WE do like to take the easiest option, particularly if it makes us feel good, and our attitude to reducing our own CO2 responsibilities is a prime example.

We can pontificate about how green we are, and why the environment is important, and we are doing our bit, but it’s much more than doing some recycling, eating local food, reducing food waste, installing energy saving light bulbs, and not using plastic bags. We should keep on practicing these small changes but we shouldn’t kid ourselves that’s enough.

Recent research shows that the two big culprits are flying and car ownership. A simple return flight from Manchester to New York produces at least one and a half tonnes of CO2 per passenger, while car use is even more producing two and a half tonnes every year. In contrast persistent recycling would take over five years to save one tonne and home insulation even a little longer, and that’s if they’re both done properly.

It can be even worse as a round trip to Australia produces a good four tonnes each, so it would take at least twenty years to save that amount of climate changing gas by sorting out domestic materials that can be recycled.

The problem is that visiting foreign places, particularly sunny ones, and getting about in a busy domestic world are seen as non negotiable by most folk, as are the other two behavioural changes that certainly help to reduce emissions. Limiting the number of children a couple has, and a meat free diet are both challenging life style decisions, but they certainly are effective in reducing production of CO2.

It’s decision time and this probably means viewing distant lands through modern technology, rather than visiting, while more walking and public transport reduce the impact of the private car and are good for your adopted children.