Earth Notes: Saving The Planet @HomeSite updated 2023-12-02 10:25 GMT.
Want to do your bit at home to improve your quality of life, save money, cut down on waste and carbon pollution, and get the planet back how it used to be?
Did you know that
On Earth Notes
Featured: On Making Christmas Greener (easyread faq)
Twelve top tips that the Internet gave to me - for a green Xmas... Have fun, save money, do the right thing by the planet - triple win! #greenXmas
On Website Technicals (2023-11) (blog site tech)
On Website Technicals (2023-10) (blog site tech)
Thermal Imaging Survey: DIY vs Professional (easyread frugal)
OFFLINE monthly-ish snapshot of main pages and images as a
ZIP, or a smaller
.tar.xz. Download to your computer and unpack and read offline, eg before a long journey with poor connectivity, or as an archive! Start at
Things That We've Done
We've crunched our carbon footprint. We've become a SuperHome. We've pondered other changes that we might make. But most of all there's been quite a lot of fun learning. Maybe it's my engineering mindset, but I've made a hobby out of conservation and meter watching. I've had fun out of 'tuning' life a little. The rest of my family humours me!
See a full list of articles under search at the top of the page, and here's some actions to start with that we took...
Things That You Can Do
Effective changes that can be made at home are based on lowering energy/resource demand...
- Saving electricity (and gas) in all sorts of ways, including,
- Lighting: low-energy light bulbs (eg CFL / compact fluorescent and LED preferably at 60 lumens per Watt (60lm/W) efficiency or better). If rewiring, then look at 12V light circuits connecting to PV/battery systems.
- High-efficiency white goods (eg fridges) and other electrical goods at home and at work. Look at energy consumption in use, eg per wash or while on, and in 'standby' mode if you won't be turning them off at the wall. Choose an energy supplier that provides 'green' energy and supports renewables.
- For cooking: investigate CO2 savings with induction cookers and microwave ovens.
- Clothes washing: alternate ideas with drying (eg on a line), and low-temperature (cold/30°C/40°C) washing and do full loads. Also, simple changes in habits and textiles (wool is brilliant compared to cotton for whole-life costing as well as washing/drying/ironing). Re-use fashions!
- Low water-use toilets, showers.
- Insulation and thermal capacity (over-cladding buildings).
- Close curtains at dusk to retain heat (and on hot sunny days to keep the sun/heat out).
- Turn down your heating thermostat 1°C for up to 10% saving. 18°C to 21°C is about right during the day (and hypothermia is only really a risk when temperatures at home are as low as 5°C, but spending more than two hours at 12°C raises blood pressure), and nearer 14°C at night when sleeping. Only heat rooms that you are using. Use a timer (or something smarter) to avoid heating when no one is home! Wearing the right clothing helps keep you comfortable at lower temperatures.
- Don't have your hot water thermostat set higher than 60°C/140°F, and 'instant' water heaters avoid losses from a tank for new systems.
- Don't leave gadgets and appliances on standby/charging, turn them off (maybe with a smart power-strip or trailing adapter) or unplug them. You might trim as much as 30% off your electricity bill.
- Check your mains electricity use at home with tools such as the Kill-a-Watt meter, or just read your supply meter daily or weekly. Gas too.
- Minimise the electricity you use at times of peak grid load (eg 4pm to 9pm in the autumn/winter in the UK) since more carbon-intensive and expensive fuels may be burnt in 'peaking' plants, and the grid is under most strain too. Intensity at peak time circa 2009 was ~0.6kgCO2/kWh, as much as 50% over typical levels.
- On the flip-side, make good use of energy when it's abundant such as saving up computing work until the sun is shining for low-carbon results.
- Reduce, re-use, recycle (including electricals).
- See some thoughtful tips at MoneySavingExpert.com.
- 2023-11-30: The UK government confirms launch of the Clean Heat Market Mechanism in 2024:
Targets for generating or acquiring heat pump credits for the first two years of the scheme will be ... 4% of a manufacturer's relevant fossil fuel boiler sales and ... 6% ....
- 2023-11-06: National Grid to accelerate up to 20GW of grid connections across its transmission and distribution networks:
Connection dates of 10GW of battery projects accelerated at transmission level, and 10GW of capacity unlocked at distribution level, both part of the Electricity System Operator (ESO)'s connections five-point plan. Battery energy storage projects connecting to the transmission network to be offered new connection dates averaging four years earlier than their current agreement.
- 2023-10-27: Demand Flexibility Service approved for 2023/24 winter:
Energy regulator Ofgem has today granted approval to [National Grid's] Demand Flexibility Service (DFS).
- 2023-10-03: World's First Artificial Energy Island Receives Key Permit:
Belgian transmission system operator (TSO) Elia has secured the environmental permit for the construction of Princess Elisabeth Island ... [which] will be an energy hub 45 kilometres off the Belgian coast connecting new wind farms and additional interconnectors, to the UK and Denmark, to Belgium's onshore power grid.
- 2023-09-11: Former rubbish dump in Essex becomes UK's third largest solar farm:
covering 70 hectares (173 acres)at 58.8MWp/DC.
- Archived news...