Real Savings?

This energy saving is complex.

A day in Warminster today, which is where we live. So no car miles to be used up.

But of course that means people are driving here to see me. My miles saved, theirs increased.

And the problem with cycling is the washing it creates. All those kilowatts churning round the soap suds.

Cyclists don’t wear Lycra to show off their rippling muscles. Too often it’s our rumpling tummies. Lycra is just so practical. But bishops can’t turn up wearing lycra. And you can’t cycle 30 or 40 miles without getting pretty sweaty. So there’s lots of washing machine energy to add to the carbon use.

But you have to start somewhere. You have to do something.

And hooray for the people who’ve read these meanderings and told us, as a result, that they’ve got their bike out from winter storage in the shed.

Yup, you’ve got to begin somewhere.


3 thoughts on “Real Savings?

  1. Graeme

    When you replace cycling for pleasure with cycling for transport, do you keep the joy?

    Looking back at my cycling for the last 5 years, a blunt estimate is that I have off-set 5 seconds of Drax Power Station CO2 output. 5 seconds. Over 5 years. One second per year. It seems insignificant from an energy saving perspective, but I enjoyed almost every mile I rode.

  2. Geoff

    Surely someone does purple Lycra. After all you don’t turn up in a tail coat and spats, even episcopal dress evolves :). Keep up the good work!

  3. Emily

    Regarding the problems you highlight: You could reduce the size of your clothes washing pile by wearing small Lycra items (the purple lycra is a great idea!) and get changed into formal attire on arrival. To reduce the footprint of your clothes washing you can also wash clothes by hand (this also ensures you use an eco-friendly detergent). If you must use a machine make sure it is set to a lower temperature. Keep your bike clean, apply eco-friendly bike grease, and wipe off excess grease after application – it doesn’t improve performance and only attracts dirt. You could also install bike racks outside your cathedral and residence as an overt sign that you prefer visitors to cycle rather than drive.

    Even if you didn’t make the above amendments I would commend you in your efforts to cycle more. Life is a gift from God and people are made in God’s image so Christians should be working to preserve human life. Think of the million pedestrians a year killed in collisions each year worldwide – you almost certainly won’t be contributing to those figures on a bicycle. Think of all the drivers who are becoming more accustomed to sharing the road with cyclists every time you’re out on your bike. Think of all the other (non carbon) pollutants you are refraining from emitting, preserving the respiratory health of you and your neighbor. I also heard a discussion on Radio 4’s More or Less that each 30 minutes you spend cycling adds 30 minutes to your life expectancy, so cycling is not time wasted but more like more time to advance the gospel. Last week I struck up a conversation with another cyclist I met on a cycle path – how often can gospel conversations happen with other road users when you are stuck inside your car?

    Cycling bishops are the best – keep cycling!


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