It’s been a bit of a hectic week for media with interviews on Sky, ITV and the BBC.
The BBC and Sky wanted to talk about the WWF report on Winchester’s Environmental Footprint.
The Sky interview (below) was live and straight into a camera with a small earpiece in my ear where I could listen to Eamonn Holmes.
The BBC interview was prerecorded at home. The final shot with Tom Hepworth is shot in our living room. That’s my TV that gets switched off at the end (and, yes, it does get switched off at the wall when not in use).
WWF’s analysis showed that Winchester uses the equivalent of 3.6 planets worth of resources – above the UK average of 3 planets – and way over the level we would need to be at to be sustainable.
It’s partly a question of geography – the analysis related to all 250 square miles of the City Council area – which makes Winchester one of the largest and most rural city councils in the UK. We also have a lot of commuting and major motorways running through the city council area. But the main reason is that we’re relatively well off. It’s a great place to live – the best in England according to Location, Location, Location – but this all comes at a price.
I’m pretty certain most people locally are going to take this as a challenge. We already know we’re a great place to live. We now need to become a great and a green place to live. We need to show how it’s possible to move towards high quality, low carbon living. As a well-off city in one of the wealthiest countries in the world, we need to take a lead. If we can’t change, why should anyone else? There’s a new group been set up called ‘Winchester Action on Climate Change’ which brings together government, business and individuals which is an ideal forum to make this happen.
Personally, I’d like to see action on every level. The Government needs a bigger shift from income tax towards green taxes, more support for renewable energy and to make it easier and more affordable for people to have greener homes. Research into renewable energy sources needs the same kind of priority as the Manhattan Project or the Apollo Mission. The County Council needs to get serious about public transport and stop cutting it. The City Council needs to do more: for example, start food waste recycling and set higher green standards for new commercial buildings – and we need to do more to plan Winchester so that it’s easier for people to live a low energy lifestyle. And, obviously, there’s a lot we can do as individuals – change our lightbulbs – move to lower emission cars – switch off electrical devices when we’re not using them – and travel more efficiently.
I also used the WWF website to work out my own footprint – which turned out to be 2.4 planets. Below average – but still 1.4 planets too many. Since doing the survey, I’ve got much better at switching stuff off at the wall when I’m not using it. I’m buying more at the Farmers’ Market. My next priority is to reduce my travel footprint by using public transport and my bike more – and getting a really low emissions car. My current car is pretty good for emissions – but some of the newer ones are even better.