Saturday, March 28, 2009

I went to visit the new Go Outdoors store in Stockton this afternoon. I missed the official opening by the Mayor, and also the belly dancing exhibition. But I did see lots of lovely outdoor clothes and equipment making me want to go home and put on boots and Go. However, it was cold and windy and getting late so maybe another day! I was very pleased to see it so busy, which bodes wll for its profitability and therefore for the longevity of the jobs created. I was also pleased to see that the coffee machine in the corner stocks Fairtrade coffee, tea and hot chocolate. Now we just need the snack machine to stock some Fairtrade snacks and the cold drinks machine to stock FT cola and juice and they'll be perfect.
This evening we observed Earth Hour by turning off the lights and having just one candle burning. I was reflecting on whether it was a worthwhile action or just a meaningless gesture (both descriptions put forward by opposite sides on the climate change debate). I thought about the savings in electricity in those cities taking part - huge public buildings not being floodlit for an hour, MacDonalds' golden arches being dimmed, hundreds of thousands of people turning off the lights for an hour - and I decided that it was worthwhile on 3 fronts. It makes individuals like me think for a few minutes about the impact of my power consumption on the world. It makes a statement to those not yet thinking about it and perhaps encourages some of them to start thinking. Finally, but not least important perhaps, is that it actually saves power and slows the use of resources. That's got to be worthwhile surely.
I noticed on the list of participants that Hartlepool, Durham County, Gateshead and Newcastle councils all signed up to participate. Next year Stockton???

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