11 Dec 2009

Going green for Christmas no longer makes you Scrooge

Bah humbug!

Cycling gives you an interesting perspective on how people feel about climate change. Am I imagining that more folks driving Porches, Bentleys and the rest are beginning to feel a little more shifty about what they are doing to the environment?

On a bike one often makes eye contact with drivers – these days I find that some drivers in the higher range gas-guzzling barouches are averting their eyes.

On the other hand there have always been those who look shifty in such vehicles. There’s always a slight suspicion that anyone who could splash out in excess of £50,000 for a car must have made the money by questionable means – drug dealing or white collar crime of some sort.

My renewed interest in these drivers may be a consequence of spending the last couple of weeks in Brazil and at the Copenhagen climate Change summit.

I’m suddenly actively looking for one of those domestic waste bins that are divided into colour-coded individual quadrants to make recycling easier.

Each quadrant can be separately removed from the bin – paper, plastic, glass, organic etc. Anyone know where you can find such a thing? I’ve seen them all over Portugal and in a few US hotels, and UK hospitals, but never in a UK home.

The most powerful sense I have is that Britain lags desperately in personal behaviour, particularly on recycling and alternative clean energy.

I have some solar panels, but it was a heck of a business getting hold of them and getting them fitted – and I’ve worked out that I will have to live to 87 before the panels pay for themselves and their installation!

Finally, are we finally seeing the retreat of the Christmas card? Every thump of the odd-sized envelope on the mat this year seems to feel like an anti-environmental act.

My own prejudice, having sent a few in the past, is to restrict them to nearest and dearest. I have started to enjoy what I once dreaded – the email card.

Must make me sound like Scrooge. This character I actually WILL be this Christmas – for one night only (20 December) – in Sandi Toksvig’s panto at the Royal Festival Hall (charitable proceeds to New Horizon – the young homeless project of which I am chair).

I am playing opposite the great Dane and Ronnie Corbett – I am learning my lines, and ensuring I go by bike.

UPDATE: 15.13

Wow – well LucyTweeting has fixed my recycling bin requirements and I promise not to bored you with too many requests. But as of next week I shall be equipped with exactly what I was after.

The winning bin was this one: http://www.homerecycling.co.uk/catalogue.php?product_id=222
Thank you.


Tweets by @jonsnowC4

14 reader comments

  1. adz says:

    Not enough money in recycling Jon. Brazil has definitely had an effect on you but that is normal.
    Too many big cars for mother’s and their only child is what I say.
    Christmas cards are becoming less but that coincides with all the other nasty happenings of our current times.
    Keep Cycling and good on you for the Solar panels.
    from Sri Lanka-adzmundo CND

  2. Edith S says:

    I’ve had a three-compartment recycling kitchen bin for five years or so now which works very well, except our local recycling scheme has so many different collections that we have to subdivide further! The below is a link to my bin but the site (not one I’ve used myself) seems to have a whole range available.


  3. adrian clarke says:

    Jon, if you come up here to mountainous North Derbyshire and show me how to ride up these hills i will go completely green and give up my car

  4. Britt_W says:

    I had recycling bins in my kitchen units back in Sweden already in the early 1980s. Bought at IKEA (of course..). I checked their website but all I could find now was this: http://www.ikea.com/gb/en/catalog/products/90076364

    If that’s any good?

    Alternatively, just buy small bins with lids on and create your own mini ‘recycling centre’. I do!

  5. margaret brandreth- jones says:

    It seems as though you are following the general trend of thought, but don’t you already have those different coloured wheelie bins ?

    I think the reson they avert their eyes Jon is to see where they are going,. We can’t go on staring at each other whilst travelling ad infinitum ( and of course there is the .. Oh there’s Jon Snow, pretend we are not interested thing)

    I myself, have already on facebook made it clear that I won’t be sending Christmas Cards this year ,, but as they fall through the letter box , one begins to feel guilty., still I will hand deliver a few to my family, trouble is ,havn’t had time to decorate so if I dont get many I havn’t many on the wall to hide that unsightly bit of wallpaper, for the Boxing Day Party.I suppose I could hang my own up I have left from last year.

    What really annoys me is the car passengers who throw out fags, cans and papers out of the car as they are travelling-I want to throw it back- and the kebab , fish and chip , pizza and mcDonalds boxes some feel free to dump wherever they like.

