How the Credit Crunch Will Help The EnvironmentOk, ok, I know many people will see this as tactless and missing the big picture when people are losing their jobs and belts are tightening by more than a couple of notches all over the world. My purpose is not to make light of that in any way, simply to show an environmental 'silver lining' and underline how any environmental benefits to the credit crunch may continue after the financial world stabilises itself.
The costs of electricity and gas have leapt up in recent years which has actually also done its part in helping the environment as it has given us the incentive to be less wasteful. Many of us have started turning off our central heating when we are out and down by a degree or two when we are in, using energy saving light bulbs, washing our clothes at 30 degrees rather than 40, getting loft insulation, double glazing and maybe even a new, much more efficient boiler. Well the crunch is only serving to improve this further - household bills are always the first thing people focus on trying to cut down when times are tight and most of these savings can be done without changing your lifestyle one bit. Admittedly double glazing and a new boiler are not cheap (although they can save you literally hundreds of pounds a year on bills) but the other changes cost little or nothing and you will see the saving as soon as your next bill comes in.
After its astronomical peak last year the cost of fuel has come down at a similar speed in recent months, however more and more people are still wondering if it's economically viable to keep their cars. With the average service these days being £500 - £1000 and insurance something similar, public transport and pedal bikes are becoming more and more appealing to many. Also let's not forget the money tied up in the value of your car - flogging your car when times get tough and investing in a bike can keep your finances afloat, drop your carbon footprint and improve your health in a single blow.
Let's face it, one of the first excesses that is likely to go for many people during the crunch is the fancy foreign holiday. But this should be seen as an opportunity both to explore what the UK has to offer for your annual leave and to cut out the carbon emissions attached to your international flights. Try the Tranquility devon and Cornwall, the mountains of Snowdonia, the beauty of the Scottish Borders or the rugged widerness of the Scottish Highlands. Also remember the thousands of miles of coastline we have and the right to roam act which has opened up massive amounts of it that were previously off limits.