E by gum

Oh dear…I knew yesterday’s blog about the commercialisation of Mother’s Day would get me in trouble in the end, despite my attempts to encourage my dearest Mamma not to read it. This morning I received a terse text from her, saying “Guessed a frugal Mother’s Day would be on the cards!” Oops…there goes what’s left of my inheritance to a cats’ home…! But then no one said living the frugal life would be easy….

Now, moving swiftly on, in my crushing ignorance, I shamefully have to admit that I’d never actually heard of it before, but apparently this Wednesday has been designated E-day. No, it’s not got anything whatsoever to do with email, Ebay or even ET – it’s Energy Saving Day. The idea is that between 6pm on Wednesday 27 Feb and 6pm on Thursday 28 Feb when E-day runs – which should be easy for Londoners to remember as it’s somewhat reminiscent of Tube strike schedules! – we are all encouraged to turn off unused household electrical appliances which we all have a terribly lazy habit of leaving on standby. E-day’s organisers say the point of it all is to try and demonstrate how small contributions to saving energy can add up and hopefully help combat climate change.

And no, it’s not a bunch of well-meaning hippies who have put this together – it’s actually supported by a big line up both from business and charity, including Christian Aid, Greenpeace, Tesco, NPower, the National Trust, Scottish Power and Eon.

E-day’s organisers say we should do little things like turn off lights in rooms that are being unused, not leave TVs or printers on standby and stop leaving our mobiles to charge all night long. I have to admit that I’ve got quite vigilant in turning off the telly and printer when I’m not using them, but I do frequently forget and leave my mobile charging all night and my laptop on sleep mode because it’s really slow to get connected to the internet when I turn it on. Very naughty.

And according to USwitch.com, it’s not just me but 9m households in the UK who charge up gadgets overnight.

40 per cent of consumers – like me – leave pcs and laptops on standby all the time, while half of us charge our 22m mobiles every day because we’re terrified they might go dead and cut us off from our social network. Craziness! Just a few years ago I can remember swearing I’d never get one! And until I introduced DJ to the digital world by presenting him with my old phone and a pay-as-you-go account five years ago (yes…it’s true, I wanted to keep my beady eye on him!) he was still ringing people up using a payphone in the street! Now look at us both doing our bit to ruin the planet…Oh dear…Something needs to change.  

It might not seem like much, but I am going to try and do my bit for E-Day by letting my phone go dead and turning off my laptop. Who knows, maybe I’ll even have a conversation with DJ instead of spending the evening staring at the box or surfing the web, and save money on our electricity bills while we’re at it.

Will you be taking part in E-Day? Do you think it will make any difference to climate change or your pocket?

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5 Responses to E by gum

  1. Barto says:

    I don’t think I’m particularly Green. Perhaps more a shade of khaki. I shamelessly became interested in Green matters and sustainable living through necessity, rather than conscience; we needed to save money.
    We have a wood burner. Previously at best this was used to display candles. At worse we would burn those artificial ‘logs’ from the supermarket purely to create an ambiance whilst the radiators on full provided the heat. But now I was up early of a weekend collecting firewood. I even invested in an axe.To save electricity I became adept at knowing at exactly which point to turn of the electric hob so as still leaving enough heat to continue cooking my dinner.It should not have been surprising, but it was, and pleasantly so, but as we saved energy – we started saving money.And this is when the obsession set in.I decided that I was in fact Green. I wanted to save the universe. Hell, I might even grow a big moustache like that Strawbridge bloke.  Everything I do, I now question if it’s Green. If I need a pan of boiling water to cook pasta; is it better to boil the water first in a kettle which uses a lot of electricity, but only for a few minutes, or boil it on the hob, which presumably uses less electricity, but takes forever?And worse.I recycle. We have recycling bins provided by the council which is fantastic. But they request that cans are cleaned first. But now I am using precious water to clean the cans. Which is worse?The water from our tap is warm and murky at first so I need to run the tap for a minute or so to clear and cool it. Very wasteful. So I bought a filter jug which I fill and keep in the ‘fridge. But is opening the ‘fridge several times a day more of a drain on resources than running a tap?I drink wine and I of course recycle my bottles. But the bottle bank is 3 miles away. My very Green Smart car doesn’t have a lot of space for empty wine bottles (not the amount I get through in a week). So am I polluting the environment making several trips a month to the bottle bank? We do have a Land Rover (yes, I know having two cars is not at all Green, but when one is a two seater and you live in the country with a dog, you do need a second option, and it is purely used for essential purposes). So what’s best for the environment? Several trips in the Smart or one trip in the Land Rover?I tried to work it all out, but it made my head hurt and I had to drive to the shops to buy aspirin. And I’m still not sure if the tin foil they were packaged in is recyclable.

  2. pat says:

    In readiness for E-Day Mother Nature inflicted gale force winds upon us yesterday here in the Morpeth area – resulting in car crashes, trees blown out of the ground and, wait for it, power lines down!!!  So we started E-Day early – 8 hours yesterday and 2 hours today!!!  How about that?  No tv (how I miss Eastenders and Emmerdale – not: but not to see Holby…….), no dinner (electric oven) resisted the call of the local pizza shop  (can\’t be frugal and buy take away!), no electric lights left on (candle power reigns), pc switched off (no annoying emails for cheap flights to warm countries), no mobile to charge (switch it off and no annoying messages about tones of so called musical people I\’ve never heard of)  and an early night!!!
    Mind you, being devoid of electricity altogether did cause some laughs – time to read the library book I\’d just started – oops can\’t really see by candlelight; how about listening to the radio – no, that comes courtesy of the tv; time to catch up on the washing – no the washer runs on electricity; how about a walk with the dog – no,  the street lights are out and it\’s not safe walking in complete darkness; oh well an early night will be a welcome change!

  3. Storm says:

    What\’s a WAG?

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