 organic eggs – 750g

Time online approximately 5 hours

Data and servers – 5 x 50 = 250g

Device laptop  – 5 x ?

Fridge – 64g

Average water use – 38g

Wednesday 26th August

2 x black coffee – 42g

2 x bananas – 160g

Seared mackeral fillets with seasonal local french beans – 500g

2 x japanese genmaicha tea – 42g

Homemade honey halva – 150g#

Ratatouille made with local; seasonal summer fruit – 400g

Corn on the cob and umeboshi plum – 200g

2 handfuls of cashew nuts – 64g

3 hours video on demand – 270g

Time online approximately 5 hours

Data and servers – 5 x 50 = 250g

Device laptop  – 5 x ?

Fridge – 64g

Average water use – 38g

Tuesday 25th August

2 x black coffee – 42g

Courgette and tarragon frittata – 650g

Received a large envelope of papers via Post Office – ?

Cycle 4 miles – 12g

Swim in lido – ?

3 minute shower – 12g

Vegetable pasty – 150g

Earl grey tea with milk – 50g

Butterbean stew – 300g

Leek and ginger white miso soup – 150g

Local seasonal corn on the cob with umeboshi plum – 200g

Homegrown sage tea – 21g

Handful of pinenuts (snack) – 32g

Damson jam pudding – 250g

Podcast 1 hour – ?

Time online approximately 5 hours

Data and servers – 5 x 50 = 250g

Device laptop  – 5 x ?

Fridge – 64g

Average water use – 38g