In some ways I’ve been on a kind of eco-mission for years – ordering a recycling box for a boyfriend’s shared house, chiding colleagues for using throwaway cups, and turning off their computers after they’d left the office.
I’ve recently made some even more substantial changes to my lifestyle. I’ve moved towards a vegan diet, cut back on flying (I’ve flown once in the past three years), and nowadays I rarely buy anything new, with online resellers and secondhand sites my main sources of shopping.
Of course, the onus isn’t solely on what any one of us can do as an individual, businesses have to do their bit too. But I believe we can all be more conscious citizens – although I admit I’m lagging behind compared with many eco-warriors, and there’s a long list of ways I can have an even more positive impact on the planet.
That’s why I eagerly accepted the challenge to see what I could do to go even greener over the next five days.
The eco escape
I’d been planning a trip to London and I started to wonder how sustainable I could make it. OK, after doing some research, it doesn’t look like I’ll be wild camping by the River Lea, but I do discover a sumptuous hotel in a converted 19th-century Victorian warehouse in Clerkenwell, which scores highly when it comes to sustainability.
It has its own borehole beneath the building, which augments the hotel’s water supply, as well as some nifty energy-saving technologies. If you open a window, for instance, the air conditioning cuts out, and the lights in my room turn themselves off when they detect that they aren’t in use. The hotel also stocks environmentally-friendly bathroom products.
So while money remains a factor when booking accommodation, in the future I plan to factor in sustainability too.
Similarly, I hold my hands up and admit that I don’t tend to research a restaurant’s green bona fides beforehand. So I challenge myself to find somewhere to eat with an environmental ethos during my stay in London. I’m thrilled when I come across a new fine-dining restaurant in Camden’s Buck Street Market – one situated in an old shipping container, no less. I’m pleased to discover that it is rising to the sustainability challenge by using foraged natural ingredients, in-season products, and taking much of its produce straight from its …….