Green Consumerism Diary – Days 19-23

Posted on August 26, 2010. Filed under: Uncategorized |

Friday 20th – Tuesday 24th August

(recyclable) Paper plates and cups vs (reusable) plastic?

Part of the joy of being me is receiving texts such as this, rarely warranting a lol.  This one was from a colleague who was hosting a veggie barbecue.  My initial response was to go with the reusable plastic as I don’t think that paper plates are recyclable if contaminated with food waste.  Then I thought, how often in life is reusable plastic actually reused and how often does it sit collecting dust in the corner of a cupboard?  “There is a third way!” I told my conscientious friend; ask the attendees to bring their own cutlery and crockery.  So he cancelled the barbecue, which was much greener all round.  Though I suspect his reason was more due to a lack of interest.

I’m pleased to announce that I haven’t used the car since Thursday.  I got a seven day top up on a Zone 2 i-link card and headed to Belfast and back on the train on Friday and then used it again to get me to Whitehead on Saturady.  Unfortunately Whitehead is just outside Zone 2 so I had to pay from Carrick when I changed trains.  The journey (taking into account my walk to the station and then to my colleagues house from the station at Whitehead) took a total of two hours compared to about an hour if I had taken the car.  However I was going to Whitehead for a meeting so taking the train gave me the time to do some valuable prep work.  Also the journey was much less stressful than it would have otherwise have been (I hate driving, especially to places I don’t know.  I inevitably get lost).  The weekly ticket cost me £35 so one day’s usage would have been £5 plus the £2.50 for the final leg of the journey.  I’ve never bothered to work out how much petrol costs me per mile but I imagine the cost would have been comparable.

I did get a lift back from a colleague who was travelling to Lisburn therefore taking him well out of his way, but there were emissions savings overall compared to if I had taken my car.

I stayed in Bangor all day on Sunday (in fact I stayed in my dressing gown for most of the day) and got the bus to work on Monday and Tuesday.  It was hard to break the habit of taking the car to work and this wasn’t helped by the fact it was heavy rain on Monday morning.  Despite getting wet getting the bus has allowed me to get work done on my journey, although the bus is much more cramped than the train.  I have also concluded I need a good waterproof coat.

The trip to Belfast on Friday was to visit a friend in hospital who has cancer and is receiving chemotherapy.  As someone who does not believe that animals should be used in medical research I do not give money to cancer charities that fund such research.  People have suggested in the past that I would change my mind if someone I knew got cancer.  I can honestly say I haven’t.  I am certainly grateful that due advances in cancer treatment my friend should be okay.  However I still believe that it is unjustifiable to deliberately inflict suffering on millions of animals in experiments, the value of which is debatable.  There are an increasing number of alternatives to animal testing that could and should be used.


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