[an error occurred while processing this directive]
BBC OnePanorama


Last Updated: Sunday, 4 March 2007, 18:03 GMT
Go green or else: Ethical Man's story
Justin Rowlatt
BBC Panorama reporter

Justin Rowlatt
Justin ponders what can a family do to reduce their carbon footprint

Justin Rowlatt reports on a year of "living ethically".

You expect to face challenges as a journalist.

Many of my colleagues regularly report from war zones. Others have just a couple of minutes to prepare before they are expected to give the definitive interpretation of complex economic data.

Some are asked to infiltrate criminal gangs to expose their evils.

But few journalists can have faced the sort of challenges I have during my "year of living ethically".

'A tough year'

I've been told to "piss off" by my wife on national TV, I've been filmed urinating on my compost heap, I've scrumped fruit from my neighbours' gardens, filmed my own children crying and even had to smell a hippy's poo.

With all the rows and arguments it sometimes felt like we were making an episode of Wife Swap rather than a Panorama on how to tackle climate change.

Ethical Man in Jamaica
Unethical? Justin went to Jamaica to research investigate offsetting

There is no question - it has been a tough year. So has it been worth it? Well, you'll be able to judge that for yourself on Monday evening at 8.30 on BBC1.

That's right, Ethical Man has been poached from his normal slot on BBC2's Newsnight to make a Panorama. Unethical? I like to think of it as a bit of recycling.

'Controversial trip'

The series has posed an important question: what can one family do to reduce their impact on the environment?


So, when Panorama asked me and the Ethical Man producer, Sara Afshar, to remake the series for a wider audience we reckoned that had to be a good thing.

It has been hard to reduce all the incidents and events of the year into a half hour programme but we've done our best.

Bee with money
The Rowlatts saved thousands of pounds by going green for a year

Among other things we'll be revealing how much difference getting rid of the car made, whether changing to energy-saving bulbs affected our electricity bill, and what impact my controversial trip to Jamaica made to the family's carbon footprint.

I'm under strict instruction from the high-ups at Panorama not to say how we got on so if you do want to know, you'll have to watch the programme.

But there's one thing I can tell you now. We did save serious money by "going green" - more than 2,500.

So who knows, you could save a bob or two by tuning in.

  • Go Green Or Else will be aired on BBC One and on this site on Monday 5 March at 2030.

    Watch Go green or else!

    Go green or else!
    02 Mar 07 |  Panorama
    Ethical links
    06 Apr 06 |  Newsnight
    I am the ethical man
    22 Feb 06 |  Newsnight
    My carbon footprint
    22 Feb 06 |  Newsnight

    The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites

    Has China's housing bubble burst?
    How the world's oldest clove tree defied an empire
    Why Royal Ballet principal Sergei Polunin quit

    banner watch listen bbc sport Americas Africa Europe Middle East South Asia Asia Pacific