Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Stop Climate Change - Who me?

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?


Val said...

I was born at the end of the war and spent my early years with my grandparents. I well remember the economies that we practised as rationing was in force until the early 50's. Granny used to cut up the tissue paper the bread was wrapped in to use in the loo and she hoarded small pieces of string which she then tied together to make useful lengths. We grew all our own vegetables and to this day I've always grown as many as I'm able depending on size of garden. Old habits grow hard and I still go round turning off lights! We only shop once a week which makes one so much more organised. We went without a lot of things that we take for granted now but I can't say that we felt deprived!

Unknown said...

You know Ali it is such an emotive issue that hardly anyone has commented on this here. As a family we recycle as much as we can - we have kerbside recycling for glass, cans and paper but we tend to not put out our box, instead Nigel takes it across the road as we live very close to our recycling centre and he has to go to take the cardboard and the plastics that they will recycle. All food waste whether compostable or not goes into a food bin inside maize bags which will also decompose and this is collected every week by the council who I believe use it to fuel a bio-digester which then gives off gas for fuel. In our toilet cisterns we have inflatable blocks which then limit the amount of water used each time you flush the loo but I have to say I draw a line at leaving the loo unflushed - not pleasant for the second visitor.I do try and walk the kids to school and back but I drive to work which at a pinch could be walkable - my argument is if they are ill and I have to go and collect them - however our cars do good mpg. I refuse all excess packaging especially the adverts in magazines, obviously a few other people do too judging by the quantity of shaken out bumph round the magazine stands. I do use plastic bags in the supermarket but then pass them onto charity shops, our local fish and chip shop or the local farm shop for re-use. I'd like to think that when we have a bit of spare money again we'll consider solar panels but our conservatory does heat the rest of the downstairs by default with the doors open when it's sunny. Our kids here in the UK are very switched on and often lecture us oldies but we have to remind them about leaving the tv playing to itself sometimes. If everyone did a bit it would mount up to a lot but the corporate and political world do need to come up to speed as well and not just pay lip service

Lynda (Granny K) said...

I live in the suburbs of an English town. We recycle our waste, have a compost bin, provided free by the council, into which goes cardboard as well as greenstuff. I don't drive (hubby does), I walk wherever possible. I quilt by hand (actually enjoy it), recycle cottons into quilts. Instead of having the central heating/hot water boiler come on twice a day in summer, we put the 'hot water' on for one hour each morning. Take showers, not baths. Use energy saving lightbulbs, more expensive to buy but seem to last forever. I take a wicker basket and cloth bags to the shops for my purchases. If it goes cool in the evening, pull on a quilt or another jacket rather than light the fire. Don't leave appliances on 'standby', turn them off at the wall. Dry laundry outside. We try and re-use whatever we can.

molly said...

I have nothing new or creative to add to all these great ways of protecting the environment. Just wanted to say that I found your post very interesting. It sounds like you are much more progressive than here in Florida. I also want to make some canvas bags to give to friends to encourage them to use them instead of plastic store bags. It's a small change, but could be huge if enough people signed on....I have already been doing my bit for several years now by cutting back on ironing!!

Vinda said...

Hanging laundry to dry always brought back wonderful memories: of my childhood & of my son, as a baby, laughing when the wind blew the laundry as it hung to dry. I have been using the gas dryer mostly in recent years, but will make good use of summer weather this year. All of my purchased/reusable grocery bags are filled with sewing projects or fabrics. I think I'll use the fabric in one of them to make grocery bags. Thank you for helping me find a way to quickly use some stash in a very good way

Susan D said...

I've always been conscious of not wasting things I suppose much of it its because I was brought up after the age of 10 by my widowed mum so not much money to spare. So I've always turned lights of if not in rooms, I always turn my computer off when not using it. I don't drive so walk or get the bus and luckily the supermarket is just down the street. We've started to get a recycling service here and over the past few months I am amazed at how much rubbish can be recycled that we usually throw out. There's talk here of being charged if you produce too much rubbish and don't recycle. It is annoying when we take the effort to separate our rubbish but many don't.