So, John, what do you mean by a low carbon lifestyle? Sounds like austerity gone mad. Must be very boring. How about I tell you?
Most mornings, I get up early, leaving my wife snoozing in bed and the baby snoring in the cot. Sometimes, my eldest daughter Maddie has woken up early as well, and has been reading in bed. I get her started with her breakfast, before heading out for a jog into the woods.
I sit for a few minutes under a tree, enjoying the sounds of the natural world, before jogging back home for eggs on toast and a cup of black coffee.
Then there is a little frenetic activity as we get the children up and ready for school. Occasionally I accompany Maddie and Emily on their walk to school, sometimes my wife Rowan has the honour. If it’s me, it’s likely I’ll be walking back via a farm shop to buy some locally grown eggs and veg, which are cheaper than the supermarket.
I’ll then settle down at home for a day of work, powered by the sun on my roof. That will be a combination of work for my business, organising things for the Transition Town or Global Power Shift, or maybe illustrating or writing if I’m feeling creative. On the odd day I’ll get the train into London to meet with my business partner or a client.
I might help myself to the odd cup of tea or biscuit during the day, and lunch is a relaxed affair with Rowan and the baby.
Up to twice a week, I walk into the town rather than work from home. On those days, I work from a friend Bridget’s loft. We swap skills – she helps me with my writing, I help her get her computer glitches sorted out. On the walk back home, I might go to the local butchers to pick up some ham or sausages.
While I’m out and about, I might spend some time on the allotment digging, harvesting or weeding. I don’t do as much of that as I should. I can catch up with work in the evening if I decide to spend more time outside during the day.
I’m then home early to help with an early evening meal and to get the children to bed. A few days a week I might go out to a meeting in the evening over a glass of wine at someone’s house, or over a pint in the pub. Red Squirrel or Side Pocket are decent. On other days I might watch a film with Rowan, or catch up about the day.
The weekends are similar to the weekdays, but with the kids around. We’re likely to go for a walk / bike-ride in the woods, or go up to Whipsnade for a little while (this involves the car).
For holidays, we might go up to my folks on Anglesey in North Wales or up to the in-laws in Shropshire. This year we also went to what proclaimed to be a low-carbon cottage in the Cotswold Water Park, just south of Cirencester, for a week of sun, swimming, tennis and scones.
How does that sound to you?