Roger Martin, Chair of Population Matters, has written in with his response to our Energy Letter campaign.
The obvious forms of energy waste by shops that sadden me most are:
a) Automatic self-opening doors. Ever since doors were invented several thousand years ago in Mesopotamia or China, people have used sustainable human muscle power, ie renewable solar energy, to open and close them. But now apparently we are deemed too feeble to do this; so a kilo or two of CO2 are released to move a hundred-weight or so of steel and glass rapidly several feet to and fro every time I want to enter a shop, or even whenever I walk past too close to the building. I deeply dislike it, and go to great lengths to avoid triggering the sensor. I have never calculated how many tonnes of carbon each such door adds to global warming in a year; but I would like to see a heavy additional charge on this extra, totally unnecessary waste. For the rare disabled customer, on the rare occasions when a fellow shopper does not hold the door open, a push-button opener or even a simple bell would suffice.
b) Open doors with a blast of heated air where the door should be in cooler weather. These are almost as antisocial as daft ideas for under-street heating, and I avoid such shops.
c) Leaving lighting on all night when shops are closed.
d) Assuming I want a plastic bag without asking me. I hardly ever need one (and feel guilty about my incompetence over my cloth bag capacity when I do).