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Does it matter how many green alternatives I try?

There is an infinite amount of way to limit your impact on the environment. The never-ending question is of course how effective the alternatives are. Can you really make a difference?

I constantly wonder how my actions affect the environment. Does it matter that I didn’t recycle that thing properly? Does it make a difference that if I buy ecological or not that time? Infinite questions.

This is going to be long, but stay tuned! It’s important!

This june a study was published in IOP science, based on other studies, reports and recommendations in an attempt to determine which every-day actions are the most effective to reduce greenhouse gas emission.

They recommended four so called high impact actions.

Having one fewer child. Every year this would lessen a person’s impact with 58.6 tonnes CO2.

I don’t think I’m ready to consider this but that is one HUGE number to be sure. When looking into this, it is counted on each parent being responsible for half of the children’s future CO2 impact based on current numbers, plus a fourth of the grandchildrens emission etc. Thus, in theory this could be much less by teaching your children to live more environmentally friendly (if they never had a car either this number would be much lower for example). Buy removing national emission this should also be 17 times lower according to the study.

Living car free. Each year this would save 2.4 tonnes CO2 every year.

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Woho! I score in this department! But I don’t know how borrowing a car time to time affects this number. Anyhow, it’s counted from the amount counts production, maintenance and fuel. This clearly show that reducing our transportation habits would make a huge difference – from catching the train, to walking or car-pooling.

Avoiding airplane travel. For every transatlantic roundtrip it saves 1.6 tonnes CO2.20170729_211606

Not all flight as transatlantic and probably lots shorter in time which would limit its effect. So lets say 1 tonne CO2 per roundtrip in general. Problem is, this means you probably choose other alternatives and thus affect in some regards.

Another challenge to this is that it is pretty much expected that you will travel by plane for your vacation. It’s seen as some everyday luxury that you can fly away for that awesome vacation. The challenge here is to change the common idea of vacation and moving it closer to home or by getting there by train.

Eating a plant based diet. Each year this saves about 0.8 tonnes CO2.

20170730_202756This compared to a meat diet counting emissions from fertilizers, livestock and transportation. I guess I am saving up fairly good in that department, and Nikki even more so. I still use dairy products and such, which I should make an effort to transition from to minimize emissions.

Smaller things

In the study they compare this with things such as recycling which is apparently four times less effective than removing meat from your diet. There goes that hope. Keep in mind though that even though recycling might not have the biggest CARBON impact it can matter a lot in the amount that is unnecessarily burned or the amount that is successfully reused. That in itself is a victory, carbon footprint or not. Still, it is staggering that the tiny steps I try to take matters very little if I don’t do the big stuff.

My carbon footprint

As I’ve understood from the study one individual need to limit their yearly emission to under 2.1 tonnes CO2 if we are to reach the goal of keeping climate change at 2 degrees. Thus, you can eat meat and fly one time a year and then use nothing more – no car, no children, no lights or any products. Or you could use a car, and then use nothing more. Or you could have a child, and then you can do nothing more for your entire life that has any emissions. You get the picture.

So to keep within limits, I would choose not to fly. For vacation I would probably take a car instead, but rented and shared with at least four people – so say that’s at least half of the emission saved. And no meat, but still daiary (let say I save half of it), while keeping recycling and choosing the right light bulbs. So in theory, I could minimise my carbon footprint with 0.4 +1.6 + 1.2 + 0.3 = 3.5 tonnes per year. That is at least pretty impressive, and probably means that I’m under the necessary emission levels. So that is something to aim for.

.. but what about the little thing?

Using a tote bag, recycling, choosing better materials, re-using clothes, minimizing my shopping. Does it matter? I guess not if you don’t do the big stuff. It doesn’t matter how many of the little stuff you do if the big stuff is still done. If I keep flying my imprint is just too huge for recycling to matter. That kind of sucks. Like it’s all a waste to try.

But it should be the opposite – it means we know that we have to focus on the big stuff. If we start there, all the little things will come to matter too. If I don’t fly or use a car and can eat plant based at the same time, the little things start to matter too. This just means that I know where to start.

And mind you, the little steps matter in other ways to. They are important for a sustainable world in many ways, just not the most effective to limit carbon emissions.

