During the winter when we have our fire on this faithful nearly 40 year old Corningware coffee pot (with removable percolator )sits on top heating water so I save electricity. This fire is our winter heating as we have our own firewood( which we grew )
Any changes or savings I make will not include water as we have our own stream supply and heaps of rain. Our water free flows downhill from the stream into our huge tank where it freeflows to the orchard if needed ( not often ) and also to the house. We maintain the pipelines and the filters we buy and clean regularly or replace.
Here are some things I already find useful to do (that work for me)
- dry washing only by sun and wind ( or on hangers on airing rail in laundry or by fire )
- make all trips to town multipurpose , and as few as possible.
- have bins in boot of car for grocery shopping - refuse plastic bags always.
- refuse packaging ( leave in shop )that is unnecessary and re-educate shop owners - ( not always popular! )
- Make compost. Chip trees that are removed, to use as mulch and return to the soil.
- grow own vegetables, fruit and nuts ( we have a slight advantage here - space )
- as we don't get rubbish collection we have had our own recycling centre on the wall of the shed for a long time. We crush tins (cans ) in the wood splitter; we sort and then take a truck load to the recycling centre in town with bottles; paper; plastic that is recyclable. )
- write or email supermarkets about your thoughts on packaging.
My 4 Rs: reuse; recycle; return or refuse
( packaging , clothing ,books, paper, household goods etc etc. )
5 new things I will aim to do;
1. Extend # of days I change and wash bedsheets by 1 or 2 - Keep are record( or I won't remember ) ie Mon this week ;Tues. next etc. or next fine day after that.
2. save washing to bigger loads before doing it.
3.Extend time between mowing lawns ( same as #1 above )hope to save petrol.
4.Do less ironing ( hehe )
5.make bright cloth bags and give to others to use for shopping - altho that will take power to do.
Look at the following - more insulation in ceiling and solar panels. ( there are some new thin sheet ones coming soon )DH has to agree here too.
There are things I could do but am not prepared to at the moment like not using the computer, not having TV on, not using the sewing machine, dishwasher or washing machine. ( it may get to that in the future? )
Articles and References.
Some of the best advice I read was given by older folk in UK who lived through the depression and war. Rationing!( consumption of fuel, power, food and other goods ) and how they managed.
websites worth looking at : www.zerowaste.co.nz
Articles in the New Zealand Listener - ( May 19th -25 page 36) and ( May 26th -June 1 page 34 ) and many more. Read about E waste the fastest growing waste section. How USA's E waste is polluting water ways in Giuyu in China with lead. SO be warned recycling isn't always green!
Now a question. How do we stop paper wastage on advertising? ( it funds our rural delivery mail service. ) I don't wish to receive real estate ads with my newspaper. I think most forms of advertising are a worry! ( imagine a world without it - oh yes! )
Finally a wee story.
As a little girl I lived in the country. We had a windmill on a rise behind the house for power; heated water and cooked on a wood stove; kept meat, milk etc in a safe; my Dad grew all our own vegetables and fruit. Then when I was 7 or 8 wooden poles were cut from trees on the farm and strung down our long driveway so we could get electric power. I remember the wonder of the new spin dry washing machine and fridge and other new labour saving devices. The number of those items we have today has become huge. Do we need to look back, take some of the previous systems of doing things put a modern eco friendly spin on them and think again.
Do you have any thoughts ( or actions ) on this huge subject?