Jul 16, 2009

Put your money where your mouth is - or have your cake and eat it - or both?

Last week I stumbled over Think Green Thursday , and even though this blog is primarily meant for play I couldn't resist...
I grew up amongst a group of green advocates. I was made aware of the horrors of fossil fuel use, water wastage, recycling errors and the like at an early and impressionable age, and monitoring, say, my toilet-flushing habits or light switch usage has (at times somewhat sadly) become second nature.
It was therefore a total no-brainer that any house I would one day perhaps acquire would need to be - or become - an ecohouse. The trouble started when we fell in love with a 17th century cottage that was well beyond its sell-by date. Trying to combine the need to conserve the old building fabric with energy efficiency was a long journey, mainly because it turned out that almost nobody had done it before and that nobody could help us do it. We also found out along the way that we had every well-known problem, and then some. All we could do was to become our own experts and, to the deep regret of the DIY-hating husband, our own builders (a good work-out). I was nevertheless convinced that the outcome would be fantastic. And it was. The cottage is now green, sustainable, energy-efficient, warm, beautiful, damp-free, renovated to proper conservation standards and with all mod cons. And, no, we're not rich and it didn't cost us more then it would have cost doing a standard renovation. It did need a bit of thinking, but that doesn't seem a big investment if it means we can both look after the environment and our own comfort and happiness. When I look around the village and see how many people live in cold, uncomfortable houses and are unhappy with their oil-heating and environmental performance I dearly wish more would follow suit with just a small improvement or two.

(click photos to enlarge)


elk said...

good for you...i would love to see a photo of it~

bobbie said...

I'll try once more - Having trouble. this is my 4th try at leaving a comment.

You should be very proud of what you have done with your home.

I'd say more - but haven't much faith this is going to reach you.

BPOTW said...

Good on ya, mate! I think you are on the right track! And, hopefully more people will take the baton and run with it.

Rambling Woods said...

Thank you for this wonderful post for Think Green. You really have been raised 'thinking green' and have put it into practice which is fantastic. Thank you for adding this post to Think Green...

I think the problem that some (like me) may be having leaving a comment is because the comments are 'embedded'. If you change the comment option to 'pop-up', it will be easier to leave a comment. ..Michelle

Bonnie Bonsai said...

Sometimes, hard, good thinking, creativity, innovative and common sense make sense.

One point in time, we lived in a house where the yard was dead and the soil was as hard as the rock.

Then time came, we had to leave the place to come to the city. Guess what I left behind?

A nice garden front and back that never ran out of flowers all year round and I didn't have to mow the lawn.

Eventually the neighbours noticed that they never saw me mowing the lawn. No water wastage either.

It's something to do with brain power!

So an eco friendly dwelling is all we simply need.