Sunday 3 April 2022

You can call me Greta Too

It’s always great to hear when someone reads / hears / see’s something you do and then follows suit.  In particular, I get very impressed when people embrace their inner Greta.  As promised I said I would keep you updated on my environmental quest.  So here’s a couple of people embracing their inner Greta and an update from me.

My Mother-In-Law has a double butt !

Yep,  to be honest, my in-laws had a water butt before I did and it was them that introduced me to the benefits of having one.  However,  my in-laws have now purchased a second one.  After all it’s much better and environmentally friendly to have a double butt rather than a double chin.

Getting a butt is the only time that you look out the window and get all excited when it’s raining and your butt is getting a good fill. We kept going out to measure how much water we’d captured.  They’ve had the 2nd butt for a couple of weeks now and the English weather has filled it for them.  

Just make sure when you buy your butt, it comes with a decent stand. My Father-in-law found the first stand collapsed in the middle of the night, flooding the drive and left him (who suffers from arthritis) trying to recover the water butt as it went rolling down the drive way.  Oh, and they live on hill, so it was like a river down the street.  It’s a good job they have a gate, otherwise you would have seen him running down the road, in the middle of the night trying to catch it (a little bit like he does with his wheelie bin when it’s out for bin day and it blows over).  It’s just the wrong type of moon to view at that time of night.

They always have a fantastic, colourful garden though and I am sure a second butt will mean more water for them in the coming months. The garden definitely benefits from water that has no treatment chemicals added.

The Next Door Neighbour Has Gone Greta

One of our neighbours followed our recommendation and got E-On to install solar panels and a solar battery.  He now regular gives updates on his energy generation and is thoroughly happy and excited. As his roof faces directly south, I am sure he is going to take full advantage over the summer.

The interesting thing is, Greta JONBerg (his name is Jon), has now started planning to label appliances in his house.  Labels on the Oven and Washing Machine to say “Don’t have on at the same time as the kettle” as he investigates the power consumption of all his appliances.  Oh, and he’s not happy at all about that 9Kwh Power Shower.  That definitely can’t go on at the same time as any other appliance in the house.  His wife is also going Rebel,  a shower followed by the hair dryer whilst cooking the Sunday roast, doing the weekly wash and shouting “Jon would you like a cuppa” is her attempt at being on the wild side.

Finally, don’t even attempt to talk to him if he’s cutting the grass whilst the sun is out.  He must have that free cut whilst the sun is on the panels.  He’ll talk to you either when the sun goes behind a cloud, or, the grass is completely cut.

We’ve Bought a Wind Farm

Well, not quite.  But I have bought shares in a wind farm that is going to be built next year.  Ripple Energy are allowing home owners like you and me to buy into a Wind Farm.

Their system allows you to estimate your annual energy consumption and you can set your level of investment accordingly (or if you just want to dabble, you can spend as a little as £25).  Then,  when it goes live,  your energy supplier (it has to be one of the ones they use e.g. Eon, Coop, Octopus) purchases your energy from your wind farm to offset against your bill.

Be aware that they purchase at a lesser rate than you buy from them, but,  it allows you save a significant amount on your yearly electricity bill.  You also get an app to see what you’re generating,  and can even decide to charge your car for example, at a period when you’re generating from your wind farm allowing you to keep motoring on your own renewable energy.  How cool is that? 

We’ve bought into the Kirk Hill Wind Farm in Scotland that goes live at the end of 2023.  It has a 25 year lifespan (maybe more),  it can move with you if you move house, can be passed on if you die. They give you back 5% of your investment  every year for 20 years as the value of the farm depreciates as well as giving you the Kw’s you purchase resulting in savings on your electricity bill.  It also makes you feel really good to support an environmental project.  Check them out at  The Kirk Hill development share offer is due to close soon,  so if Solar isn’t for you but you want a slice of the environmental action, then check it out.  It’s ideal if you live in an apartment for example.  But is still valid if you have house, solar etc.

An Electric Summer

So, we’ve also just ordered an Electric Barbecue.  Yep,  instant on, ready in a few minutes, easy to clean, no more fossil fuels and free to run from our Solar panels.  I’m embracing my Inner Greta again (and the Rebel is rubbing her hands together as she sees another device to torture our solar battery).  

The rebel has also finally decided what electric car she wants and we have it on order (although due to chip shortages its not arriving until December at the earliest).  The only thing I am concerned about, is whenever I need to call her and she’s out, her mobile is always flat…… I say no more.  At least our insurance company has free electric car recovery if you run out of juice.

I can crush a can - quick tip

Here’s a quick and cheap item.  Anyone find their recycling bin fills really quickly.  Get a Can and Bottle crusher.  It’s great and stops the bin filling up so quickly.  Just try to get the rebel in your family trained to not put them in the bin until they’ve been crushed, otherwise you end up having to dig deep in order to retrieve and crush em.  It will hopefully stop me getting the rebel to stand in the bin to crush things down.

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