Local living and shopping tackles two of the biggest accessible changes an individual can make to their carbon footprint. According to how you calculate it, flying is 20-34% of your carbon footprint (the 34% figure is from Lucy Siegle here and I did contact her to double check it). You probably knew it's a lot anyway. And the message is getting through eg
Independent: 18 May 2007
British families have traditionally flooded airport departure lounges every summer in an attempt to escape to sunnier climes. But research published yesterday suggests the trend has taken a downturn as holidaymakers prepare to take their holidays by car, motivated by the environmental impact of flying.
FT: 14 May 2007
(A Virgin Atlantic spokesperson) said evidence of European consumers taking trains as an alternative to flying was becoming more than just anecdotal. "Where there is a train alternative, customers are taking it. On long haul, customers want to know about offsetting their flights and how we can contribute in other ways."
What you may not have known is the relative impact of eating just one extra meal a week which is made from locally sourced seasonal food:
Annual estimated carbon saving :
Local grown, unprocessed food just once a week 2,268 kg
Hang clothes out to dry 635 kg
Wash your clothes in cold water 228 kg
That figure looks incredibly high, but someone did calculate it here
Which retailer will be first with a local farmers market style section called straight from the farm, with each product labelled with foodmiles and no product over 100? Someone might. Maybe someone should. Meanwhile the stampede to farmers markets, green grocers and local butchers, and box delivery may be set to continue.
If you add what you can do with your house, using local tradespeople, and also local sharing and freecycling schemes...
The thing is that today, we can live local and communicate global too.