Jamie Samman

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What do you conserve?

As part of my final year studies at Northumbria University, I am looking closely at what people conserve (whether it be energy, waste or water) and how they do it. Any thoughts on how you might have made an effort to reduce your consumption of resources would be greatly appreciated!

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    Dec 5 2013: Hi Jamie, here is a quick list of what we have tried at our house:

    1. changed all the lights to energy efficient ones
    2. Upgraded insulation in roof and walls.
    3. Added double glassing.
    4. Turn down heat
    5. Recylce as much as possible
    6. avoid buying things with too much packaging.
    7. donate unwanted stuff.
    8. Use wormery for organic kitchen waste.
    9. Take shopping bags to the supermarket.

    This is what I have tried so far what I plan to do next is:

    1. Take my own reusable produce bags to supermarkets.
    2. Remove packaging on items at the supermarket and leave it with them.

    These are small things I know but I hope better then nothing. Hope this helps the enviroment and your project :)
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      Dec 5 2013: Good list.
      I do few things too.
      1. In three toilets in my home all the cisterns are loaded with a 2 liter bottle filled with water. That's 2 liter water saved on each flushing.
      2. Low flow faucets in all bathrooms.
      3. Recycled water in cisterns.
      4. Jute bags to carry stuff from super markets, nice fashion statement.
      5. Bikes for all journeys in the neighborhood.
      6. All kitchen waste goes to compost for community vegetable garden.
      7. AC rationing.
      8. Car pooling to office.

      Imagination is the limit. I wish that a frugal life style with as few stuff as possible becomes a fad.
  • Dec 4 2013: For me the first part of conserving energy was to plug the holes. I started with the big things and worked down. The oven vent allows a large steady stream of hot or cool air to escape threw the roof. The bathroom vent is the same way. I boarded up both holes. There were leaks around the door, windows, air conditioner and even around the water pipes and drains. I also got double pane windows, which kept heat and cold from going right through the windows but also cut down the noise. If you have thin walls, ceilings or floors then you are also losing energy, insulation will help immensely. Once I had sealed all the holes from leaking energy I was halfway there.
    The next thing for me was 220 volt utilities like oven, A/C, water heater. Gas is cheaper for oven & water heater. The A/C I use sparingly opting for open windows and fans whenever I can. For heat I use an electric oil radiator type heater. Then there is the little things like unplugging chargers when not in use, when someone is at the door I either invite them in or out. I don't stand and talk with the door open. I also replaced all the light bulbs with energy efficient ones (LED is the best but still to price prohibitive, I use the gas filled ones for now). My computer is smaller but just as powerful and efficient, my display is LED, thin, light and efficient. I watch TV programs like news through the computer.
    Because I am on a raw plant based diet I removed the oven which saved energy and gave me some extra space, I also save hot water and time because without all the oil & gluten's nothing sticks to my dishes and they easily just rinse off with water (just like the inside of my body!)
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    Dec 9 2013: I think sometimes people can conserve their words, there's a saying:Speech is silver, silence is golden.
  • Dec 9 2013: It's a pointless exercise, literally a drop in the ocean, when you leave it to the individual.

    Just look at a supermarket, see all that packaging, ask yourself if that were gone, wouldn't that make a bigger difference than one individual?

    Look at any bottle, 999/1000 it's plastic, what if all bottles were a) a standard size b) glass c) deposit on them d) returnable e) global.

    How much difference would that make compared to a individual?

    Leaving it up to the individual while making them feel holier than though is NOT a solution, not with a planet containing 7 billion.