Planet earth

Yesterday, August 1st, we on planet Earth had used more resources than we can regenerate in a year.
Perhaps not surprisingly the US had already done so on March 15th.
As a family we recycle and have a compost heap. We could definitely do better with saving water and due to lack of public transport we use the car a lot.
If anyone has simple and effective ideas for being more green I would welcome them.

Starting with insulation for the building then the next consumer of energy heating water or running a swimming pool?

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The promoted approach is 1. reduce 2. reuse and 3. recycle, and that’s what we try to do.

So for example we only have one car as it helps encourage us to plan fewer efficient journeys rather than just popping here and there all the time. As John says look at minimising energy consumption through insulation and …hard to imagine right now but… in winter we try to keep the heating down and wear a thicker jumper. Lights off whenever not needed, and those sorts of things. Anything that uses energy or resources we try to remember to ask ourselves first whether we need to.

Amd loads of things you can do to reuse. At the moment, because everything is so dry, we keep a bucket in the shower and find that gives a few litres of very slightly soapy water that we give to a plant.

I think much of what we can do as individuals starts from changing your state of mind, and then a lot flows naturally. Spend a few days being very conscious of everything you do that uses energy/resources, everything you buy and everything you throw away. Is there anything you could change?


I like the bucket in the shower idea. We already feed the plants with any suitable washing up water.
Our loft space is well insulated fortunately.
We have started covering the pool up more when not in use as this heat causes a lot of evaporation.

Don’t let the tap run while teeth cleaning, rather fill a mug and use this !
Use a bicycle where possible, I live in a very hilly area but can still do shopping for little bits and pieces in the local supermarket (25kms) round trip.
Don’t leave electrical things on ‘stand-by’.
Don’t use a hose on the garden, wicked waste of water. If you do have some ‘special plants’ then water them late evening with a watering can.
Use solar lights outside around steps and paths.
Don’t wash the car, as long as the windscreen is clean that is all that is needed.
Oh and do please remember to leave a shallow bowl of water in the shade outside for the wild animals :slight_smile:

That makes a huge difference not just to water loss but chemicals to. Most pools are wasteful electricity wise, this is not just detrimental to your wallet but it produces poorer results in water quality. A 90% saving in electricity produces a better quality water less maintenance. Why haven’t more companies done this? Ignorance has a fair bit to do with it. Pool companies just follow others and what they have done before, no innovation.

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This is a simple idea - eat what’s in season and not what comes from the other side of the world.

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More news on plastic waste.

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There is so much we don’t understand about the effects of our waste once it’s left our homes.
Whenever I watch American films they seem to use paper shopping bags, that must be better than plastic.
Years ago I had a friend whose husband was a manager in a big paper mill. He told her that if the public saw how many chemicals were used to make toilet paper etc from recycled paper goods they may not think it so great. Hopefully things have improved since then.

It’s certainly true that there are a lot of chemicals used in paper manufacture whether it be recycled or not. Then there’s the myriad of chemicals that litho printers need to produce the finished article. I left the industry 6 years ago and with the growing use of digital printing things are improving I believe. Our customers often wanted to improve their green credentials by using recycled paper but didn’t quite realize that it wasn’t really going to save the planet!

At least that is paper…
I reject articles that say chemicals, until I know what chemicals. Dihydrogen monoxide is one of the world’s biggest killers.

Sink or swim

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I remember reading articles years ago about how excess white goods such as washing machines and tumble dryers and fridges etc were being dumped in the Yangtze River…cheap supply outstripping global demand…I remember it because at the time I needed a new tumble dryer and felt it was a shameful state of affairs…

Then there are banned in the west toxic chemicals and pesticides being shipped to “less developed” countries for disposal…

Whilst my intention is and always has been to tread softly on Morher Earth and treat all beings with love and respect it becomes increasingly difficult when mega corporations have no such depth of feeling…and profit is all that matters to them…

Has anyone been following the Orca mother who has been carrying her dead calf for days on end…???

Our washing machine packed up ten days ago, got a repair man out and the fault was a damaged control module with a replacement cost of 250E plus fitting, bought a new one with a better spec for 445E, old one which is only 6 years old will be scrapped, madness.

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For scrapped, read recycled.

I’d like to think so John, I actually meant scrapped from our point of view due to the cost of repair compared to a new machine. The whole thing is a ‘scam’ - a replacement motor and control mudule for our old machine would cost a total of 500E+ yet we’ve paid less than that for a brand new one with a larger load capacity and an induction motor that comes with a 10 year warranty.

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It’s frustrating that white goods seem to die just after the warranty expires and that repairs are expensive an/or impossible.

Mostly it is a side effect of modern manufacturing which is incredibly efficient at cheaply producing goods which have a specified design lifetime (and are actually fairly unlikely to fail within that lifetime).

However the system screws down manufacturing cost as much as possible and, usually, does not manufacture for repairability.

Repair takes skill and, unfortunately, as repairmen (and women) need a living wage you have to pay commensurately (in contrast manufacturing uses armies of low paid unskilled or lowly-skilled labour and lots of automation).

If you are reasonably handy it is often much easier t get the spare parts and do the repair yourself.

Even then it might not be economically viable - the main valve (I think) on our dishwasher is leaking. We’re working around this by turning the water supply off between each use - now, I could probably do the fix myself but the replacement valve looks to be over £100 and I will have to pull the machine out dismantle and rebuild twice, once to confirm the part number on the valve and once to do the repair.

Even though a new machine will be 5x the repair I am considering it just to save myself the hassle.

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My dishwasher is 11 years old. The soap dispenser no longer opens so I just chuck a tablet into the base and I’ve had to replace the wheels on the bottom basket. Otherwise it’s still going strong and is used most days.

Washing machine is 10 years old and has only broke down once a few months ago. Local electrician charged me 25€ to clear the pump which was blocked.

Both are Faure which I believe is the French name for Electrolux.

Fridge/freezer is 11 years old and has recently started to collect a lot of water in the base. Not a clue what that is about but I just sponge it out every few weeks and hope it’s not dying. It’s a Whirlpool.

I think I’ve been very fortunate. None of these appliances were expensive and they are still doing their job all these years later. :+1:

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It’s probably from the auto defrost function

Normally this will run water into a container, from which it is supposed to just evaporate, if the container is dislodged or is plastic which has become brittle and sprung a leak it might run into the base.


Yes the cost of mass production (purchase) compared to handbuilt (repair) are world’s apart.
The EU made sure that parts are recyclable but where this takes place is again probably not local. I bought a second hand washing machine which required a new main board. A service agent £280+vat so I replaced it myself (done quite a few over the years) parts £95. That’s one of the largest drums variety and it is wonderfully quiet in use. £100 is a lot for a solenoid valve?

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