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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Blog Action Day - Climate Change



I signed up to take part in Blog Action Day because I believe we can all do our 'bit' for making the planet a cleaner, greener place to be.

It's seems whoever you talk to, everyone agrees that action needs to be taken, but when it comes to it, no-one does. People always think that someone else will do something, but, if we all take that attitude, as usual, nothing will get done.

There has been plenty of preaching in the past, from companies telling us how we should cut down on car journeys, stop flying in planes... you know the kind of thing.

There is another way to look at this.  Instead of telling us how we could save the planet, why not tell us how much we could actually save in pounds, shillings and pence? (OK, just pounds and pence!!)

By not owning a car, we could save on insurance, tax, running costs and fuel. 

"Not practical" many people respond.  I agree.  I travel to work, and it would be almost impossible not to drive.  However, I have stopped using the car for short journeys.  I'll take the bus - it's convenient and saves the hassle with parking too.
"But the bus costs money?"  Yes, it does, but not much, and the tank of fuel in my car will last longer between refills.

Then there's the train.  There are some terrific bargains to be had, if you can book in advance, plus the facilities are not bad these days.  I'm beginning to sound like an advert for public transport!!!

If you have to drive, do it economically.  Slowly does it, and the fuel will last longer, and you'll be less stressed when you arrive.

What else?  Well, there's the cost in the home. 

Heating, lighting, television - there is so much that consumes power, how can we reduce the overall burden on our bank balance as well as the planet?

Turn off the TV properly - that little red standby light only serves to draw attention in a darkened room.
Sky have already taken the initiative by placing the Sky box into standby at 11pm (if not in use) and still programmes will be recorded.  That's a saving.

Heating - OK, so we're approaching winter, and even I like to be warm and cosy, especially after a day at work, and driving in the dark cold nights.  But consider only having the heating coming on up to an hour before you get home.  Why heat an empty house?

Also, if it's just you, wear a warm jumper.  I'm not being stingy here, it can make all the difference, and I don't see why I should pay my hard-earned crust to the fat cats at the energy company.

As for washing - the powder companies are stressing the use of lower temperatures.  If you're clothes aren't heavily soiled, then go for it.  In reducing the temperature, you also reduce the amount of time the machine needs to be on; a further saving.

Lights too. Turn them off when you're not in the room.  I'm a stickler for it, but it makes sense.  Most of us are taught it when we're younger, and now we pay the bills, we understand why.

Also, keep curtains closed, where possible, to help retain the heat.

So, can I derive a 10-point plan for saving money and the planet?
  1. Walk wherever possible - it's good for you too
  2. Use public transport
  3. Drive slowly to preserve your fuel - the longer between fillups, the more you'll save
  4. Turn off the air-conditioning in the car - that will also save fuel
  5. In your home, switch off unused appliances at the mains
  6. Keep curtains closed, to help retain the heat
  7. Only put the heating on when you're at home
  8. Turn off lights when not in the room
  9. Wear a jumper - you can then turn the heating off a little earlier
  10. Wash clothes at a lower temperature - it'll also save time.
 I know that not everyone will agree on all of these, however, as a talking point, it's a start.  But, seriously, even if you only consider half of the above measures, it will have a positive impact, both on the environment and your bank balance.

Thanks for reading.  You can find out more, and read other peoples views at http://www.blogactionday.org/
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