 

Our hike to the nature reserve

 

We started our day around 8.30 when we hopped on the bus that went all the way from our station Tanjung Tokong to the National park, which took about 45 min. The public transport in Penang is really cheap and nice, a bus ticket cost you about 2 ringgit which is like 4 kr. All of the buses have air con, and are pretty clean. The traffic is very typical for this region, lots of cars, traffic almost everywhere and pretty crazy driving. Still I didn’t see a smashed car anywhere along the roads or anything.
After the bus ride we ordered a taxi boat to the parks furthest beach called Kampi. We wrote ourselves in to the National parks register book (probably so they know who to look for if we didn’t return).
The parks opening hours were between 9am-5pm.
We started walking on the path through the rainforest towards our first stop, the turtle sanctuary and meromictic lake.
On the way we met a monkey, a goanna and a couple of other hikers. The walk consisted of pretty steep hills both upward and downward. The air was extremely humid so we were sweating lots by just standing. Luckily the thick leaf works gave us shade so we didn’t have to deal with the burning sun.
When we reached the turtle sanctuary and got under the roof it started raining for a short while.
I was pretty disappointed at the sanctuary itself, we got to know that it was a public holiday which meant that there were no guides there to inform us about their conservation work. So we just had to draw conclusions by ourselves, which was not in their favour. There were approximately 5 tanks in the sanctuary. One with lots of baby turtles which I, and some of the other hikers we met inside, assume are going to be let free in the ocean when they have grown a bit bigger and won’t be as easy take-away lunch targets for the big fish.
The tank beside the one with the babies was a turtle that was a bit bigger in size, yet not full grown. I hope with all of my heart that this one will be let free soon.
Then there were the tree last tanks, the most depressing ones. All of the had a big adult turtle inside them, one had a broken shell, the other two I didn’t notice any outer injuries on, but what do I know. The thing is, these big magnificent creatures where put in small (maybe around 1,5×1,5 m) tanks. They swam around in a circle for a bit. They had nothing in the tanks but water. No seaweed, no rocks, not a single thing to enrich the enclosure they lived in. It made me angry. Especially when there was nobody to defend the work the centre is doing.
They hade nice informational posters about how an embryo becomes a turtle and pictures of the different sea turtle species that can be found around the beach. But there was not much about their conservation work.
I innerly hope that what I saw, has a good explanation because of those turtles are just kept like that for fun, this conservation project is a mere scam.
After watching the poor turtles we continued our walking trough pretty rough terrain with more hills. After about an hour or so we reached the beach Kampi, which was pure beauty. We were accompanied the last 20 minutes by a local who normally walks around the reserve on his spare time. But other than that, we were alone at the beach. After a couple of hour of chill we got picked up by our ride and got to see reserve from the outside and the rainforest was magnificent. I can’t believe how you wouldn’t want to conserve the nature, trees may not radiate wifi or grow donuts on them, they make the air around us breathable. They are the reason we live. They are important, much more important than our petty little needs. Much more important than us.

Fresh fruit finds

France is a great place for fresh fruit. Unlike home, you can find fruit that is day fresh and transported only a few hours. And the taste is wonderful.

Whenever you are out travelling, make sure to buy some fresh and local fruits! You can find all kinds of things. My favorite here has been nectarin which I love and has been dripping sweetness. And I just tried Figs which was new for me. It was awesome as well – I’ll try more of that!

The pictures are from a small local shop put by the road in Camarc, a nature reserve area in southern France.

And as a plus: they had paper bags for the fruit and veggies instead of the plastic bags! Yhey for sustainable packaging!

Todays choice

Today we visited the amazing Carrières de lumières. If you are ever in southern France, visit it. And if you’re not, youtube it. It was truly amazing and almost overwhelming.

Afterwards we strolled through Le Village which is located right next to it. There we found this beauty. Fresh fruit is generally in abundance here, unlike home, but look at those cups! It’s cardboard and not plastic! I was overjoyed!

The sign said rawfood and stuff to but I didn’t try any of that as we walked on with our fresh lemonades. Thought the village they also had other wonderful sustainable products, sush as unpacked and locally produced soap, fresh and local olive oil, ketchup and jam in glas jars. It was adorable and really nice. And it gave me renewed energy to search for fresh and local products at home – from veggies to bread, oil and candy.

It was an awesome day and I really wanted to share this small sustainable joy 🙂

In France for a week of climbing

Yesterday was the last day of a week of awesome climbing. Me and my partner have spent the week in france with wonderful instructors, really beautiful views and awesome walls. It has been amazing.

I’ve never done outdoors climbing before so it was wonderful to try and really different from indoors. I have all the muscles and mind set so had little trouble adapting in general, but the size of the grips where a revelation. They are tiny!

Now I’m confident standing on my tip toes with little grip, I can hold on with the tip of one finger and lift with only a few fingers. This will totally up my game at home.

Now we’re spending a few days traveling by care to see the countryside and then we’re of to Corsica for a few days. I’m looking forward to it, but also to coming home and trying my new skills.

