Going green, Home life, Toxic Custard newsletter

Wall insulation

Improving my house's heating and cooling and energy efficiency is an ongoing project. 2008 Solar hot water2012 Ceiling fans and roof insulation2015 External blinds2017 Air-conditioning (a backwards step for energy efficiency, but a giant leap for comfort on very hot days) This week it was wall insulation. Obviously this is best fitted when the house is built, but in a house built circa 1

Going green, Home life, Toxic Custard newsletter

Decarbonising my home

While my most pressing home renovation need is the bathroom (planning to do this the next time my sons are away on a trip), I was also thinking: Governments should be doing a lot more on climate change, but what are the major emissions in my home, and how could I decarbonise? The car. I recently bought a petrol car, because given how little I drive, I couldn't justify the cost of hybrid or e

Going green

Electric kettles use power. LOTS of power.

I have an electric kettle. It's pretty fast to boil water, but wow, does it burn up electricity. Here you can see our live electricity meter thingy on the fridge. On the left, a couple of lights are on, as well as the fridge and I think a computer was on as well. On the right -- the kettle is boiling as well. Conclusion: Put just the water in the kettle that you need; don't fill it up ev

Going green, Home life

CFLs – an everyday household object that is almost impossible to dispose of properly

The entire country converted to Compact Fluorescent Light-globes years ago, which is great, as they use much less energy and have a longer life. Well, if you use them properly. For instance I don't use CFLs in the bathroom/toilet, as these lights are generally on for short periods of time, and CFLs are better when used for 15 minutes or longer. And the greenhouse gas reduction might be overs

Going green

Going solar – when should I jump, and how many panels?

Pondering adding to the solar hot water on my roof with PV panels for electricity generation. My last electricity bill says I used up 659 kWh in 92 days, costing $187.61 (only including the cost for power and the 100% GreenPower surcharge; excluding the $76.41 service charge which I'd incur no matter how much power used)... that adds up to 2614 kWh in a year costing $744.32, or about 28.5 cents

Going green

A record 9 days above 30 degrees

Thank goodness that scientists aren't warning of any kind of permanent warming of the climate that might prove, y'know, dangerous -- otherwise a record-breaking run of hot days might be a tad alarming. One shouldn't jump to conclusions of course. As Jon Stewart quipped: "Global warming is a total hoax. And I'll tell you how I know. Because it's cold, today, where I live. That's jus' scie

Going green

Yallourn: impressively big, but inefficient

On the way back from Walhalla, we decided (at Peter's suggestion) to go via Yallourn. He said there was a lookout with a good view over the Latrobe Valley, and the power plants, and the road through Yallourn was very close to one of them.. We started off by diverting off the road to a spot called Peterson's lookout. This turned out to be a long narrow dirt road to a view which, you'd have to sa

Going green, Politics and activism

A few thoughts on the carbon scheme

New for June... a Lego house with solar panels on the roof. Here's a few thoughts on the carbon scheme announced yesterday: 1. I simply don't understand how the deniers can continue to be taken seriously by anybody when the vast majority of climate scientists agree there's a problem that needs to be fixed. It also seems a peculiar view that the world's population can continue to burn

Going green

When not to use CFLs

Letter the other week in The Age: Not worth the cost AM I the only person having trouble with expensive ''green globes'' alleged to last 10,000 hours? Used eight hours a day, a globe should last more than three years. I have replaced the globe in one lamp four times already this year. I want my cheap, long-lasting, environmentally unfriendly globes back. Leone Garro, Northcote My CFLs

Going green, News and events, Politics and activism

Stuff I’ve learnt from Radio National

Often when I listen to Radio National, I'll learn something I didn't know before. In this case, I was listening to Saturday Extra last week. Cutting power consumption? One item talking about electricity efficiency noted that enormous amounts of money are being invested in distribution networks, instead of being spent on measures to cut consumption (and thus GHG emissions) so you don't need t