The whole point of this Zero lark is that with a little bit of thought we can do good in whatever we happen to be doing, be it eating a banana (Fairtrade/organic), eating veal (not doing) or embezzling funds from a Lebanese orphanage (carbon offsetting your extradition flight). And so it is for yer man today as he starts back at university.

I’ve been stocking up on supplies, giving thought to the environment and my fellow humans, singing Julian Lennon songs under my breath and strutting like an all-round right-on son of a Bono. I’ve bought a recycled lever arch file, recycled writing pads and degradable poly pockets. I’m getting to the campus by bus, subway and the occasional walk, leaving my car rusting by the side of the road like the polluting anachronism it is. And I’m using the library and buying second hand textbooks to cut down on the trees we cut down for new books.

My laptop case is made from recycled bottles on the outside, recycled foam on the inside and came wrapped in a recycled paper sleeve printed with soya-based inks. And then there’s my flash drive. It’s made from bamboo, one of the world’s most sustainable materials, to avoid wasting more plastic and metal. It’s so right on if it assumed human form it’d be the director of a disabled lesbian interpretive dance troupe.

To pay for all that I’ll need a student account with a colossal overdraft so I’ve signed up with a bank whose vigorous ethical policy means they won’t invest their cash “in any government or business which fails to uphold basic human rights within its sphere of influence”, “any business whose links to an oppressive regime are a continuing cause for concern” or “any business involved in the manufacture or transfer of armaments to oppressive regimes”. That’ll do just fine.

And with that I’m off to chug a brewski in a toga, watch Countdown on an ironic basis and see about scoring a bag of this Chlamydia I keep hearing about.

Photo credit: Touchstone Pictures