Sunday, 27 January 2008

How green?

My conscience is already piercing the myth that we are having a green, eco-experience. On the surface, a walking holiday from your front door would seem to be about as environmentally responsible as it is possible to get. But in reality, keeping our health and sanity involves something a little more destructive.

We launder a whole set of clothes each evening. Occasionally we’ve been offered the use of a machine or spin dryer; but although more often we use our shower water to wash the clothes, they do have to be rinsed and to get them dry for the morning can mean running the heating all night.

I try not to use a hair dryer, but if the room is cool or if we are going straight out I opt to avoid chills by blasting my hair for a few minutes.

Then there is the amount we eat. English breakfasts are huge and you are usually served things you didn’t even ask for. So food is wasted. In France, that tendency is less – but we eat more than we would normally. I suppose I could tell myself that cooking en bloc for a large number of people is a more efficient use of cooker power – but often at breakfast, lunch or dinner we have been the only customers in this dead end of the year.

There is the packaging of the individual soaps and shampoos we use at eat hotel in lieu of carrying our own, the little wrapped pats of butter and jam. The batteries that fire the GPS have a short shelf-life, and we re-charge the phone and the camera. In the evenings we have the lights on to read – often several as hotel bedrooms seem curiously ill-equipped for such an activity.

If we go out in the evening we might get a taxi if there are no buses in the remote villages. And at various points of the year we will need to return to England for family or work reasons – sometimes by plane.

Granted, a lot of these carbon uses would have been there in our daily home life. But I’d love to learn if the comparative footprint of this “green” year will in fact be smaller?

1 comment:

Kevin said...

I've enjoyed reading your blog Rae. Interesting re 'how green'. What's all this about taxis! And are you attempting subliminal message by having background green colour. Must go - off to buy some Badger's Foot balm or the like - Kevin