Think of a phrase that best describes celebrated naturalist Sir David Attenborough and ‘middle class hypocrite’ certainly doesn’t come to mind.
But the man widely regarded as one of our national treasures recently confessed that he is too.
In his new movie, A Life On Our Planet, due out next week, Sir David describes all the ways we need to protect our environment, including having fewer children, using less oil, and not eating meat. Then, in an interview promoting the film, he readily admits that he can’t resist fish and free-range chicken.
If an icon like Attenborough admits to stumbling when it comes to saving the planet, what hope is there for the rest of us?
In his new movie, A Life On Our Planet, due out next week, Sir David Attenborough describes all the ways we need to protect our environment.
Of course, many of us proudly trumpet our eco credentials to friends and family. But are you actually a middle-class hypocrite like Sir David?
Take our light-hearted quiz to see if you really live up to the standards we all set ourselves now.
1. How do you move from day to day?
A) You walk. You can easily clock 20k steps a day, you have steel buttocks and when it rains you just get wet.
B) On your fantastic new £ 3,000 electric bike. It’s great, you can now cycle up a huge hill without kneeling. You feel a little guilty that it’s made in China, but you can’t have it all.
C) A Range Rover Evoque. You have looked at the electric cars, but there are simply not enough charging points. However, if they put one on your way, you’ll be first in line.
Where do you go on vacation if you can, and are you a middle class hypocrite
2. Do you have a reusable coffee cup?
A) You have three! One at home, one at the office and one that you always keep in your bag. If the cafe doesn’t accept reusable cups, you go without.
B) One. But you don’t remember putting it in your bag. On days you forget, you always have non-dairy milk in your coffee to make up for it.
C) None. You tried and the lids are all leaking. Plus, takeout cups are made of paper, they’re recyclable, aren’t they? The plastic lids? You hadn’t thought of that.
3. How often do you eat meat and dairy products?
One never. You turned vegan five years ago and haven’t looked back. You have lost weight and your conscience is clear. Your chickpea stew and beet brownies are legendary.
B) You have chicken and fish, but no red meat. The fish is dolphin-friendly, the chickens are free-range and organic, so you really do your part. Okay, you recently ate beef bourguignon at a dinner party, but only because you didn’t want to upset your hostess. You have oat milk in your coffee, but you still need a drop of semi-skimmed tea.
C) You’ve cut down completely. But you still enjoy turkey at Christmas, lamb at Easter, and roast beef with all the trimmings every Sunday. You’ve tried alternative milks, but they make your Twinings Everyday tea taste funny.
How you get around affects how you score on the environmentally conscious quiz. Picture: a Range Rover Evoque
4. Once it is safe to travel, where will you go on your next vacation?
A) Until they invent an electric plane, you’re not flying anywhere. Instead, you’ll camp in the Scottish Highlands – if it’s good enough for Boris and Carrie, it’s good enough for you.
B) A farm in Provence where you can enjoy the local cheese and wines. It’s only a two-hour flight and you’re a member of one of those compensation programs where they plant a tree for you – so it’ll all be the same.
C) The Maldives. Yes, it is a long journey, but the locals depend on tourism to survive so you see it as your duty. And you don’t drive your Range Rover for the three weeks you are there, so it’s a win-win situation.
5. What kind of household recycler are you?
A) A zealot. Photos of landfills give you nightmares, and your goal in life is to be a household without waste. The council recycling center is your idea of Disneyland.
B) You really try. You’ll fill your trash can most weeks, but you’ll occasionally throw a bottle of wine with your regular trash if you’ve eaten too much, because you don’t want the trash can guys to think you’re a lavish one.
C) You are doing your part, but frankly, when did the garbage collectors enter the Stasi? It’s ridiculous how they rummage through your trash can before emptying it like you’re some kind of criminal. However, you refuse to use the caddy for food waste – they stink the place.
6. What do you do with your leftovers?
A) Fruit peel is turned into potpourri or used in your homemade cleaning products. Everyone loves the vegetable peel chips you make and everything else turns into soups or stews. It’s all on your blog.
B) You make croutons from stale bread. At last count you had 20 bags. Everything else you feed the chickens, keep in your garden.
C) There is a bird feeder in your yard. You put in a few pieces when you remember, but everything else gets thrown away. Life is just too short to make carrot top smoothies.
7. What products do you use to clean your home?
A) You clean your glass and mirrors with vinegar, your bathroom with baking soda and all your dusting is done with old clothes that you turn into cleaning rags.
B) All your products are by Ecover and purchased from Waitrose. They are expensive, but worth knowing you’re doing your part. You started buying Dettol wipes again when Covid-19 hit.
C) No idea, you leave it all to the cleaning lady. However, everything sparkles so it must be good stuff.
8. How energy efficient is your home?
A) The heating, through your biomass boiler, does not turn on until December 1 – that’s why it’s woolly sweaters and thick socks. You light the kids’ pocket money every time they leave a room without turning off the lights, and showers are limited to three minutes.
B) You have gas central heating, but you always make sure that the thermostat is set to 19 degrees. It causes a lot of lines. You wash most clothes at 30 degrees and you dry your laundry on a drying rack. You do feel a little guilty about the air pollution your wood burning fire is causing, but you do use those eco pellets.
C) Nothing beats an open fire, they are just so cozy, but you only burn wood, not coals. You buy those incandescent bulbs that go on forever bright, but you still love your deep soak in your claw-foot tub and use your tumble dryer in the winter – you won’t be draping wet laundry all over the house!
Describe your weekly shop
A) You only buy seasonal food for which you can control the ecological footprint. You bring your own containers to replenish detergent and flour, for example. Everything comes from local independent merchants. You quit alcohol when you went vegan.
B) You like to go to your local butcher, fishmonger and baker. It’s great to support the self-employed, but they are so much more expensive and sometimes you have no choice but to buy a supermarket and save money – plus there’s free parking and you can get your car appraised while you shop. You buy organic gin with your Fever-Tree tonic and your other half loves his craft beer.
C) Your Friday night trip to Waitrose is like date night for you. You like going through the aisles and stocking up on your trolley. You buy some Fairtrade stuff. You used to have a subscription to those boxes of shaky veggies that no one recognizes, but it all got lost. Prosecco got you through lockdown – yes, it has a carbon footprint and you read about the soil erosion problems it causes in Italy. Should you switch to crémant or cava?
10. Describe your outdoor space
A) The composting site and rain barrel are located at the back of the herb garden. The lawn is overgrown because it is better for the worms and your flowers are bee-friendly. Not your weeds, as they help improve soil quality.
B) A small, mostly paved area – you just don’t have time to garden. But you are on the waiting list for an allotment where you plan to grow your own vegetables.
C) You have your rattan furniture and Weber BBQ on the tiled patio and there is an artificial grass field in the back – next door you constantly water their precious lawn, at least you don’t. You have a lot of geraniums in terracotta pots, should you count that?
HOW DO YOU RATE?
Usually A: Sir David would be proud of you. Saving the planet is a full-time activity, even if people find the complacency a bit annoying.
Usually B: you try your best, but you are not perfect. Maybe a trip to the cinema to see Sir David’s movie next week will improve your score – and don’t drive there!
Usually C: Oh dear. You’re a raging – and frankly insolent – middle-class hypocrite. Wake up, times have changed and not all eco warriors look like swampy!
The post Are you a middle class hypocrite? Recycling religiously, but can’t resist a sneaky flight to the sun? appeared first on WhatsNew2Day.