THE ENVIRONMENT - YOUR PART - SOME IDEAS
A great deal of mournful claptrap is spoken
about how we will have
to ‘change our lifestyles’ if we are to deal with climate change, as if
were inevitably a bad thing. But are you living now exactly
as you did
ten years ago? Five? Two? The fact is
that we change the way
we live constantly. All we have to do is change a little more
purposefully, perhaps a little more courageously, so that we can
more or less what we want while using less of everything.
There is no
real choice here. If circumstances thrust change upon us, our
and those of our children and theirs and beyond, will be changed whether we like it or not, and very much for the
a look at these ideas and
start doing what you can, right now - there is nothing to be gained by
delay. They are brainstorming thoughts and thus in no
particular order, and
if you have any more, please let me know. Some are big, some
small. All of them will help us consume less and waste less,
reducing the mess we make and the carbon we emit. Some will
money. Perhaps more importantly, once the habit of thinking
this way develops, it is quite painless and it not only quietly
friends and neighbours, it grows, and more ideas come along.
basic policy is to set an example to politicians by stopping all carbon
emissions and then starting
carbon from the atmosphere. And, bluntly, if
you feel that adopting any of these ideas will radically impinge on
‘lifestyle’, I suggest you get a proper one!
- Think about how carbon can be removed from the
- Improve insulation (roofs, walls, fridges,
ovens, kettles etc)
- Use low wattage lamps and switch them off when
- Local Authority will not take window
envelopes? Tear the window out and recycle the rest.
- Use the blank side of junk mail letters for
notes, lists, your great novel etc
- Do not keep the TV, computers etc on stand-by
- Replacing domestic equipment? Check
on the power consumption.
- If you cannot boil water for just one cup of
tea, put the unwanted hot water in a flask.
- If you have a solid fuel stove, keep a pan of
water on it warming for use in the kettle.
- Shower instead of bathing. If you
have a bath, use the water to flush the toilet if you can
- Turn down your room and hot water thermostats.
- Collect rainwater to flush the toilet, clean
the car, water the garden.
- Recycle or, preferably, re-use everything you
- Use a shopping bag instead of disposable
- If you acquire any plastic bags, use them to
line your waste bin
- Fit solar panels for hot water and for
- Fit a wind generator
- If you are in the country, is water generation
of electricity a possibility?
- Think about collecting of heat from the ground
under the garden
- Refurbishing? Think about a combined
heat and power electrical generator. (Also rig it to work as an
- Need a new car - put it off as long as
possible, then think about LPG, hybrid, electric
- Use the car less - walk, run, cycle more.
- If you fly a lot, really
cut back on it.
- Politely pester supermarkets and manufacturers
about reducing packaging, food miles etc
- Thermostatic valves for central heating
radiators (Ones that work, not the old ones that invariably jammed and
could not be used to turn off the radiator)
- ‘Tax & 100% Dividend’ carbon
tax: fossil fuels are taxed proportionate to the damage they
do and the total revenue from this is distributed equally to
everyone. This will benefit low users and encourage high
users to economize.
you are a tinkerer, think
- See 1 above
- The car is a near-perfect heat wasting
machine. How to capture, store and use that wasted heat?
- A simple heat pump/ventilation system that can
be fitted in existing properties to capture heat from the air leaving
the house and using it to warm the fresh air coming in
- The economic/ecologically sound extraction of
hydrogen from water.
- The compact storage of hydrogen.
- The chemical, mechanical and biological storage
of the energy from randomly generated electricity.
- Cheap motorized bicycles
- Cheap and simple way on insulating 9" solid
- Rubbish macerator/compactor to reduce the
volume of non-recyclable rubbish. The disposal industry is no
longer ‘men with lorries who know men with quarries’ - most of the
holes are full and radical new thinking is needed.