In the area of sustainability a lot of thoughts have crossed my mind, and i will tell u more in the days to come. Untill then, here are some pictures!

Lots of fun, lots of challenge and one thing is sure, my fingers are sore as hell.

Day 6 of zero waste

Hi peeps! Today I have had a pretty chill day (: Started it by working out at the gym with the bf. We trained legs, so lots of both front and back squats some deadlifts etc. Tomorrow we are going to do a teamwod at the crossfit box near us, so I am very excited. We have just hanged around all day and enjoyed the lovely weather, had a big melon for lunch because it was all I had at his place. But I compensated it by having a big big dinner (: We barbecued lots of veggies such as carrot, paprika, corn and I also had beans, avocado and sweet potato. Delicious and filling ❤ Now we are actually on our way to get some ice cream in town. I’ll “cheat” a bit by also buying, but I mean, if I have a cone with ice cream and don’t take any napkins or plastic spoon, it’s kind of waste free. I promise not to through away any of it (;

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Sliding in to the ice cream vendor like…

Packandet har börjat

 

Om tre dagar ska jag och pojkvännen ut i världen. Vi ska packa varsin fet ryggsäck och ge oss av mot Arlanda med destinationen Bangkok på flygbiljetterna. I Thailand ska vi jungeltrekka och ta dykcertifikat, gärna äta vår egen vikt i bananpannkakor och träffa massa roliga människor.
• 19 februari bär det av mot Bali, där vi bokat en veckas träningsläger på ett bootcamp med crossfit och yoga.

• Den 4 mars flyger vi från Bali till Australien och bor i Sydney några dagar, innan vi tar oss vidare på ett Surfläger. Därefter bussar vi oss uppåt från Byron Bay till Cairns. Självklart kommer vi stanna på otaliga ställen där emellan.
• Den 1 april bär det av hemåt mot Sverige från Cairns.

72 dagar på resande fot kräver en del planering. Det viktigaste är ju att inte packa för mycket, vilket jag är expert på.
För några dagar sedan drog jag fram alla mina sommarkläder jag skulle kunna tänka mig att ha med, vek och sorterade dem i prydliga högar på ett lakan på golvet för att få en tydlig översikt. Där har kläderna nu legat och det är dags för mig att börja sortera, minst hälften ska bort. Vi får se om jag lyckas…

Snart börjar äventyret

Mitt wifi har varit lite svajigt de senaste dagarna. Men nu sitter vi i shoppingcentret Siam Discovery med supersnabbt wifi. Om några timmar bär det av mot gränsen till Burma för sexdagars trekking i djungeln. Här ska vi bland annat se Thailands längsta vattenfall och åka forsränning. Vi är så himla taggade på att komma bort från bruset i storstaden och alla turister en stund!

Den 30 januari är vi tillbaka i Bangkok igen på morgonen, samma kväll tar vi bussen nedåt i landet. Den 31a på morgonen kliver vi av färjan på ön Koh Tao. Där hänger vi i tre dagar innan vår fyradagars dykkurs börjar 😀

11-13 februari har vi bokat in oss på en snorklingstrip vid paradisön Similan Island, där vi kommer bo ombord på en båt. Så man kan helt klart säga att det är nu det riktiga äventyren börjar.

Mat mat mat

Det går verkligen att äta på väldigt olika sätt här, men alla har sin charm.

  • Nr 1 Foodcourt. Detta är från det veganska köket i MBK köpcentret som jag nämnde i ett tidigare inlägg. Här med ris och två tillägg= 50 bath dvs ca 13 kr.
  • Nr 2 Gatustånd. Här är smoothies där man fick välja tre frukter de mixar med is, kostade ca 45 bath~ 12 kr. Till detta köpte jag även en portion take-away ris för 10 bath~ 3 kr samt några sjögräs sushibitar för 7 bath styck~2 kr. Perfekt snabbmiddag för veganen. Längst med gatorna finns det hundratals, till och med tusentals stånd av alla möjliga slag. De serverar friterad kyckling, bröd, allt.. Dumplings, frukt, curry, listan kan fortsätta i evigheter.
  • Nr 3 thairesturang. Här en nudelblandning med grönsaker och jordnötssås. Mycket gott, köptes på caféet/ resturangen som ligger i samband med New Road Guesthouse.
  • Nr 4 Västerländsk resturang. Oftast mycket dyrare än vad vanlig thailändsk mat är. På ett gatustånd kostar en portion ris och curry ca 50 bath och samma på resturang ca 90-150 bath. Går du in på en västerländsk kedja/ resturang kan en rätt lätt kosta 250-400 bath. Kanske inte dyrt i svenska mått mätt, men inget man lever på länge med backpackingbudjet.

 

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