Recently Mr Beehive and myself have been attending fortnightly meetings with other likeminded people from our own and neighbouring villages. We are meeting to run through a six week course called Carbon Conversations.
Basically the idea is that we look critically at our carbon output as a family/house and even community I guess if it gets that far...but we're still on baby steps; to look at ways to reduce it.
We initially filled in a crude footprint questionaire, I say crude, because the results don't really take into consideration the things you Do do they just look at what faults you have, so there is no trade value ;-). However, mine came back as a very low score of 8.63 tonnes a year, which is over 3 tonnes less than the national average.
My high scores were travel - not really surprising, and shopping. You could say not really surprising as we are a family of six, only this was done on a crude estimation of bedrooms and income not on bills. It presumes that because you earn over a certain amount and have a certain amount of bedrooms you must spend x amount more than the national average. There is no consideration for home grown veg or home produced food, eggs from your own birds, making your own clothes or those of your kids, using recycling or second hand clothes. So, as I said...before I started a mini rant...it's a bit crude.
Then Mr Beehive's score was done differently?! Weird. He, again, scored high for travel, but he is cutting back to two days working from home whenever he can, which will reduce a bit.
However, the course is great for new ideas. Despite the fact you think that you are already 'doing your bit', it's amazing how much you realise there is much more to do.
We have the solar panels and recycle our condensation and hot air to keep our water warm, we have wood burning stoves and an insulated loft, however, one area we fall down on in an old stone cottage is crappy window insulation.
We do have double glazed windo
ws but they are not with the recommended amount of space between them, so we are subjected to condensation, mould and cold...lovely!
Mr Beehive's task for the Easter break, along with deck building...that is for another blog post...was to ring and speak to some local glazing companies.
We are currently in a state of shock receiving back the quotes...our five year plan is hastily looking toward becoming a ten year plan with one window per year at this rate!
In the full throw of trying to be efficient and green one of my other 'ten year plans' after this degree is to try to get together a co-op for the village like we had in the US. It was a fantastic arrangement where people put together their larder/pantry lists once a month and we bulk bought in, so everyone got their goods from an eco store at a low cost because it was bought by the case load. We then had an evening per month where we all met at one of the organiser's homes and sorted the goods out ready for delivery or collection. I do have 'grand designs' on things...but check out these links for a bit of tree huggin' greenery today:
http://www.simondale.net/house/ I'm sure you've seen me post his hobbit hole on my blog before, but check out some of his links and the commencement of his new home!
Such illusions I have!
If you have any experience of running a co op or village shop, or if you have your own five year plan, it'd be great to hear from you as this area is a little lacking in my neck of the woods!
Ah well, back to studying about Jaundice and the bladder as exams round two are next Friday.
Have a good Wednesday