Tuesday, 11 October 2011

If you were given your lifetime's allocation at birth....

....... how would you spend it?

I'm not talking about money, but about the notion of everyone having their own share of the earth's non-renewable resources. A totally impractical proposition in reality, but as a train of thought it might bring us to totally different choices - very much a practical outcome of its sort.

I don't have an understanding of how much one barrel of oil might provide me in all its various currencies of fuel to plastic carrier bags and I would need a conversion table.

If someone made it simple for me and gave me a quota of road miles, air miles, metres of synthetic fibres, units of electricity, units of gas.............. would it make me think differently. In this mind game, there might be an Exchange at which other folks might offer different parts of their quota in return for an agreed quantity of something of mine. What would be most important to you?

Fairly done, taking into account the number of individuals in the developing world, and the needs of generations to come, you might be sure that your quota would seem terrifyingly small. 'Car share' principles would need to apply to most aspects of our consumption.

Just how many 'airmiles' would we each have? How much of a bargain would that 'cheap getaway', 'out of season' trip actually be if it lead to the consumption of one tenth? on fifth? one quarter?.. of your entire lifetime's allocation.

Our very-close post box has been removed. It used to be a 'dash in my slippers - if not raining' sort of distance. It is now five minutes walk away. It was pouring down when I last needed to post a letter. There is a convenient parking spot and the car momentarily looked attractive. Then I remembered that we are 'saving up' for next year's holiday, when we expect to drive, perhaps to Kent, or maybe, via the ferry to Normandy. My walking boots and waterproof were in the porch anyway...

Simplistic, flawed, pointless ? Simplistic and flawed - certainly. Misguided probably, but, I am trying to question all my choices. The washing machine has finished - a load of towels and its raining and has been on and off for the last two days. I shall have to tumble them, partially at least, now what am I going to save on today to pay for that?


  1. I wish more people thought like this!
    Maybe you can save/pay for the unavoidable energy/environment baddies by having more locally sourced/veggie/vegan meals (depending where you are on that continuum already)?

  2. Hi Chocolate frog - we are trying to improve. Although meat eaters - we do not eat a lot of meat and shop at our local farm shop. We eat seasonal stuff and grow as many of our own fruit and veg as we can. We do freeze quite a lot though( no air/road miles but all that elec.) The Victorians had seasonal production and storage down to a fine art we need to re-learn the lessons which technology has taught us to forget.