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Showing posts from May, 2021

Giving with one hand

  The act of sending any person to person mail or parcels through NZ Post is now carbon neutral.   That's good to hear. NZ Post is doing many things to reduce its carbon footprint and is to be commended on that. But (you knew that was coming didn't you?) whilst a lot is being done actually to reduce the amount of CO2 being emitted as a result of sending mail and parcels, there are   a certain amount of 'unavoidable' emissions and these must be dealt with. This is done with carbon offsetting. Companies can purchase carbon credits to offset their carbon emitted. In fact NZ Post go as far as to claim on their website that these credits 'cancel' their emissions. Great news - the negative impact of NZ Post's mail and parcel sending activities are being cancelled. Except that they're not are they? Not really. I can purchase a carbon credit which will entitle me to release a tonne of CO2 into the atmosphere and then claim that it never happened. Carbon credits

An hour of rubbish

  Apparently I am grumpy on Tuesday mornings. That's because Tuesday is rubbish day and we have to get our rubbish bags out on the street by seven o'clock in the morning. I get up at six and put the kettle on and if I'm lucky I will remember what day it is before it's too late. In fact, it is often not collected until much later, or even the next day, but the day I am late will be the day they come at seven. If I do remember, I rush round the house gathering refuse from various rooms and bathrooms (and the latest batch from the kitchen) and then spend half an hour in the garage sifting though it all. This is when the mood begins to deteriorate. I can hear myself droning on at the kids: "Squashed is not flattened! Oat milk containers are not recyclable!". It was the same when we had a cafe a few years ago - the cardboard recycling bin out the back was forever full of imperfectly flattened boxes - and we had to pay for it to be emptied when it was full, which it

Water: We're in luck

  I was in the shower yesterday when my wife came into the bathroom and remarked that I was standing beneath more of a dribble than a shower. Actually it was a bit low, but we are on town water supply and so generally we do make an effort not to waste water. At our last house, out in the country, we weren't nearly as careful. We took water out of the ground via the bore hole and put it, almost immediately, back into the ground about thirty metres away. Water use was not so much of an issue, the bore hole never ran dry, there was no apparent water shortage in our area, and showers were longer. One day I interrupted my wife, who had been in the shower for a while, to tell her we had received a call from the council who were trying to track down the cause of a sudden and worrying drop in the water level at Karapiro. Of course I was told all about it.   According to various estimates the average New Zealand family uses about 250 litres of water per person per day. For the average famil

A moment in time

  Cast your mind back 541 million years. That was when the Cambrian explosion began. It is thought that the Cambrian explosion lasted for between 13 and 25 million years, and it was during this time that the majority of animal phyla (pretty well all animal forms) began appearing in the fossil record.   There are various theories about what prompted this rapid acceleration in evolution. It could have been the 2 billion years of photosynthesis which preceded it, and the resultant rise in the level of oxygen in the atmosphere. It could have been the development, around that time, of the ozone layer which protects life on earth from biologically lethal levels of UV radiation. There is also a theory called Snowball Earth which is less in favour nowadays than it has been. Various other theories concentrate on different phenomena of the day. It always amazes me how much information can be extracted from old rocks. Obviously there is a lot more to it than that, and many people have many differ