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As a member of the Environment Food and Rural Affairs (EFRA) Select Committee and as part of our "Citizen's Agenda" enquiry (see Committee website for press release) we have been asked to assess our personal carbon emissions to see what we can do to reduce them over the period of the enquiry.

I will be particularly looking at improving my energy efficiency at home, I already buy my electricity from Ecotricity, which supplies 100% renewable electricity. I am gradually replacing all my light bulbs with low energy bulbs and am off-setting all my air travel (see and I already cycle most short journeys.

I compost all kitchen waste and recycle all paper, bottles and some cans. I have long been calling for Birmingham City Council to improve its collection arrangements to encourage more recycling e.g. of plastics as is done in many other councils, including Lambeth where I have my London base.

In my offices we recycle paper and the large number of envelopes that come with the daily post-bag. Jiffy bags are re-used and we turn off monitors and printers instead of leaving them on standby. In my Westminster office staff and I have called for better recycling facilities which have recently improved and we now recycle any cans or plastic or glass drinks bottles.

To show my support for World Environment Day 2006, I supported Early Day Motion 2428, reproduced below and responded to a the Environment Agency's request for people to make a number of personal promises for the environment (these reflect the measures I have been taking to reduce my own impact on the environment):

World Environment Day EDM

EDM 2428  
WORLD ENVIRONMENT DAY (No. 2) 22.06.2006
That this House welcomes United Nations' World Environment Day (WED) on 5th June; supports the Environment Agency's work for WED, promoting individual and corporate action to tackle serious environmental issues such as climate change, energy use and consumption of water; recognises the importance of hon. Members in providing community leadership; and therefore urges hon. Members to reduce their own environmental impact by committing to one or more of the WED promises on the Environment Agency website,, and urging their constituents to do the same.

My personal Promises

I promise I will put a water saving device in my toilet.

I promise I will turn the tap off when I brush my teeth.

I promise to use rechargeable batteries instead of disposable ones.

I promise to use a reusable bag when I shop, rather than plastic carriers.

I promise I will boil only the water I need, rather than filling the kettle every time.

I promise I will share my car journeys to work with a colleague, cycle or replace those car journeys with public transport at least once a week.

I promise that I will pay back the environmental impact of any air travel I take.

For more information or to make a promise, click here.

More on environment Click Here



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