Wednesday, 12 February 2014

The Last Mile.....! (1.6 kilometers in metric)

Listening to the latest "Naked Scientist" podcast (whilst doing the washing up....yay for podcasts) 
the last mile was mentioned.

Now what is this you ask? Is it a sequel to the Green Mile? No, it is all to do with the carbon footprint involved in the transportation of food.
Now we know that the carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide produced in the process of doing something, well where is it the highest in the transportation of food?

 Is it the tractor or other farm machinery involved in the production of  the food?

Or the great huge trucks that seem to be taking over our roads and parking in the most awkward of places. 

I thought this was the biggest culprit, but I was wrong, because it is.......
The family car!! Now how many of us drive to the supermarket to get our weekly groceries or just a few things that we are missing? Well it turns out that this is the most inefficient and heavy carbon producing part of the chain. Hence the idea of the last mile. A typical car is 1.5 tons with a capacity for a 40kg cargo where most of the energy goes into moving the car. Trucks on the other hand are far more efficient, using most of their energy in moving the cargo. 
So where does that leave us? How do we get our groceries in a greener way?
Solution.....home delivery!

A big van carrying groceries for a large number of people, far more efficient (and less stress full too).

Another solution of course is that you can live in the centre of Barcelona and are surrounded by supermarkets all within walking distance. And off you can go with your shopping trolley; tiny carbon footprint and a bit of exercise.

And don't forget to try and buy local produce.....for freshness, reduced carbon footprint and to support the local economy!

And now your challenge is this, how will you try and include the phrase "The last mile" into your conversations today?

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