I am always looking for new and exciting ways to increase the size of my carbon footprint. For example, I actively seek to buy products that originate in far-flung corners of the world, such as New Zealand, China, Chile, California or Japan. I resolutely boycott all modes of transport that do not involve the burning of fossil fuels and, during the bleak British midwinter, I loll around the house in a T-shirt and shorts with the central heating thermostat set to ‘Nuclear Meltdown’ level.
But I still feel that I could be doing more and, indeed, I would be doing more if only I had the kind of information that would help me to make proper, ethical choices. Well, my long wait is finally over. The dark pall of ignorance that has hung over me like the emission cloud of a coal-fired power station is about to be blown away by the sweet, zesty breezes of eco-enlightenment:
Shoppers will be able to tell how much damage their purchases do to the environment, under a government plan unveiled yesterday…
Consumers have little way of judging the environmental impact of goods and services, often relying on the miles such products have travelled from their country of origin.
Praise be! For the first time in a very, very long time the British government has actually done something useful and beneficial. From now on, my conscience will be at peace knowing that not a morsel of food will pass my lips unless it has previously been schlepped from the other side of the world in a huge, smokey, belching diesel-powered container vessel. Not a stick of furniture will adorn my home unless it has been hewn from the arboreal habitat of an exotic, endangered species. Not a stitch of clothing will I wear on my back unless it has been made in a factory that operates on full power for 24 hours a day, seven days a week and whose unscrupulous and profit-hungry owners dispose of their toxic effluents by pumping them into the nearest nature reserve.
I firmly believe that individuals can make a difference and, thanks to this wonderful labelling system, I will be better equipped than ever to do my bit for the environment.