It’s Energy Saving Week once again next week (19th – 25th October) and the Energy Saving Trust is encouraging us to look again at how we can go green and cut our domestic carbon footprint. There are lots of ideas on the website and a handy energy saving clock which you can click on to get suggestions which will only take five or ten minutes of your time to put into practice.
Looking around the frugal palace, there are a lots of ways in which over the past two years DJ and I have begun to save more energy and reduce our waste – albeit not just to be green but to save cash too. We produce our own compost now from kitchen peelings and leftovers. In fact we used it to fill up a couple of vegetable plots last year and the pumpkins I grew this year loved it. They were enormous. Plus we also have cavity wall insulation, we’ve lagged our loft and each night I go around turning off electrical appliances around the house which we used to leave on standby.
What’s more, after being horrified by our humungous water bill last year following our first serious summer of growing our own fruit and veg, DJ installed some water butts this spring. We also cut down this summer on how often we watered the plots using the automatic watering system (not just because of the bill but also because we noticed last year that some of our tomatoes lacked flavour from being overwatered). So I’ll be interested to see how our six monthly water bill for summer 2009 will compare with last year’s. We are already thinking about installing more water butts as they are so useful.
But we can’t be complacent. There are still plenty of other things on the list we have yet to do. One of the major things is to replace all the bulbs in our home with energy saving light bulbs. DJ, who doesn’t like to buy in haste and repent at leisure, has been busy doing some research and trying to work out which model would be the best for us and how to get the best deal on buying them in bulk. Any suggestions from anybody out there who has installed them would be very welcome.
After last year’s energy saving challenge on the blog I also made a note to myself to install some draught excluders around our home and the letter box etc. but I have yet to do so. Tut, tut – must get on with that before it gets any colder. Here are some other green tips I picked up during last year’s challenge.
And in the longer term another major task will eventually be to replace our ancient Baxi back boiler. It’s still working ok – fingers crossed – but is less efficient than modern condensing boilers and replacing it would save us a third off our energy bill each year. It would be a big job, though, and very expensive because it is integrated with our gas fire in the lounge (it sits behind it). We’d need the boiler to be moved into the kitchen, the floor pulled up, the chimney and flue cleaned and a new gas fire to be installed, so it’s something to think about when we are feeling a bit more secure financially I think.
What will you be doing for Energy Saving Week? Do you think going green is always compatible with frugal living? Leave a message and let me know.
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