Natural Light

No Impact Week 2011/Low Energy

Today, we have been asked to think about the energy we use... Well, we already have reduced our usage of electric & heating oil  over the past 12 months, which we wrote about in a previous blog. Infact, we have halved our electricity consumption & when the oil company came to top up our tank on Tuesday, the delivery guy said it was still 85% full, so we didn't need any extra!

Sime made the quick video above about the the light bulbs he wired up in the kitchen to replace the expensive spot lights. We've always switched lights off when exiting rooms & electrical equipment gets switched off at the mains when we've finished using it. As appliances break down, we haven't replaced them & are always on the look out for manual versions. We were persuaded by the kids to buy a second-hand dishwasher for £20 when we moved into this house & it lasted for 3 years (even though it was already 22 years old)! We haven't replaced it & feel happier washing our dishes by hand. We do have a washing machine (laundry), although did live without one for over a year & it is hard work to hand wash for a family, though we do hand wash when travelling...

We decided this winter, that we would only have our heating on in the evenings, which has taken some getting used to, but we're surviving. The house is an old draughty farmhouse, so it doesn't ever feel warm - but we wear plenty of layers & we do have an open fire in our living room, which is nice for a treat! We have been burning eco logs (compressed wood waste) this year & Sime has also made paper briquettes from leftover newspapers in the holiday cottages we look after.

We love candles, so have eaten by candlelight tonight:

We have been talking about removing our bedside lamp for some time now & will be doing so over the weekend - will be lovely to just have candles in our bedroom...

Goodnight, K&S xx


Karin said…
Candlelight is lovely, and saving energy is as good an excuse as any for a candlelit meal, but switching off the electric lights and using candles all the time could get expensive, especially if you opt for environmentally friendly bees or soya wax ones. I wonder how much gas or electricity was used to melt the wax down anyway? Did Colin Beavin do all the calculations, I wonder?

Today we didn't really need the heating on and once daughter is back at uni I shan't use it in the daytime on milder days, but we aren't planning a major overhaul of our heating system. When we move eventually, perhaps in the next 5 years, I think we might opt for a wood-burning stove. We'll see how the in-laws get on with theirs.
Totally agree about the candles, they probably work out more expensive too!

We're hoping to get a wood burner this year, to replace the open fire.