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Saving the planet needn’t cost more

  • by JW

From alternatives to the fuel duty… to spending on lighting and food


The role of government:

As we look to rising fuel and food prices, questions are being raised as to whether we can also afford to ‘save the planet’:

Rishi Sunak must reduce fuel duty and the green levy to shield the public | News | The Times (paywall)

‘Fight back’: Is the government’s push back against net zero critics gaining momentum? | BusinessGreen Analysis

However, there are alternatives being considered. For example:

UK road pricing plans: other solutions to the fuel duty ‘black hole’ are available

GPS tracking and pay-as-you-go driving could replace fuel duty and VED, but the Transport Select Committee chairman admits it’s just one option. Fuel duty revenues will fall as electric cars replace petrol and diesel models, giving rise to concerns that the £37billion paid annually into Treasury coffers by drivers filling up, will dry up. A report from the Transport Select Committee – widely regarded to be influential in Whitehall circles – strongly promoted a ‘pay-as-you-go’ road-pricing scheme to cover this looming tax revenue gap, while giving scarcely any mention of alternative tax mechanisms.

UK road pricing plans: other solutions to the fuel duty ‘black hole’ are available | Auto Express

And there are calls for more investment in ‘green energy’:

UK must spend on home insulation and heat pumps, ministers told | Cost of living crisis | The Guardian

How insulation and heat pumps could cut the UK’s – and other countries’ – need for Russian gas

How insulation can help save on your energy bills with UK households cutting £1.15bn in costs per year

The role of citizens and consumers:

Many of these initiatives could be made more attractive with government money, of course.

Meanwhile, there are steps that we as private citizens can make to both bridge that black hole – to reduce both our household spend and our environmental impact:

Basic energy-saving tips – Vision Group for Sidmouth

The personal finance website Piggyy has been in touch with the VGS, suggesting a couple of postings which could save us money and ‘save the planet’.

For example, providing a simple overview of all lighting options:

LED vs. CFL vs. Incandescent: Save Money and Energy

Lighting options have progressed over time. We only had incandescent before, which we loosely referred to as the lightbulb. Now, we have to differentiate between 3 different types when we go to the store. Let’s weigh in on the differences between LEDs, CFLs, and incandescent to find out how they work and how we can save on money and energy and shift to a more environmentally-friendly option.

LED vs. CFL vs. Incandescent: Save Money and Energy – Piggyy

Here’s another – on how Fair Trade products needn’t be more expensive than ‘unfair trade’ products:

The Financial Benefits and Sustainability Impact of Encouraging Fair Trade

Fair trade efforts have been at the forefront of combating poverty, climate change, and social inequality. The very structure of the standardization that fair trade follows and imposes on its organizations is specifically designed to support marginalized communities and protect human lives above all else. It’s not motivated by profit like most large corporations who enable mass production regardless of unethical practices.

The Financial Benefits and Sustainability Impact of Encouraging Fair Trades – Piggyy

Fairtrade products can in fact be cheaper:

Fair Trade Myths: Part 1

With this report from the Liverpool Echo over the weekend:

We bought the cheapest instant coffee from several supermarkets to try and find one that was as good as more expensive options

After visiting my local Co-op, I looked for the cheapest instant coffee I could find, and this was my winner. Priced at £1.20 for 100g, it’s great value for a big jar of instant coffee, considering I normally pay closer to £5 for branded coffee. The Co-op Honest Value Fairtrade instant coffee was a roast blend, with quite dark thick granules. I added a fair bit of milk and one spoonful of sweetener as I always do and took a sip...

We tried supermarket ‘value’ coffee from Aldi, Co-op, ASDA and Iceland and one impressed us – Amy Browne – Liverpool Echo

With lots more information here:

Fairtrade in Sidmouth – Welcome to everything fairtrade in Sidmouth!

Sidmouth Fair Trade Group | Facebook