Tuesday, 6 November 2012

Ways of Keeping energy usage to a minimum

I remember as a teenager when the miners went on strike and there were major power cuts throughout the country.  At the time my parents home was heated by oil, but the oil was fed by an electric feed and because there was no electricity we had no heating, but my father being an engineer soon found his way round that.  I remember the house being lit by a tilly lamp and candles and we all kept in the same room.  Each time one of us had to go to the bathroom there would be escort duty usually by candle light and then escort duty back (we were not allowed to handle the candles).  I remember that time as being quite happy and we made the most of it as a family - it was inconvenient at the time, but then the miners also had a genuine grievance and we stuck together as a family and at the end of the day we went through difficulties as a family and not in isolation and for my brother and I it was a strong learning curve.  The one message that was clear throughout this was that a family that works and plays together stays together.

But even before then we had as a family most always of an evening sat in the same room to save on electricity and on heating.  Not only that it was a time for us to talk and interact a a family  - serious family time and we only ever retired to the front room after tea and the washing up had been done, and preparations made for pack up and tea the following day.  We were allowed "me" time in our bedrooms, but we were not encouraged to stay in our bedrooms and be anti-social.  We were also not allowed to become too into the television we would listen to music and also do crafts and read all in the same room.  It was a time of encouragement and nurturing.

We were lucky in that the bungalow which my parents lived had one central corridor and all the rooms were off this one central corridor.  To keep the house warm doors were closed.  We all sat in the one room, so the electric was kept down too.  Nowadays we are all responsible for leaving lights on here and there, but I do try and keep the same to an absolute minimum.  I also close doors, put on extra jumpers (even the animals have their own blankets) and I keep throws to hand to wrap myself into say if I am watching the t.v.

When I boil a kettle I fill it to the top and use what I need the rest goes into a thermos flask for use later on

There are lots of other options to use but these are just some of the ways that we try and keep the energy bills down. The more I can save the more I have to use for a baking session later on in the week. Besides it all helps the planet if we keep our energy usage down, so that our footprint is minimal rather than collossal.

On a slightly different aside but still in relation to energy, here in Peterborough we have all been issued with little grey dustbins for keeping in our kitchens with a slighlty larger lockable grey bin for decanting stuff into together with green disposal bags. This is in addition to our green recyclable bins, and brown vegetation garden waste bins.  The new bins are for food waste; will be collected weekly, recycles waste sensibly instead of going into landfill and therefore reduces landfill taxes, better for the environment. The Council save money and we benefit so the leaflet says.  The food waste is then taken to a special processing plant where it is turned into compost and the energy which is created is used to generate electricity.  

Why are not every Council the country doing this as a matter of course - it would save the whole country loads of money and energy.

Catch you soon




  1. We have had kitchen bins as they are called down here for 5 years or more with a little one for kitchen.We also have green bags for paper and Glass and pink bags for plastic garden bags for garden waste.Phew whish we had bins not bags.

  2. Hi Tricia,I love your christmas picture on your blog
    Thank you for the lovely comment you left about my quilts

  3. Great post, we did the same as well. Had a wind up torch, played scrabble and monopoly by candle light :-)

  4. Hi Gillibob

    I remember them as happy times even though they were difficult times too. Ever since then my mum and latterly myself has always kept an emergency box with candles, matches etc in. I would love a home with a real fire and a Rayburn style cooker, but just pipe dreams at the moment, but as my Dad used to say one day.

    Take care and thanks for popping by






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