Chorizo is delicious.
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Given the choice, I try to do the right thing, but it doesn't always work out. The New Zealand environment is suffering because of the massive increase in dairy farming, a lot of it on unsuitable land (especially in Canterbury, which has free draining gravels that need a lot of irrigation and let nitrates leach into waterways). So I was really happy this week to find that the Lyttelton cooperative is selling milk in glass bottles from an organic, local farm that uses regenerative agriculture. I'm back to making yoghurt again.

I've also been trying to not eat meat. The boyf has been super supportive of this and has been cooking some great vegetarian or even vegan dishes (like this delicious tempeh dish). But he misses meat more than I do, so when I was making one of our favourite Spanish dishes I decided to do two versions. I cooked up a chickpea stew and mixed his with chorizo and mine with a vegan sausage from the Lyttelton farmers market. I was amazed at how good that sausage tasted after adding lots of paprika to it. It was only after I finished most of it and the boyfriend had a taste that I realised I had eaten the meat one and he had had the vegan alternative. He was a tad disappointed; at least the net effect on the planet was the same!

Sometimes doing the right thing is a lot more difficult. I get seasick in rough water, so the idea of a 6 to 8 week journey to get to the UK doesn't appeal (never mind that it costs US$100 - 230 per day). Electric aeroplanes are an impossible dream for those kind of distances (as I found out when researching one of my more recent comics).
My compromise is to travel to the northern hemisphere less and offset my travel by planting lots of trees.
Within New Zealand, I gave up having my own car (the boyf still has Gertie, his 1975 diesel Land Rover. My dream is that her next engine will be electric). I mostly walk, cycle or take the bus when I have to leave port. Sometimes I borrow the YooGo electric car for this. But sometimes those options aren’t practical. It was my sister's birthday at the start of this month. She lives in Auckland, so we arranged to meet in the middle: Wellington (in the North Island. I live in the South). I flew up so that I could be sure to get there on time (Wellington is too expensive to stay longer than you need to). Door to door, it took about three hours to travel between Christchurch and Wellington by plane. But I wanted to come back by surface, so I booked the interisland ferry which connects to the train from Picton to Christchurch.
I’m glad I had a book to read and letters to write because the trip took a lot longer than flying. The ferry takes about 3 1/2 hours and the train is scheduled to take just over six hours. It doesn't help that the rolling stock is old and so are the tracks; the top speed is 100 km an hour. Although my train came in 45 minutes early, it was a 13 hour trip door to door. But the views from the train were amazing and I was lucky to have a beautiful, calm crossing on the ferry (I’ve been on there when they've had to close the bar because it was so rough and the boyfriend has been on there when the bar has been open but drinks have been sliding up and down it!).
Given that both the ferry and the train run on dirty diesel engines, I'm not sure how many carbon emissions I saved by not flying home. In any case, I have donated more money to plant lots more trees. Solar, wind and hydro-powered electric transport can't come soon enough for me.

At least this week, the local rag reported that the Diamond Harbour Ferry plans to go electric. The key to low impact living will be to never leave Lyttelton Harbour!
Ta ta for now

PS. If you think someone else might find this interesting, please pass it on.
PPS. I'm nearly halfway through illustrating FAB Club 3. I hope my niece and nephew liked chapter 5 because they made guest appearances (it’s the last book in the series, so a little nepotism is justified IMO!).

PPPS. if you were wondering about the Netflix reference, apparently streaming is bad for the planet too. Guh.
Copyright © 2019 Alex Hallatt's Cartoons and Writing, All rights reserved.

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