When I started this site, it was a way for me to ponder the shower thoughts I rarely get to exhaust on close ones. People who switch off and nod at me on autopilot when sharing my musings on climate change and extreme weather. More particularly, the consumption of goods and the effects they have on the environment.
The items we consume on a daily basis contribute to greenhouse gas emissions on a scale we have never considered before. According to a BBC calculator, daily consumption of just 1 cup of coffee contributes to driving nearly 400 miles per year in a regular petrol car. Some coffee outlets such as Starbucks and Caffe Nero introduced waste reduction initiatives to avert cup wastage. But does this really go far enough or does it negate or even motivate people to consume more coffee thus increasing carbon emissions? Who knows?
Many people I speak to regarding other initiatives such as the 10p bag charge tell how they usually forget them and buy new ones. Is it the same with coffee cups? How many do we really see/know people use? And while we are on the topic of initiatives, are loyalty cards neutralising efforts to limit wastage too?
Lush sell some of their products in yoghurt style pots offering customers a free face mask if you return 5 to them. But, I honestly want to know who is returning these in exchange for a free face mask? Men aren’t particularly interested in such products and the effort made to retain them until 5 are accumulated is zilch. Instead, I use mine as plant pots – and began purchasing conditioner bars instead. But as for everyone else, I can assume a small percentage engaged with Lush, but a larger chunk threw them in the bin or mistakingly recycled them. Which recycling companies cannot recycle due to its shape.
Recyclable marketing is an interesting effort, but I cannot honestly see how it is helping. The only way to limit emissions of products and foods will be to build/farm them closer to home. Which is tricky, but doable. However, cheap labour is a more appealing option for most companies until caps or taxes are brought in on carbon consumption. But for now, these initiatives will remain, benefiting company profiles, not the environment.