A FEW MONTHS back, while thousands of folks added to our nation’s carbon footprint by flocking to London to party, sorry, protest about climate change with something called Extinction Rebellion, I spent the weekend at home.

Because me and the old man are the sort who can’t bear to waste a thing, we spent a happy few hours using some leftover Farrow & Ball paint to revive an old terracotta plant tub my friend was going to throw out. Then we filled it with compost made from our old veg and fruit peelings and planted a surplus wisteria we’d been given by a neighbour.

I sent the old man out to buy a second-hand patio set from Gumtree and then he made a table out of some spare wood and table legs he’d rescued from a skip. We also pegged our washing out on the line to be dried in the fresh air as we have done every week since we moved in and which, come to think of it, is also done by almost everyone we know.

Meanwhile, my youngest son decided to make yet another bee-hotel and hang it on the back wall. Yes, our house does now resemble a Benidorm for buzzing things. On the other hand, it is very environmentally friendly.

None of this was as attention-worthy as glueing yourself to Jeremy Corbyn’s fence (and then, bizarrely, crying because you thought you’d offended his wife as some protestors feared they’d done). And it wasn’t as fashionable as gathering round the pink boat at Oxford Circus to watch Emma Thompson pontificate on how we should save the planet, even though she’d just flown in on a giant jumbo to say it.

But my weekend was, I’d claim, a hell of a lot greener.

Who is doing more for the planet? The self-indulgent, leisured hoards who descended on London to sanctimoniously lecture working people about how they shouldn’t use a diesel van to get the food to our plates and the medicines to our hospitals? Or people who made a bit more compost, repaired a damaged item and carefully mowed the lawn so there’s a long bit at the side to encourage the grass snakes and slow-worms in the garden?

How may of the sweet-faced children who oh-so-eagerly took a day off school to protest in the Spring will be lecturing mummy and daddy about their use of the old 4x4 to take them to school, or the long-haul flight to the summer holiday?

The reason I ask is because most of what Extinction Rebellion types seem to want is a vast clipping of other folks’ lifestyles but little change to impinge on their own.

And it doesn’t just extend to actresses who habitually use planes to get to work in the USA when they could just as easily work here.

Most of the measures to combat climate change appear to involve yet more taxes. The sort of taxes rich people avoid by being able to afford electric cars and expensive solar panels and ground heat pumps.

Whatever happened to ‘think global, act local’ which empowered ordinary people to feel they could make a personal contribution to helping the environment in little ways, every day?

It’s been replaced by terminal self-righteousness – the kind displayed by people who complain about diesel motors but who screech out loud at the thought of a chuckaway cup tax on their Americano.

Fact is, if you line dry your clothes, compost your peelings and stop eating meat, you’re ahead of the environmental game. Turn down your heating by a degree, recycle everything and stop using weedkiller in the garden and you’ll crank it up even more. And, if you campaign to save a tree or prevent building on green belt land when it could go elsewhere, I reckon your contribution will go on for centuries.

Given that the carbon footprints of 18 average Americans can be neutralised by one acre of hardwood trees (and our average footprint in the UK is roughly half of theirs), you’d think that planting and saving trees would be a national obsession.

But, routinely, and despite the best efforts of our local heroic tree officers, trees are regularly hacked down by selfish people and almost nothing is done. No protests. No pink boat. Nada.

Same goes for biologically diverse fields and meadows which are being concreted over at a rate of knots under the banner of ‘People Have To Live Somewhere’. They do. And it could start with bringing back into use the half-a-million empty homes in these isles.

How come we are lecturing nations like Borneo and Brazil about the legalised environmental vandalism of their natural places whilst sanctioning it to our own? We whine about ‘food security’ then allow housing estates to be erected on farms.

Something does not add up here.