This is an odd mix of ideas.
I think it would be useful to distinguish between things which genuinely save energy (e.g. use of small amounts of electric power for gadgets), things which may be desirable to resolve other potential global issues (e.g. avoidance of landfill), things which save money (e.g. making your own energy food and drink), and things which do none of these things (e.g. using organic foods). Otherwise "green" issues just all get bundled together, with the result that we panic over things that don't matter while ignoring things that do. It's the kind of thinking which leads people to throw away their cars to buy new ones which are marginally more efficient, ignoring the fact that a huge proportion of a car's energy use is in its manufacture.
It's by no means obvious, for example, that recycling materials results in a net energy saving. Not using things in the first place saves energy, but once they're made it's generally most efficient to throw them out. You may worry about the subsequent landfill issues, but that's a different matter from energy saving.
As for making your own isotonic drinks and cereal bars, those are great ideas from a point of view of saving money, but from a carbon footprint perspective it is by no means obvious that you are more efficient at gathering these raw materials and cooking them than a food manufacturer. Unless you grow oranges, oats, sugar cane etc. in your garden, in which case I apologise.
And why insist on using "organic" orange squash? There may be good reasons to worry about organic food, but from a point of view of makind's footprint and energy consumption, organics needs more energy to grow and harvest and take up more land. Why worry about bamboo compared to cotton but then use organic squash?
And finally, if running shoes need throwing away (as we're told by the more enthusiastic marketing types) after 400 miles, why are they OK for Africans?
I'll be taking my car to my race on Sunday because a) I can leave my kit in the car, b) it's far more direct and the energy consumption isn't actually greater at all and c) if it's wet I tend to catch colds after races on long public transport rides. But I don't use a MP3 player so perhaps that's OK?
If people want to pick up trash when they're running, then good for them, but our tendency to pretend this is somehow altering the climate for the better simply because it makes us feel righteous (there's no obvious link between rubbish collection and CO2) actually isn't really helping.
Posted: 08/05/2009 at 14:57