Well, what a fuss we appear to have caused with yesterday’s media exposure of the environmental damage caused by patio heaters. It looks as if ‘just wear a jumper’ is going to go down in folklore, just as ‘just say no’ to drugs perhaps! Even I was taken by surprise given the amount of coverage we received given, quite rightly, the media focus on the terrible floods going on at the moment. However, it is evident  that our Green Barometer report on the environmental folly of patio heaters has caused a debate in the media and in homes across the land. Not surprising really – we’re asking people to change their behaviour and stop using patio heaters. A black and white issue, which has generated strong opinions both for and against the idea. The story was picked up by most of the main stream media, whether broadsheet, radio, TV, or Internet. We even made it onto the Reuters world wide media stage.[I’ve included some links below to some of the stories].  Quite a feat for a product that the industry says only has 600,000 adherents. It’s interesting to note that this is the same figure that has been quoted the last two years. Perhaps we should have the National census, something like the gun amnesty – trade in your patio heater for a week – it’d be interesting wouldn’t it?

What was also interesting was how each individual industry responsible for environmentally damaging products blames the other – in this case the manufacturers of patio heaters claiming they are no more damaging than phone chargers or plasma TVs – as if that some how excused the environmental damage they cause. I’d be interested to hear your views on this. I was also struck by how poor the information is around some of these products, which is probably why our story was so well picked up by the media.

By the way, just one small thing, but important… the organisation I represent does not belong and is not part of the Government. We are a private, independent organisation which enables us to speak out about these issues, like patio heaters in a fashion that – were we a part of Government – we could not. All this debate around environmental impact of patio heaters happened on the same day that parts of Oxford became an island. I wonder if the irony will be lost on people.

If you want to know how to live a low carbon life, check out Chris Goodall’s new book, called “How to Live a Low Carbon Life – the individual’s guide to stopping climate change.”  It’s an excellent read, very practical, full of factual data about appliances, travel, aviation etc and bang up to date.

Whoops – I nearly forgot to include those media links to the patio heater coverage! Here is a selection…

My interview about patio heaters for Reuters


The Mirror


BBC England

The Telegraph

Daily Mail


The Publican

This is London

The Scotsman

The Herald

BBC Scotland

This is Aberdeen

Also, don’t forget to have a look at our latest Green Barometer report. You can click here to download it.