Go to Homepage
The only difference between first class travellers and first class idiots is the price they pay.

Putting curbs on carbs

Madonna, pointy things, jet travel, the falling sky and, yes, some notes on reducing your carbon footprint.

Vijay Verghese/ Editor

Change font size Smaller font Larger font

Print This ArticleE-mail This Page

IF YOU ARE PLANNING to leave your footprints in the sand on some sultry, exotic beach, ringed by swaying palm trees and hordes of sarong-clad lovelies scoffing French fries, think again. I hate to disturb that prurient frisson but sarong-clad lovelies do not eat. They pout, they play with tall coloured straws, they drive cerulean blue Minis and, when they’re feeling particularly energetic, they occasionally nod. A few have been known to complete a full sentence, unlike my teenage son. But they never eat.

That is the secret of the hourglass waist and a dazzling life that can last as much as three days – more than enough for an average Madonna to get married, have kids, divorce, adopt most of Africa including a few startled wildebeest, and marry again before disappearing altogether in a frenzy of liposuction. At least then, proud boyfriends can dispense with the Mini and carry their ex-partners around in a pocket vial that never complains about beer, football and TV dinners. Now that’s a relationship.

Send us your Feedback / Letter to the Editor   Share Share This Page

No. Forget footprints in the sand. We’re talking something truly BIG – Carbon Footprints. It’s the in thing these days. On a beach you leave a trifling indentation in the sand that the tide washes away. With carbon, you leave your mark across the whole world, permanently. Pretty cool.

Proud boyfriends can dispense with the Mini and carry their ex-partners around in a pocket vial that never complains

So how do you go about creating a dramatic carbon footprint? First you need to learn a bit more about Carbon. Carbon is found in coal, graphite, diamond, hydrocarbons buried impossibly deep within the earth, and in Hongkong where lovelies called Champagne, Chrysanthemum and Carbon can be spotted relentlessly pursuing Gucci and a well balanced life. Chiefly, this involves finding a man with a Large Bank Balance.

I am told Carbon dating is fun. And yes, love can last forever. A relationship with Carbon Wong simply goes on and on. I have it from experts that the half-life of Carbon [14] is around 5,700 years. No one knows the true age of Carbon because no one has lived long enough to find out. The only way they worked out the half-life of Carbon was by conducting complex scientific experiments like having a go on Google search. Think about it. Spry Georgians swilling red wine only live to about 115.

Travellers on the lam, dodging work and wives, need to know about carbon. Pretty much everything we do produces carbon. Plants lap up carbon monoxide but apparently the stuff does terrible things to the ozone layer and to humans. With no ozone layer, the sky will literally come crashing down. Outer space will commence from about the 20th floor. China’s basketball star Yao Ming and anyone over six feet will be living in the stratosphere. To really have a good time – and suck in enough oxygen to live – people will need to lie flat, at floor level, in the troposphere.

Outer space will commence from the 20th floor and anyone over six feet will be living in the stratosphere...

So what sort of carbon footprint do your travels produce? I calculated mine at CarbonFootprint.Com. It is 12,011kg annually. Reassuringly, this is about the same as an average UK household. Unfortunately, I am not a UK household. I live alone. In Hong Kong. Of my total carbon contribution to this planet, 12,000kg came from just my air trips (around 20 sectors within Asia last year).

Business travellers listen up. A single roundtrip flight Hongkong-London-Hongkong (around 9,632km) produces an estimated 2,159kg of carbon emissions. If your conscience is burdened there is an easy way out. Simply offset the damage by going green. Cough up generously for some eco-friendly project providing low-cost high-resolution flat-screen TVs for polar bears or the like. The cost to offset an HK-London return trip is 29.88 pounds sterling. This, on reforestation in the Great Rift Valley Kenya. Trees are being furiously planted to cover the gaping holes all over the Dark Continent after Madonna carted everyone off to enjoy a remarkable First World life of pride, dignity, and pointy bra-cones, in the White Incontinent.

At CarbonFund.Org carbon offsetting purchases include green projects that support energy-efficient hotels in India, agro-forestry in Nepal, reforestation of the Sequoia National Forest, habitat of the Californian Spotted Owl, but not as yet the delivery of new potted plants to Stubbs Rd, Hong Kong, the natural habitat of Mr Vijay Verghese who said in a faltering voice, “My Christmas poinsettias are struggling gamely on… but I really do need some summer plants. They would look nice next to my TV.”

Save energy. Stay home. In bed. DON’T leave gadgets in standby mode. Start walking. If your feet hurt, just think of John Travolta and his five private jets streaking 40,000km a year. Think of celebrity offenders like David Beckham and Simon Cowell from American Idol.

Next time your hotel refuses to change your sheets and parks you in a slummy room with no aircon or light bulb, applaud. When the power goes off, cheer. And when that low-cost holiday flight is cancelled, celebrate. You’re doing your bit.

Send us your Feedback / Letter to the Editor

Previous Columns
Note: Telephone and fax numbers, e-mails, website addresses, rates and other details may change or get dated. Please check with your dealer/agent/service-provider or directly with the parties concerned. SmartTravel Asia accepts no responsibility for any inadvertent inaccuracies in this article. Links to websites are provided for the viewer's convenience. SmartTravel Asia accepts no responsibility for content on linked websites or any viruses or malicious programs that may reside therein. Linked website content is neither vetted nor endorsed by SmartTravelAsia. Please read our Terms & Conditions.