Tuesday, 20 January 2009

Get the book! And feed the birds!

I've just finished a glass of apple juice made from the last apples from our apple trees, picked in October. I think that's amazing! I didn't even store them properly! I left them in plastic bags in the conservatory which is not really the recommended storage method. Mind you, most of them were all wrinkly and some of them went off as a result of my inadequate storage regime. But that had an unexpected benefit. With the cold weather the poor old birds here have zip to eat at the moment. I've put out seeds for them and boy! do they get through them. So I chucked the rest the apples out for them and they love them! What a green solution to the winter bird-feeding problem. Next year I'll try to store them properly (I'll get some apple boxes from the grocers) and save more for us and the birds.

Ok, a plug. I've written some notes outlining how to wind-power your shed, just like me! They're very comprehensive and take you step-by-step through the whole thing, from sourcing materials to having plans for the brackets and things. They're available from ebay here and they're terribly good value and 2 quid. I'm trying to raise cash for me solar panel, you see.

Tuesday, 13 January 2009

Maybe it's ok after all...

That article about Google searches producing stacks of CO2 seems to have caused quite a stir: denials and counter-claims. I certainly hope it isn't true, I feel guilty enough as it is! Not more guilt!

Mind you, true or not, it does remind us that using the web burns juice. There's a price for everything isn't there? But it's easier to ignore when you don't have to bear it directly. More guilt!

Sunday, 11 January 2009

Aeolian boom and bust

Three weeks of flat calm is finally over with a huge gale. My battery's charging regime is up and down like the FTSE 100. It means I finally got some proper use out of it today, I worked in the shed for a few hours, most of it spent getting the wireless signal sorted again. It seemed to drop out with all the wind and rain, but some Airport Express juggling had it working again. For some reason, one of them seems to deliver a better signal than the other one. You'd think they'd all be the same wouldn't you? Go on Apple, why are they different?

Anyway I got a couple of hours of productive effort up there. But while I was procrastinating I came across two interesting net nuggets. The first is this story from the Daily Mail. Could it be true? It's terrible! There was I, being all smug, thinking that saving a few watts here & there is an eco-help and then this. A couple of google searches generates the same amount of CO2 as a boiling a kettle! I do about 100 a day! It's a disaster. Now what do I do? Back to books I guess.

The second, which cheered me up a little after the first, was this staggering photograph of Saturn by the Cassini spacecraft. Glorious. For all our faults, we can achieve some amazing things can't we? Earth is in the photo too! Home sweet home. Let's hope that 2009 is the year that we collectively agree to make it sustainably habitable for all of us.

But will it mean less surfing? Oh boy...

Thursday, 1 January 2009

Happy New Year from the Eco Shed!

Happy New Year everyone!

It's been a few weeks since my last post what with the chaos in the run-up to Christmas and everything. But I haven't been idle! I'm writing this post from my shed! This is a wind-powered eco-post!

I finally finished the little folding table that you see in the photo here. It's made out of discarded wooden bed headboards and folds flat against the wall to save space in here when I'm doing some woodwork. And I just joined a new Apple Airport Express to my house network, so I have internet access up here. 

It's chuffing cold, mind. I can imagine having to find a little low-energy heater to make conditions a little more tolerable when it's a mere -2 or whatever it is today. 

But I'm delighted to be in a position to use the shed in anger, so to speak. My New Years Resolutions:
  • make regular use of the shed for working. This should save time on the work and money on energy.
  • cycle to work more often. It's only 3 miles away & I don't really have an excuse not to. Except I don't like cycling when it's rainy, which since I live in north Wales, is often.
  • save for a solar panel to compliment the windmill. It's been flat calm for a few days again & my battery is only showing 12.3 volts - almost halfway through.
  • spend more time with the kids having saved it up here in the shed!
  • become ludicrously rich somehow.
Like all of us, I don't always keep all my new years resolutions! But my intentions are always good.