Why Lewis is right...


17 October 2018
​Ben Bartle-Ross says there is more we can do indivdually and as an industry to protect the environment.

Anyone who knows me well knows how I love the combination of petrol-headed speed-merchants and planet-saving green technology that is the Fully Charged Show.
Billed as electric vehicle reviews and renewable energy discussion with Robert Llewellyn (also known for his role as the smug robot Kryten, in the hit TV series Red Dwarf), the programme gives a real insight into where we are heading both technologically and ecologically wise. 

It’s well worth checking out and there’s always something new going on or being developed that will surprise and hopefully inspire confidence that we can do something collectively to ensure we stop messing up the planet. 

I’ve always loved motorsport and that’s why I’m excited about the future technologies that are being developed, whether petrol or electric.  

Whilst I prefer the two-wheeled variety, I do also follow Formula One and I was interested to see Lewis Hamilton trending on Twitter recently, but not for the reasons you might think.

Lewis is rightly praised for his skill behind the wheel and deserves all the accolades and fame he’s acquired. He’s also amassed a Twitter following of over 5 million, so when he tweets something, lots of people see it.

Growing awareness
Lewis posted a short film from some exotic location he was in, with a very clear and real message about plastic. He showed the devastating result of our overuse of plastic as he filmed all the rubbish and waste that had collected on the beach at the lovely location wherever he was. You can view the video yourself @LewisHamilton. 

And do you know what? He’s right. I’ve just become a father for the second time and, more so than with my first child, I got to thinking about what planet my new son was going to grow up on. That’s partly because of my role as a trainer at Mitsubishi Electric and the stance we have taken about energy efficiency which has brought this front of mind for me, but it’s also because of the growing awareness thanks to programmes such as Blue Planet. 

Whether you re a climate change sceptic or not, it is surely crystal clear that mankind has not given enough thought about the impact of modern life on the wider environment as Lewis Hamilton so eloquently and visibly pointed out. 
I know that as a manufacturer we try to do all we can to reduce waste, increase recycling and look at the whole life cycle of our products from ‘cradle to grave’.

But as an industry, there must be more we can do, isn’t there?

When you are on site for example, how much of the packaging that kit arrives in gets recycled and how much gets binned? Do you even give it a second thought?

I’ve mentioned what we as a manufacturer try to do, but do you think there is more that we could be doing that won’t affect delivery timings or price?  

And what about the industry as a whole? Should we focus attention on this or is there simply too much to do and not enough time? 

Do you worry about what happens to simple things like the plastic ties holding pipes or components together or do they just end up on the floor like many other ‘cheap’ and ‘disposable’ elements of the construction industry?

I know I’ve been to countless building sites where the floor both inside and outside the building is full of plastic ‘debris’ from the useful things we have all come to rely on, day in day out. 

If you took 10 minutes at the end of each day to collect these remnants up, would that help? And what would you do with them anyway? 

I know some sites for major corporations such as Sainsbury’s where the contractors are told each morning where the recycling bins are, but how many other building sites have little more than a skip?

Still, there must be something each and every one of us can do to play our part isn’t there?

To bastardise a phrase from a rather large and well known retailer “Every little bit you can do yourself helps.” 

  • Ben Bartle-Ross is a trainer of air conditioning and heat pump systems at Mitsubishi Electric. This and other articles of relevance to the sector can be found at the hub, which also acts as a  sales tool for installers.  
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