Being green?

Living in a lorry smacks of new-age green living. There is some justification to this. Heat, light, power and water become thought-provoking issues when they are not attached to the mains. For my lights, I am using LEDs with normal lights for extra light when necessary. My heating is a wood-burning stove (carbon neutral, so we’re told). My power comes from two leisure batteries, so I’m into conserving energy. My water sits in a tank which I have to fill using some kind person’s hose, and so I am sparing with water. I am planning a composting loo. All very environmentally responsible.

And yet.

My lorry is a filthy old diesel. It doesn’t travel fast, which is just as well, as it would be even more polluting if it did. The insulation I installed on the floor was quite green – rock wool saved from the skip – but the ceiling’s insulation is foam, whose components (isocyanates) were once the cause of so much suffering in Bhopal (and whose off-gassing I shall be inhaling). I like my creature comforts of a phone and a laptop, which have have all sorts of nasties in them, like the leisure batteries that they run off (which themselves require the engine to charge them up). Any machinery I need to use is run from a petrol-fed generator. If I want to install alternative energy sources, solar panels are the obvious choice. But I am not convinced of their greenness: are they really worth the amount of energy and resources used making them for the paltry amount of energy they produce?

I will try not to be all holier-than-thou about living the green life by remembering the holes in my greenness.


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