The house we’re living in at the moment is very different from our previous one in three key ways. Firstly, it’s a Victorian terrace with a backyard rather than a 1930s semi with a garden. Secondly it’s rented so we can’t make any changes without our landlord’s permission. Thirdly, it’s not got much by way of green improvements.
No garden so no compost bins or chickens, no double glazing, no cavity wall insulation, little roof insulation, no water meter and one large fridge freezer. And although it’s lovely being back, there’s no organic butcher’s shop here.
What to do? Here’s our list:
- Find an organic veggie box delivery. We’ve gone for these guys.
- Buy meat carefully. The lovely people who supply us with local organic veggies also do organic pork. And on a recent stay to the fantastic Beechenhill Farm, in the Peak District, we bought some of their organic lamb. We’re putting the carbon-guzzling freezer to work…. Beef is coming from a farm about 9 miles away, although that might be limited to summer when we fancy the bike ride! Offal and game will also feature; offal because it would otherwise be wasted and game because there’s a surplus of things like wild venison.
- Put a ‘no junk mail’ sticker on the door, hoping someone will pay attention to it!
- Find a paper recycling box to put near the computer.
- Record meter readings. We’ve done this for years, and it works! N has a clever spreadsheet which produces graphs showing average usage and inspires us on to greater savings.
- Turn the CD player off at the wall. The socket isn’t so handy, and sometimes it gets left on standby….
- Insulate the roof above the bathroom. There’s some insulation there, but it won’t be any trouble to add a bit more. This is the only roof space we can access, but better than nothing. Off-shot bathrooms on Victorian houses are often cold, so this should make a welcome difference.
- Fix cold tap in bathroom, which has an occassional drip. Not worth calling the Letting Agency about, but will save water in the long term.
- Talk to the Letting Agency about the possibility of having a water meter fitted.
- Think about how to fit a curtain to the back door.
- Adjust the timer on the boiler to go off earlier in the morning.
- Make sure to only buy organic eggs.
- Ask about lift sharing at work.
- Ask about turning off some of the lights at work.
- Buy recycled envelopes only.
- Change the last of the non-eco light bulbs.
- Get a wormery to process kitchen waste.
More on progress, and wriggly worms, next time!