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Long time no post... hope you’ve all had a great season while staying healthy and injury free out there! Quick thread about carbon emissions and the importance of change... I operate a medium sized gardening/groundwork business (50 regulars with loads of other work), domestic and commercial, but after finishing for the season and sorting my self assessment I calculated that I contributed to just over 2.5 tonnes of CEs this year (van and tools) which has compelled me to level up to electric and alternative fuels making all my harmful pollutants redundant from 2022. Been totally conscious of my business practices over the last couple of years but I guess the company has now come of age to evolve... and yes, a business loan is the only way forward to make it doable knocking any holidays on the head for the foreseeing future. Just wondering if anyone else has the same mindset about their business practices’ and at what lengths you’re going to make a difference?

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  • Hi Mark, it's a big jump to go carbon neutral (or better still, carbon negative) in a relatively short period. And some serious up front costs involved as you say.  Also getting accustomed to new equipment and slightly different ways of working takes time. I have been on this same journey for over 10 years, it has happened gradually and i suppose you could say "organically". And has actually reduced my running costs quite apart from the lower environmental impact. But I'm not quite there yet. Best of luck anyhow

    • Good on you sir, every action in the right direction is all we can do. Thanks 

  • Just a consideration,

    if you change your perfectly serviceable machines to Battery, are you totting up the emissions in the production, distribution of said new kit??

    would it not actually be better for the planet to keep your existing kit in good condition and not put another one into general circulation?

    just a thought

    • PRO

      Yes trying to reduce my carbon footprint relative to output . 

      Not a big user personally so achieved a result going cordless and using better additive mixes in fuel low emmission super green . 

      I can't yet see how a complete hand over is possible to zero emmissions as an end user . 

      A member made a good point on here recently 

      You trade in your well serviced road worthy  diesel van to go electric and a dealer re sells your diesel van and it ends up back on the road . 

      More vehicles on the road causing more congestion , taking fuel and power from the pumps .

       

      • Public Member

        isn't that "trickle down" rather than "more vehicles on the road" ?

        There are very few 2nd hand electric vehicles available, as yet, so mostly they are only going to new buyers ... who will sell them on in a few years, thus over time the fleet gets replaced

        • PRO

          I feel it will depend Kris If you need a new van and choose electric thats great if the old van gets scrapped but if you suddenly decide its time to go green and replace all your existing fuel operated machinery and vehices with electric but it gets back into circulation its catch 22 . 

          I am not yet convinced all electric is squeeky clean . 

          Another area i think adds to emissions is anal gardening which is our bread and butter , customers like a tidy ship which i agree is good for their mental health and i like to do a nice tidy job leaving crisp edges and manicured hedges , I thrive on it but feel regular frequency id damaging to nature and to the environment .

          I feel wilding should be encouraged , more clover left in lawns instead of bowling green finishes , even a patch of nettles is beneficial , every little helps .

          • Public Member

            I agree no need to change a perfect good van before that would normally happen.

            Interesting about the "suddenly going green" point. I reckon if someone did that today they would be in minority, and thus flogging their vehicle 2nd hand would not make much difference to "trickle down". But what happens when we get to tipping-point? when price of EV is parity with ICE and Range is OK. Who is going to want to buy ICE then? and who is going to want to buy their 2nd hand cast-off ICE? I think price of 2nd hand vehicles will tumble

            Norway has reached that point - new pure-ICE sales are only 5% or so of the total - a few people who need to get to places that have no juice, or need to tow, or whatever. Norway charging infrastructure is good (Supply and Demand). Petrol pumps are being removed from forecourts, so ICE drivers are starting to have to plan where they will be able to get fuel on trips ...

            Norway got there (with government incentives and abundant hydro power) in 8 years. At the start of that there were two EVs available, the Tesla Model-S with half decent range but very expensive, and the Nissan Leaf which was affordable but had very limited range.

            Now, in the UK, there are numerous brands to choose from, more coming soon, and I think it likely that we will get to "most cars sold are electric" in a couple of years (provided the car makers can get enough batteries)

            Out of curiosity I went on the VW website and compared a Golf (£27.5K) and an ID3 (£30K) - so basically 10% more to buy the EV.

            For 3 years and 10K miles per year VW says that total cost of ownership is £50 a month cheaper for the EV

            For anyone who would currently buy a car new, and has off-road parking, and for whom the range is OK (or they have two cars, and can keep the ICE for long trips), I expect it is very tempting.

            I'm not into wilding ... perhaps I should be ... I feel that my garden has plenty of habitat and thus my manicured hedges are compensated by the wide range of others plants / planting. For a few years the winter "when wet" activity has been nailing together some bits of wood to make nesting boxes (well .. slightly less rudimentary than that!!) and after a few more winters my aim is that every tree here will have a box on the North side.

            Plenty of my friends are sowing wildflower meadows - because it is fashionable, I suppose ... I keep telling them that I reckon it is one of the most difficult things to do (getting rid of fertility, and the effort require to keep the invasive species in balance with the ones that struggle). They keep proving me right, sadly, but I'd like them to succeed

            • As with all new things it’s a plunge into the unknown. Exactly my point, the more well established companies who take the plunge, the more the infrastructure will have to meet our demand like other countries (I hope!!!). But the extra 5% on EVs will save you thousands in one year on fuel alone.

          • "Anal gardening", "butter" and "manicured hedges" all in one paragraph. Is it past the watershed yet?

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