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Cool Beans

A Guide to Ethical Living

Newsflash – the whole world is falling apart and all we’re doing to prevent it is sharing memes on the Internet. It was enough in 2007, but this is 2014. Time to switch up your lifestyle or you can kiss goodbye to this lovely planet of yours. Not that you’d have time to kiss it goodbye. A global warming meteorite filled with the tears of a thousand polar bears doesn’t come with a warning notice. Got your attention when I mentioned polar bears, didn’t I? Oldest trick in the book. That and the 50p piece glued to the pavement trick. Enough crafty deviation already, it’s time to stop the planet from kicking the bucket once and for all. But don’t you worry your pretty little instagrammed heads, because Advice Arnold is back with a brand new selection of tips on how to halt the collapse of ecosystems, the destruction of the ozone layer and the total annihilation of the planet we live on. 1) Firstly, go round your house and grab all those nasty aerosol cans, petrol cans, deodorants and the like. You’ve no need for these anymore. Chuck ‘em in the garden and burn ‘em. 2) When faced with something energy consuming (as well as time consuming), such as driving long distances or building an oil rig, why not use a movie-style montage? Much quicker, less damaging to the environment and, as an added bonus, often accompanied by an 80s synthpop anthem. 3) Donate all your discarded plastic beer rings to the local ducks and fish. They absolutely love pretending to be cans of beer. I see them doing it all the time down the local park. It must be a role-play thing they have going on or something. 4) Own a shower? Also own a toilet? Right, now you own a shower-toilet, you massive bourgeoisie. This is essentially your shower, but now you must release all your waste down the plughole. You can only use it twice a day tops, so learn to hold it in. And you can put a solar panel where your old toilet used to be while you’re at it. 5) Lack of windows in your house and currently using lighting during the day? I feel a skylight coming on. Get drilling, you decadent roof swine. 6) Big plastic bags. Bags for life. Sports rucksacks. Whatever it is you load your shopping into, you’re bound to leave it at home sooner or later and find yourself fin-de-shop sans bagging material. What I suggest is massive mandatory kangaroo-style pouches on the front of all outfits - perfect for carrying your shopping, your laptop, your weaponry, your Bill Bryson book collection and, of course, your baby kangaroos. 7) You know that shower-toilet you now own and love? Well, stop being a greedy goose and share your time in it with your friends, family, neighbours, ex-partners and pets. It doesn’t matter how emotionally damaging this might be. I think the end of civilisation as we know it is more important right now. 8) Wait a minute, how did I forget the most important point of all? Stop consuming. Right now. Whatever you’re consuming, slowly put it down and step away from it. Consuming is evil and all that is wrong with the world. So stop consuming. Naturally, you might find that after two or three days of non-consuming that you’re thirsty and/or hungry. Scientists have recently discovered that in order to prevent death you have to consume at least a little bit, but you have to consume ethically, otherwise you are Beelzebub incarnate. And we’re not just talking about free range eggs and Fairtrade coffee here. No. You need to do your research. Your eggs may well be free range, but how do you know the farmer looking after the hens doesn’t beat his wife? How do you know the hens themselves aren’t using offshore tax havens? Only after you’ve produced a 10-page dossier detailing everything you know about your meal may you finally consume. 9) Finally, how about somebody creates a gym in which all the exercise machines are hooked up to generators? Nothing more to say about this point. It’s just a great, unpatented idea that I hope nobody steals. )

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