Now here’s a thought for you. Perhaps more of a question? How “green” is turfing? Is turfing good for the planet or is it helping bring about the end of life as we know it? Are we adding to the effects of climate change by turfing? This is not an easy question to answer and with regards any answers we do find online, are they actually accurate? It’s also a hugely complicated issue.
Everything we do in life has an effect on our planet, on climate change, even breathing produces CO2, and there’s not a lot we can do about that! Other than the obvious, which I will not be mentioning. And even such simple activities as turfing take a toll on the planet. Originally, I was going to look at all the things we do as turfers that affects climate change but that would probably take forever as everything, and I mean absolutely everything, has an effect. So, perhaps better to look at how we, as turfers, can reduce our carbon footprint.
Perhaps the biggest issue we can do something about is personal transport. We are probably all guilty of using some form of inefficient infernal combustion engine powered transport to travel to locations to take zones, be that either public transport, hire cars, trains or planes, or private cars. And I pose the question. Do we really need to drive to other areas just to take a few more zones? And an even bigger question. Do we really need to fly to other countries to take zones? Would it not be better for everyone, including yourself, to walk, cycle, wheel or scoot locally instead? Something to think about.
When I retired a couple of years ago, I gave up my car, a nice new silver Ford Focus, and set myself the aim of trying to travel under my own steam, either walking, cycling or kick scooting. And I must admit it’s been a challenge to avoid using the car. For example, to take my Surly Pugsley fat bike down to Aberlady to ride the beaches to North Berwick and back. Or to use my bus pass to hop on the No 32 into Edinburgh. Both all using energy and producing greenhouse gases. I have used both on occasion but less than I would have normally. Something to keep working at. None of these trips was essential.
Regular visitors to Planer Gary will have noted I’m very much into cycling and kick scooting, not only for turfing but for much of my personal transport. But how green is cycling and kick scooting? The action of cycling itself produces minimal greenhouse gases, for example, those expelled by the rider following last night’s curry takeaway. But cycling is not entirely green. A bicycles use of fossil fuel is minimal, just some oil and grease for lubrication but components such as chains, sprockets, brake pads and tyres all wear out and need replaced. The manufacturer, distribution and disposal of all these has a carbon cost. And that is not always something we think about.
I’m no angel when it comes to buying bicycle components. I’m constantly modifying, rebuilding and painting my stable of three bicycles and three kick scooters. I’m also a regular fiend at looking at bicycle websites to find something to drool over. Came across the Specialized S-Works Aethos yesterday, a bike that weighs about 6 Kg. Yet with a £12,000 price tag it still, to quote the difficult to find blurb, “Please note that this bike does not come with pedals.” You are joking, right? No, I’m not.
So, what else can we do as turfers to reduce our carbon footprint? All aspects of turfing use energy, your mobile phone, the phone masts it connects to, when you use the computer and turf itself runs on a server that uses energy. All the electronic gadgetry that turf requires used energy, and using energy adds to climate change.
I must admit I kind of got stuck here. Even if you stop turfing, you will probably still be doing something else instead, and whatever you do adds to climate change. Personally, I wonder if all this saving the planet stuff is worth the enormous cost and hassle. Even if we all do our bit and the UK become entirely carbon neutral, or even better, if the rest of the world does not do the same, will it make any difference? Cathryn, is it okay if a buy a motorcycle? There’s a nice low=mileage BMW R1200RT ex-police bike on Autotrader. NO! Can I buy another bicycle then, it only weighs 6 KG? Yes, I suppose so.
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