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Noel Oco

Fundraiser, Project Management

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How do you simplify your life to lessen your carbon footprint on a daily basis?

Less stuff equals less concern which equals less stress.

Topics: philosophy

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    Nov 17 2012: I live in the UK. Reducing energy consumption is my current obsession - utility costs (mains gas & electricity) have rocketed in price over the past three years - 10% per year! Couple this with exceptionally cold winters over the past few years and the central heating is on for longer each day and for more weeks in the year.

    In normal winter conditions (day time external temp c. 10 degrees centigrade - night and early morning temp c. 2 degrees C) my heating timer is set to come on an hour before I get up and to stay on for 2 hours. It switches off when I'm at work and comes on again for 4 hours in the evening. I have individual thermostats on all rads, which I set to "freeze protection" in the rooms not used. I have a heavy velvet curtain across the bottom of the stair-well which stops all the hot air shooting upstairs. This has made a very noticeable difference to the temperature of the ground floor. In addition, my loft space is well insulated and I have double glazed windows throughout. The boiler is a combi-water heating system which heats water as required.

    In the manner of our grandparents generation I put more layers of clothing on if I'm feeling cold. I try to buy jumpers made of natural fibres - preferably wool which is very warm. I no longer buy "fleece" clothing as I understand the microscopic pile that washes out each wash is highly polluting in marine systems. I have invested in some very beautiful woollen throws which can be snuggled under when relaxing on the sofa.

    As far as my electric usage is concerned I switch off all appliances (TVs, Stereo's etc) at the plug at night - stand-by mode uses 60% of the power it would use if "on". I use eco light bulbs throughout. I use a solar power panel to charge my mobile phone. I'd like to have a water solar system and a photovoltaic system - but the capital outlay is high and my roof slopes east / west.

    We all have to find ways to save power if the world is to have enough.
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      Nov 18 2012: Thank you Heather for sharing your practical ways to save your energy consumption in the UK. It is indeed a good obsession to have.

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