| Oak Sapling by Pavlenko on Unsplash; text and image by Jack Rennie | 

“People who gave a kidney to a stranger reported that the act made them feel happier and more fulfilled.” 

It’s Lockdown 2021 and I’ve run out of books so I have turned to a little known app on my mobile telecommunications device – maybe you have heard of it – called ‘Podcasts’. This podcast was entitled ‘how to be happier’, though I think there should be a caveat of ‘if you are a living saint’, which I am not. As someone who is scared of spiders, loud noises and, sometimes, my own shadow, I don’t plan on separating from any of my bodily organs any time soon, whether I have spares or not. Maybe giving to a just-cause could bring joy with a more lowly gesture… I thought about how little effort I had committed to the Zero Carbon Shropshire cause so far and, remembering they have no organ harvesting scheme, as of yet, I decided to do something good for the team. Purely to make myself happier of course.

Consulting my new life guru I found a podcast that would surely be the answer to my prayers. It was a children’s show about carbon emissions called How Can We Help and it was only four minutes long. Perfect. I sat in my living room listening to voice-actors speaking about all of the simple things we can do to help. Admittedly I started daydreaming after about two and a half minutes but I dutifully rewound and re-listened to the following tips: Turn your appliances off when not in use, eat less meat, walk or cycle where possible and plant trees

The only appliances I have on constantly are my fridge freezer, I thought, and my internet modem. If I had to choose between the two I would rather keep my ice cream as cold as possible and so I took what was the first practice step in my journey with SCAP so far, (apologies to those who have put in actual effort), I turned off my internet modem. Yes this might seem trivial, but until this monumental moment, all I had done was notice a bottle of wine in a shop with a sticker saying ‘100% carbon neutral’. (Incidentally, I did buy it, but the taste soured as I realised that I would probably have contributed more had I not bought it at all.) 

Meat, I try not to buy unless it is heavily reduced and may otherwise be thrown away. This is currently my stance on the matter of meaty eating though I am braced to concede ground as soon as someone dares me to have more of a backbone. 

Cycling is currently my main method of commuting to work so when the man pretending to be a scientist suggested this, I felt very smug indeed and I took a sip of wine, flavours improving. 

Suddenly it hit me… I want to plant a tree! I like trees and if you read my last blog post you will notice a genuine passion in the guise of a fun children’s story about trees. You may also recall the unforgivable faux pas of buying the same newspaper twice. I like trees and I now owe it to them to add to a resource from which I have only ever taken. 2021… the year I plant a tree.

Jack Rennie

| Seedling by Greenforce Staffing on Unsplash |

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