What things did you enjoy the most about your experience this week?
I live in a new build apartment block that is built to a high low carbon specification. It is very well insulated and is fully electric with under-floor heating. I have signed up for a renewable tariff and have a smart meter. Moreover, I live a walking distance from all of my major needs. My flat literally overlooks the local supermarket, providing opportunities for low carbon entertainment as I watch the panic shopping, and the local shopping centre is minutes away by foot. My child’s school, local parks and the doctor are all less than a 20-minute walk. Consequently, partially due to my lockdown lifestyle, I have not got into any form of motorized transport this year, a streak that will only be broken due to my boss calling us into the office twice a month from November. In theory, my building and transport emissions should be zero.
What were the main challenges you faced during the week?
However, my family is not especially on board with living sustainably. We still eat meat (albeit beef is a rarity and we don’t eat that much) and our lack of a car is a constant thorn in the side of my wife. Due to needing to go everywhere on foot or by public transport, it is difficult for our child to attend out-of-school activities and clubs. My wife feels we are unfairly denying opportunities to our child that we had.
What were your main lessons learned of the week?
That low development needs to have a strong community component and it is ensured that the focus isn’t just on walkable shops, but also community activities.
What would have made it easier for you to achieve or surpass your target this week?
Not eating meat. Though I suspect I probably kept within the target, depending on how the embodied emissions from the building and how the renewable energy tariff is measured in the calculator.