Being somebody who has always had an aversion to silences of any length or description, I often say things I instantly regret.
However, it doesn’t stop me from repeating the same faux pas’ again and again; the best example of this is the ‘joke’ I use on the odd occasion I remember to take my own carrier bag to the shop.
It starts when I approach the till and the permanently disinterested-looking shop assistant monotonously asks ‘would you like a bag sir?’ and it always ends with my chirpy reply ‘I’m doing my bit for the planet - I have brought my own today!’
It is at this point I always remember that it is neither funny nor true, as more often than not, I end up shelling out 10p anyway because my reduced-shelf bounty of pork pie, falafel and Greek yoghurt will not usually fit into my pockets. The disdain with which my achingly bad banter is received by long-suffering shop staff is nothing compared to my own self-loathing. Not only because I have wasted two bob that could’ve been spent on yet another reduced loaf for the freezer but each time I fail to take my own bag means that I have added yet another plastic carrier to the pile marked ‘landfill’.
Yet buying a hessian shopping bag is never going to be the answer to the environmental crisis we currently face.
Big decisions and choices are coming our way, whether we like it or not.
Only this week, BBC’s Panorama questioned whether we would happily eat burgers made of mealworms if it meant we were doing more to prevent global warming.
It is questions like this we need to start asking if we are to change our relentless pursuit of the consumerist dream and truthfully proclaim we really do care about our planet.
At the moment, those who loudly espouse such concerns about the future are described by the general population as ‘green types’ or ‘environmentalists’ but the reality is we should all be taking a long hard look at the lives we lead.
While I have no intention of padlocking myself to a Westminster railing, next to a poet called Linus, it is up to me - it is up to all of us - to show how much I care about our planet’s future.