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September 16, 2010

Our Noise Footprint

by soundlandscapes

Ian MacMillan, writing in his column in The Guardian a couple of days ago made me smile, but also made me think.

He was writing about a theme that much interests me, noise and its effect on the environment and in particular, about our own personal noise footprint.

Towards the end of the piece, MacMillan develops his theme to include what he calls noise miles.

He writes:

“And what about noise miles, the equivalent of food miles? Think of the deafening jet engines of the plane that brought that fruit from Africa to the supermarket. Think of the forklifts in the warehouse, crashing containers of vegetables around like tracks from live noise music concerts. Think of the shouts of the workers, the slamming of great steel doors, the revving of engines and the clattering of tumbling stacks of tins. Think of your recalcitrant trolley as you push it out of the store.

Every time I eat beans on toast, I should be made aware of the noise miles used up by the bringing of The Greatest Snack in the World to my table, and then maybe I’d chew more quietly and I wouldn’t slurp up the juice. And I wouldn’t drop my plate in the sink, enjoying the splash.

So let’s make today the day we reduce our noise footprint, even slightly.”

Food for thought indeed!

You can read the full article here.

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