Remember, loyal reader, all those months ago when I wrecked my car and vowed to try the car-free bikular lifestyle?

Since then I have indeed been car free and in four months my bike has probably just about paid for itself in saved motoring costs, not to mention the important benefits of improving my fitness and health, and reducing the rate at which poor old Planet Earth is to be plunged into a post-apocalyptic, carbon-laden abyss.

However, winter approacheth, and verily I say that it shall bring in its wake foul and groptious weather, not fit for cyclists such as I. Also, I am seriously missing the freedom to visit friends who are out of convenient reach of public transport, to go on little days out to my little slice of Slimbridge duck heaven, and so on. And there have been a few times when I have really had problems as a result of my carlessness (hooray for generous carred-up friends). Those recent flat tyre experiences have also left me feeling in need of a back-up and I have now got enough cash to buy a car… soooooo…

I have done. It is a sky blue 54-plate 0.8l Daewoo Matiz. I am picking it up on Wednesday.


Ariel is so excited she wanders round saying “Mummy, Car, Mummy, Car”. Today as we were pulling up in the back garden after cycling back from nursery she looked me sternly in the eye and said “Mummy. Car.” She knows, alright. And she clearly approves.

To salve my excited but still slightly guilty conscience, I am introducing into my household a new and experimental Green Tax.

Also to be known as The PlanetPig.

The purpose of the Pig is to make me think twice about jumping into my (shiny, new, funky, yay) car just because it’s there, and to make me remember that it hits the planet as well as my pocket when I use it. Since the planet has no voice, I am giving it a voice. The PlanetPig.

Here is how I am proposing to make myself listen to the Pig.

Every time I take my car out I am going to put a quid into the PlanetPig (aha, you see, it is a moneypig). There, who wouldn’t listen to a Pig that was costing them a quid every time they do something irresponsible?

In addition with winter approaching, I am also planning to put 50p into the PlanetPig every time I use my tumble dryer. Since I wash at least 4 times a week, and my washing line is outside where the weather is going to get increasingly damp, I really really need this incentive not to just bung on the tumbler. The thought that my electricity bill when it arrives next quarter might be a few pence higher just isn’t going to be cutting it.

Wish me luck with the PlanetPig. I’ll keep you updated!

PS I haven’t quite thought what I plan to do with the PlanetPig’s proceeds. However, rest assured it will be worthy and appropriately ecological in spirit.