  6. phil dicks says:

    JS:”Am I imagining that more people driving Porsches, Bentleys and the rest are beginning to feel a little more shifty about what they are doing to the environment?”
    “I have some solar panels…”
    Good for you.
    “Every thump of the odd-sized envelope on the mat this year seems to feel like an anti-environmental act.”
    It isn’t. (PS – do you really have a ‘mat’ in the conventional sense???).
    “…must make me sound like Scrooge.”
    No – the exact opposite. Scrooge was a reactionary-who-turned. You(we) are supposed to be liberals – the Green Movement is Another Orthodoxy. This orthodoxy is essentially right, but you of all people should be questioning it.

  7. Sceptic says:

    How do you do your supermarket shopping?

  8. Peter J Finn says:

    Jon I watch your news and being a light sleeper I hear nothing but news sometimes 24 hours per day from various sources Last night with Ed Milliband made me wonder why you were so tolerant of the evident ambition of a Sarkozy like figure I recall following Sarkozy in the wilderness from 1999 when it was apparent he would aspire to rule the world His ambition was unbrideled abetted by journalists short on copy and pressed for time so before 6 o clock every morning for 5 years he already had been cited or referenced four or five times This practice is a famous method in French news collection to cultivate interest in a story They particularly enjoy on France- Inter the derision of the Brits before 6 with stories of wanton stupidity and cunning brit plots against the human race. After 6 things change to a very reasoned and intelligent approach. By the evident nature of your humble posture in thanking someone for listening to ideas of great import I was reduced to thinking that here again was the creation of a Hero , the Milliband machine Try Solyeant Green instead

    1. phil dicks says:

      “…the derision of Brits before 6 with stories of wanton stupidity and cunning brit plots against the human race”.
      Lovely idea, but sadly we’re not that clever or cunning. We’re actually a bit-thick. Never underestimate British thickness; it’s our abiding non-genius.

  9. Ray Turner says:

    Bankers can certainly afford to spend more than £50K on a car…

  10. Jim Flavin says:

    It appears the Carbon garbage has been swallowed wholesale – well it will be found out sometime – after countless billions have been spent on this hoax . Re Recycling – yes – is it not mandotory in UK – it more or less is here – with as has been mentione d the different coloured whelie bins . Cycling is good exercise – anyway – re Hills – there are electric bikes – if onefeels up to hills etc – the electric can be switched on for hills etc- oh – they may not be green – throw them away . . Re C/mas cards – and feeling guilty – waht a load of nonsense – thats exctly waht the Govt want you to feel – servile , worried – then you easy accept more taxes for War – the Rich etc . The main thing Green on these Islands are the people – for puting up with such misinformation from politicians .

  11. froggy says:

    well i`ll carry on driving my car as im charged a fortune to own it & tax it, as for the enviroment arguement well thats unproven claptrap, unlike some i wont be a propaganda machine for this new religion, the media are promoting it going on the blatantly biased reporting thats going on despite of “climategate” which should be just as important to us, but instead we are given the “mushroom” treatment, it is suspicious due to its absence, so who is pulling the strings & why?.

  12. Patrick says:

    I’ve occasionally thought that one of these recycling bins would be a good idea. BUT the fact is that recyclable bits don’t come – or won’t be disposed of in the same quantity – so it just seems a waste to buy something with equally sized compartments? I suppose we’re lucky in having our recycling collected using three large plastic boxes, so you can store so much in the corner of the kitchen then migrate any overflow to the council boxes as and when necessary. Apparently we’re also getting food bins next year, Not a lot of fun for flat dwellers or terraced home owners having to shift potentially six varying sized bins around!

  13. amanda says:

    I sometimes try and cycle to pick up my daughter from nursery, carrying my little toddler in the bike trailer on the way, and with one on the bike seat on the way back. Not every week though, but when I do, some people treat me as a freak, call me mad and go out of their way to disuade me from doing what I know to be green, healthy and fun. I don’t have a car, cannot drive and sometimes rely on lifts for my kids to get from A to B, but that doesn’t mean I am a freak for cycling – why are some people too scared to admit they are doing the wrong thing by driving everywhere. Cycling would be safer and more enjoyable if more car drivers tried it now and again.

Comments are closed.