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Episode 4: Down to Zero (and beyond) – me and climate change

Updated: Dec 11, 2023

My journey to a net zero carbon and hopefully carbon positive life (and art practice)

It’s 2023 and where are we now?

“When I let go of what I am, I become what I might be.” ― Lao Tzu

Closeup - Currents, Inspired by a drift dive in the Galapagos Islands

We live in turbulent times, often feeling that we are treading water, then occassionally something happens and we find ourselves flying along a path feeling as though the universe has turned every light green and we are fully aligned with where we need to be. This may sound a bit strange but when it happens, it is quite profound.

In the last episode, I said that there has probably never been a time when stepping up to making changes in our lives is so important. For me, this has truly been the case, the changes have been huge and happily wonderful. Here's what has happened.

The theories around becoming carbon neutral state that once the baseline measurement of the carbon footprint was in place, I should make a plan of changes, both small and large, and keep some kind of measurable progress over time by repeating the measurement process at regular intervals. This should help me see how the changes are impacting my carbon emissions and identify areas where I can make additional improvements. Straight forward, right?

Well, Maybe.

The process of transitioning to a carbon neutral, sustainable practice is based on three principles: Measure, reduce, offset. I was happy with establishing a baseline (measure), but reducing as much as possible through lifestyle and practice was becoming very limited and paying for offsets was something I wanted to minimise. In essence, I needed to find a new way. Without realising it, this transition has become an integral part of a wonderful and rewarding life journey which has led me to move house/studio from lovely Kent to the beautiful west coast of Wales, close to the sea, finding a life partner and working together to build a joint, sustainable, carbon neutral practice and life.

With the help and support of some amazing companies, wonderful friends and fantastic neighbours, we have developed and are in the process of implementing a multi-point plan to decarbonise our life and practices, improve the biodiversity of where we live and engage in the creation of our own 'offsets' via tree planting and volunteering with key decarbonising projects like Project Seagrass.

Here is an outline of our current plan/activities:

The next stage is establishing a way to reliably measure each activity to record progress toward our goal. Bet you can’t wait!

We also need to consider formal validation of our footprint. What do you think? Would you be happier to acquire works from artists who were formally verfied as carbon neutral or is transparency enough? We would be very interested in your thoughts on this.

This is a short video of of shelter belt planting. #happydays #plantingtrees

It’s funny, I wouldn’t blame you for asking, “so when do you make glass?” I have to admit, it’s been a while but good things take time and we will be making again very soon. In the interim, I have work to finish in the cold shop and that will be appearing soon as we are feeling rather 'in the pink'! #happydays #spring #pink

In the next episode, I will share details about some of the more interesting topics like mircropower generation, our volunteering at the Seagrass nursery and more about glass.

Thanks for sharing this journey ....

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