Saturday, 28 March 2009

Crap At The Environment

I have been reading "Crap at the Environment", a book by comedian Mark Watson. It presents some interesting ways to be "aware" (BTW, I hate that expression!): admit you're not perfect, try to do better, set yourself little challenges, don't try to force the world to change, you will only set people against you. It also helps that it is a funny book rather than a preachy one.

Some environment
I am interested in the environment - maybe not as interested as Susan is in things like birds, flies and orchids (I treat all them as a technical challenge to my photography skills), but I am interested. Over the years I suppose I have been been "green" (hate that too...) by default. Not because I particularly felt a burning need to save the planet (on which Susan will have something to say later), but because I honestly couldn't see any point on spending more money on electricity, gas or water than I needed too. I also would like for there to be polar bears (polar bears are apparently "fashionable") in the future. Not in an "awwww innit cuuuuute" way, but simply that I have never been hurt by a polar bear (yet) so I see no reason I should ruin a polar bear's life.

This is why Susan and I have been looking into environmentally friendly (or perhaps, more accurately, less environmentally damaging) ways of running our home in France. The biggie is, of course, heating. We have decided on aquathermie (using our well for heat exchange) if it is at all possible, or air exchange using a heat pump if our well is not sufficient. We will add to that a wood burning fire, and we intend planting a tree for each load of wood we buy. We already use low energy lighting throughout both our houses, we recycle, and as soon as we have a garden we will compost as well.
More environment
I would really like to install a photovolatic system for generating electricity, but we don't have the roofspace for it. Or rather, we DO have the roofspace for it, but it's a heritage roof and we probably won't get permission. We will ask though, just in case. For the same reason we will not be able to do solar hot water, which is a pity. I love the idea of getting something (electricity and/or hot water) for nothing, even if that nothing costs quite a bit of money to initially set up.

This doesn't mean we will be dirty greenie hippies. We intend living effortlessly stylish and elegant lives*, but always with one eye firmly fixed on not wreaking havoc.

Simon

*Fat chance - I try to do elegant, but never quite manage to make it look convincing

3 comments:

Bengt said...

Have you red this?
http://blog.france-midi.co.uk/blog

The Beaver said...

Simon

Is it necessary to place the solar panels on the roof? If you have a yard (don't know how big) you can install them on a type a pedestal facing the direction where there is max sunshine ( sun rays whatever :-))

Simon said...

Beaver

Our garden is to the north of our house and is usually in shadow. It's also rather small.

Nice thought though!