25:e november 2021 - Sustainability

So, how to create a life that is sustainable in Sweden? This is a problem I have grappled with for a while and now I think I have enough things in place that its worth doing a small summary, followed by a reflection of what does/doesn't work and where to go from here. The goal here is to have a setup in place that is sustainable, so that energy can be spent on other things that are fun. With sustainability I primarily mean climate neutral, because that is the most immediate threat. Obviously, climate change is not an issue we solve on our own, and sustainability is much more multi-faceted than just climate change, but I believe in solving one thing at a time and this bloggpost is focused on individual impact on climate emissions.

Café closes in 13 minutes, so here goes: Evaluation of climate impact.

Transportation - Biodiesel car through Energifabriken + Västtrafik-kort + bike. Flying with a standard airplane across the Atlantic. For humans, there seems to be no health benefit in using biodiesels, as suggested by Jon Unossons paper at UMU. The benefit is that the net amount of carbon in the atmosphere doesn't increase, since the same amount of carbon that is in the combusted hvo oils is bound in next years harvest. 'Neste my' renewable diesel has lower amounts of emissions hazardous to health than regular fossil diesel and is what I can get at the Energifabrikspump in Falköping.

Food - Meat 2-3 times a week. Otherwise beans. Lots of plastic. Sometimes dumpster-diving. Buy about 5-7 coffees a week while working. These usually have plastic lids and one-time mugs.

Technology - A bunch of stuff bought at Biltema or Kjell & Co mainly from China. It still seems super hard to get sustainable technology stuffs.

Clothes - 2nd hand + nice people give me clothes + asket. The last one is expensive, but makes good quality standard stuff like jeans, underwear and socks without using sweatshops.

Shoes - This one is harder - icebug is climate positive and at least shows pictures of its factory. They mostly sell studded shoes though, and I mostly need Nike-type shoes. But Nike are not nice (if you checkout the link - scroll down to labour conditions).

Of course the elephant in the room is the airplane trip across the Atlantic. I didn't climate compensate it. KLM plans to start using biofuels, which would drastically cut emissions (80% is the figure I've seen most often) - see treehugger - and they ran the first commercial flight with biofuels this year. Of course there are problems with biofuels (it is not a long-term solution) but just as with cars (and with nuclear energy) it will be necessary in order to bridge the gap until electrification and renewables take over. I actually really like KLM, they have great service and are usually friendly - hopefully the next flight over the Atlantic will be with KLM with biofuels.

As seen above there are many problems still to be fixed, but generally this has the potential to be a sustainable setup. The largest pitfall is when too stressed to make strategic decisions, or when too poor to do anything but the cheapest possible. Doing 'bokföring' at the end of the day - planning the future calmly maybe surrounded by other humans or animals or plants - I think is key to making this theoretically good setup a practically good setup.

Ok, full disclosure - I just drafted this in those thirteen minutes and then finished it at home. When I went out to pee there were snowflakes coming down. Not so many, so I didn't notice them at first. I will add some pretty pictures now!

Petrodiesel.jpg Biodiesel.jpg Molecule pictures from a blog by Judith Sandqvist - https://blog.sintef.com/sintefenergy/bioenergy/all-you-need-to-know-about-biofuels / two_green_tuxes.png Two green tuxes.

Author: David

Created: 2021-11-25 tor 22:13