Wednesday, 25 February 2009

Wednesday 25th February 09

I took our youngest to school... last night we got his bike mended and this morning the tyre was still hard, so he cycled, very slowly. I picked up a trailer-load of logs from the woodland the University has destroyed.

Gill went to art. I riddled (sieved) a load of sawdust/woody waste, to get fine sawdust for the compost toilet, and larger bits and bobs, bark bits, twigs etc, for a woody 'carbon-rich' layer in the compost heap. As I was doing this, I had some sad thoughts about today's news that a little boy who had Cerebral Palsy had died, and my friend's daughter who also has CP and is quite fragile... and nearly died last summer. I didn't know that there was such a high risk of death at such an early age (because there are plenty of adults with CP) and I hope my little friend stays as strong as she can and fulfils her potential, which is considerable, as she's got a fantastic personality. It would be a tragic loss, as is any child dying, but I'm glad I know a little bit more about the subject and the possibilities ahead.

I went on the laptop to do some more pushing and shoving about Age of Stupid, trying to get the Peoples' Premiere put on at City Screen and also trying to get a special screening at City Screen with the Director, Franny Armstrong, coming to introduce it and do a Q and A afterwards.

Gill came back and we had lunch. Most of our afternoon was taken up with a visitor and doing some cooking... a sauce with butternut squash in it for spaghetti.

I went to get the little cyclist and picked up another load of logs on the way home.

More work in the garden, visited Country Fresh and got 3 sacks/boxes of compostables as well as 2 'paid for' bags of veg and fruit, one for Debbie and one for home. Dropped off some seconds bananas with Ben and Jill... and when I got in, Ben rang to say he'd got the graphics card for the boy's computer... but when he arrived, he found he'd assumed the computer was an older version, but no, it was only a couple or 3 years old and the newer card was needed. So he had a cuppa whilst I searched for spaghetti (found it eventually!) and prepared tea. Good company. Gill had gone to school for a meeting about a child's fieldtrip, and when she came home the boys were enjoying their spag veg and Gill had some too.

I soon popped out to the University of York Student Union's Green Week event on carbon footprinting, which was quite a good meeting, mostly a workshop.

Home before 9 to a peaceful house. Lovely!


James said...

Have you seen the letters reply to your article in the Ecologist?

Compost John said...

No I haven't yet... maybe I should go and buy the March edition? Were they positive comments?

James said...

Bit negative I'm afraid.

Compost John said...

This is the text of the letter in The Ecologist:

"I wanted to respond to John Cossham's advice on reducing your carbon footprint (How to... February). While I applaud Mr Cossham's lifestyle and his low carbon footprint, his statement that 'you are not green if you drive around everywhere' is simplistic.
Of course we should all drive less and use public transport more, but for some people it is just not practical. I have a severely autistic son and use my car to take him to school, therapy sessions and play activities. Using public transport, at the moment, would be too distressing for him. However, although I regularly use a car, I still consider myself green. Three years ago I bought a cleaner and smaller car. I am a vegetarian, work an allotment, don't fly, invest money with the Ecology Building Society and am a member of Friends of the Earth, Greenpeace and the Green Party. I use recycled products wherever possible, recycle heavily and last year worked hard to persuade my council to install Tetra-Pak-recycling bins at various sites in my local area. When I can use public transport I do.
Vilifying car users is not, in my opinion, helpful to the green cause, and if a judgement is to be made about green credentials, one should look at the whole picture.
John Matthews
Harpenden, Hertfordshire"

My response to this is twofold. Firstly, he is, like many of us who do things which get criticism, defensive (hey, I defend my choices in exactly the same way!). Secondly, he doesn't 'drive around everywhere' as by his own admission, he uses public transport when he can. So I would describe this chap as pretty green, and if he did his C footprint, he'd probably find it lower than the UK average.

And when I said that quote to the journalist, I did so partly to provoke and to encourage debate! So it worked....