Thursday, 28 February 2008

I Didn't Save Energy on Energy-Saving Day!

Did you know that today was "E-Day" (energy-saving day) in the UK? No? Well, it's a campaign to raise people's awareness of the effect of wasting electricity and people are being asked to do simple actions such as turning off appliances instead of leaving them on standby. If you go to their website:, you'll see that here in the UK, we've used more electricity today than on an average day.

I find this result very sad, although i'm not surprised. I think it's a worthwhile campaign if its seen as an awareness-raising activity more than anything else. I think that we need to do a heck of a lot more to reduce our dependency on fossil fuels but I know that this is such a contentious issue that to talk about what really needs to be done, would just turn most people off any idea of changing habits.

So what did I do? Well, me and my partner used a lot of energy today and we're not one bit guilty about it! No, it's not what you're thinking, you saucy thing, you! We walked to Meadowhall Shopping Centre and back, rather than taking the tram, which is approximately a 6-mile round trip. Sorry, very boring... but good exercise!
A camera provides interest to the dullest of journeys, because you're looking out for any little thing that may make a good picture. My digital camera is one of my favourite things, and I use it just about every day. Here's a few snaps from the little trip:

The only thing that spoiled our walk was the constant roar of traffic, and nearly being run over by 4x4s about 20 times. I could say that we only had ourselves to blame for picking what must be the most pedestrian unfriendly part of Sheffield... but we don't live in the country! There are no completely quiet roads here. And I wanted to go shopping... well, there has to be some sort of bribe to get me to walk 6 miles along busy roads! I wondered why should this city be controlled by cars? I watched a great programme this week, "The Woman who Stops Cars", on Tues Channel 4 (UK). I thought it was so positive that I even wrote a letter to the Radio Times for the first time in about 20 years! I doubt that they'll ever publish it so here it is, in all its unabridged glory!

"Dear letters editor
Kris Mullin (The Woman Who Stops Traffic, Channel 4, Tuesday) was, literally, a real breath of fresh air. At last someone is being brave enough to ask motorists why they need to drive ridiculously short distances, at the inconvenience and discomfort of others. It was far from easy, and Kris was faced with ridicule and derision in her endeavours to rev-up drivers to recognise that each one of them is part of the problem. However, when the programme showed the result of her "Change Gear, no car day" in Marlow on 1st Feb, it was a wonderful and surreal experience to see empty roads, where the day before they were heaving with traffic. I am biased - I don't drive at all, and instead I walk to work every day which is around a mile each way - not far at all. I cannot see why more people do not choose to do this (and I believe that it is a choice for most people), and I would welcome and support a "no car day" in Sheffield. Please keep up the fantastic work Kris!

Joey Ramone (Ms)"

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