Thursday, February 23, 2006

Electricity vs Gas

Last weekend and the earlier part of this week I was ill (sorry boss). So I took to my bed. My little flat sometimes feels like the coldest part in the UK. As a consequence I use ALOT of electricity as I use two electric heaters. There are storage heaters, but they are worse, so I never use them. I use a pre-pay meter and am going through at least £20 a week in electricity despite trying all the usual energy saving tips. When I was ill, I was at home all day, so obviously using more as I had my two little heaters on the go. I never realised how cold my flat is during the day until falling ill. Luckily a good friend of mine came to the rescue and popped round with a gas heater. My flat was as warm as toast within minutes of this little heater being fired up. Fantastic I thought. I warmed up a treat, and was saving some electricity. Which got me thinking about the environmental impact of this. In theory I think I am saving money. It costs about £12 for a bottle of gas. I don't know how long this will last. But which is better on the environment as a whole? Gas (what is released into the atmosphere?) or electricity? If anyone has any opinions I would love to know. Perhaps it will be an experiment that we will do on one day.

Out of the mouths of babes...

This morning at the breakfast table we were discussing how the rest
of the year would be panning out, and the subject of holidays came
up. Or rather, why we were not too likely to be having one anywhere

I'd like to say this was down to a major commitment to eco-empathy,
but it was mainly a matter of financing, which being a trendy new age
Dad I felt the need to explain to the boys so they understood the
reasons for.

'So Daddy,' asked Kipp, 'what kind of job is it when don't you make
enough money?'.

This being my chance to secure the support of future generations, I
explained that while I certainly was hoping to make a living soon, my
job was to help save the planet, and what good would money be if
there was no planet left to spend it on.

'Still,' said Cody, 'it would be nice to have some to enjoy while it

Maybe he knows more than I do.

Mixed Feelings

In the run-up to the Ideal Home Show, one of the more significant tasks we're engaged upon, with the help of dirRE:ctory partner innotec, is the creation of the Vac:Sac.

This is a 'Junkk' idea I had a while ago, when passing a discarded vacuum cleaner in a rubbish pile, that evolved into what seems a quite promising concept turning such items into clamshell fashion rucksacks. What with one thing and another, it looks like the idea has captured the imaginations of a few media folk, so we are working hard on making it up. For instance, there is an event on launch day to the show called the 'Green Catwalk', at which we hope to make an impression.

Just to cover bases, we thought it best if we and innotec (who have the tools and skills to make a much more professional, press-pleasing effort than anything I'll be able to knock up, especially in the time) made one each.

Trouble is, try as she might, Mel of innotec couldn't find one, and so I have sent our 'makings' off to her.

The interesting part is that she tried her best at her local area reycling site, and though they didn't have any, she would have been able to take one away if they had. Apparently the guys who run that facility permit it.

However, today when I went to our local site to see if I could get another, our local site guys said they had several, but I couldn't touch them. In fact they couldn't touch them. It seems that now they get searched at the end of the day to make sure they are not sneaking out any rubbish. Which seems... odd. I'm sure there's a H&S reason in there, but it obviously does not apply nationwide.

Which is where my mixed feelings come in. I think what happened to me locally is daft, as anything removed from the skip for reuse is something not in the landfill. However, such a policy does throw more people at, because we can matchmake disposers and restorers beforehand. Individuals... and businesses. I simply popped to my local Electric Shop and they gave me a broken one from the back and will look out for more if I want to make it into a cottage industry. 

Plus I bought a battery recharger while I was in there. Check out the on-site POS (Partner Opportunity Sheet) 'Open Door Policies'.