Tuesday, 7 December 2010

How much carbon does one little a seed save?

I've been thinking about this alot - and more so since reading a fellow blogger today. I'll add the link in a mo.

I'm trying to do my bit - covering the world with flowers - day at a time. Atempting to be living the good life - or getting to the point where I can, growing my own, passing it on by teaching about it - trying to reduce my consumption and decrease my little size 4 carbon foot print - or maybe even help to make it neutral - or possibily even a tiny bit positive. I like thinking about these issues - I did a sustainability degree at the local college (just for fun - lol)  a few years ago and I'm always thinking of the fact that even one person CAN make a difference - we had a lecture once about being a 'change agent' - if you can instill a change in yourself or others - passing the word on - surely one day - it must all make a difference? Or am I very niave?

But, the blog I read about our climate warming going up by 2 degrees and the change which was inevitable with that, it really got me thinking - OK I hope I'm making even a tiny bit of a difference. I hope or at least not making it worse? Can I make it any better - I can't cool the planet down - but I can grow my own food - even on the kitchen windowsill.

For example I grew a chilli plant - I've harvested my chillis - I no longer need to buy them. Am I actually helping the planet or am I a carbon menace - does every little bit we do/save/recycle/grow help?

Thinking just of my kitchen window sill chillis, now that I've harvested them, I don't need to buy any for the year - or maybe even ever - as I've also saved the seed:

Where are they normally grown or are they flown in from elsewhere if I get them in the supermarket?
How much carbon do I actually save if I grow my own?
Can one little seed actually make a difference?
If one little seed can, how much can actually trying to eat/grow my own for the year make in the way of carbon savings? [I'm thinking of this as my challenge for next year, putting my good life ideals where my mouth is...........]
Can I be a carbon neutral veggie consumer even here up north or even make a positive contribution to my own wellie clad carbon footprint??

I'm going to find out. I'll repost this when I've got an answer to this.

And perhaps a challenge.


  1. Gosh lots of questions and I wonder if you growing chilli in the orkneys would be more or lesss carbon neutral then me growing them in Worcestershire or indeed someone in say Cornwall? I will look forward to seeing the results. You might like to check out Mark's blog at Otter Farm http://www.otterfarmblog.co.uk/ think it might be of interest to you and would also help you connect with others who have similar interests. Glad we have 'bumped' into each other if you get my meaning

  2. I think one little seed is a brilliant way to make a difference. I have enjoyed this post - also the fact that you are "covering the world with flowers - day at a time"

  3. Yeah interesting points - our local groceries probably have a higher carbon foot print than most folks, as all of our freight has to be driven/ferried up here. But not sure about things like a chilli! I'm going to check out that website thank you. I wonder the same thing about flowers - I stopped buying shop bought flowers a while back - money tight and I was wondering how much more carbon neutral I could be if I actually grew those things I was capable of - rather than just bought them. Kind of booting myself up the backside in a carbon sense.

    Thank you for popping by - when I find out the answer to these questions I'll post them up.

  4. Thank you Karen - we're all possibly capable of just planting one little seed aren't we? I'm always very inspired by seeds, all that life in a tiny little case - amazing! If they can offset my carbon wellie print and also help sustain our family then why not.....

    Covering the world in flowers a day at a time, is a muddy, messy job - but I'm up for the task!

    Thank you for popping past.

    Most things in life are provided by flowers - makes you think.

  5. Hi Fay. How you measure carbon footprint is so hotly contested at the moment. I look forward to seeing what you come up with. Intuition says anything you grow your own and therefore don't need to buy in from e.g. Kenya (where most supermarket chillies seem to come from) has to be planet-friendly. Though I then worry about the people of Kenya who have given over their land to producing our french beans and chillies - and flowers - instead of food for themselves. Surely leading a more sustainable life, where you grow a lot of what you need, saving seed from year to year, has to be a "Good Thing". And flying flowers across the world when you can grow beautiful ones yourself does indeed seem nuts! So long live the revolution, one seed a time?!

  6. Very true Janet!

    I'm worried I have to tell you. Dinner tonight frozen pea from england, frozen corn from Belgiium (??), tattie thankfully local. I can grow them when I get a tunnel up.

    Will that add to my own carbon footprint, having to grow in a tunnel? I think it will.