So, apparently petrol went up 15% last year, roughly. That’s pretty painful, really, for those of us who’s incomes is a bit marginal at times. So, examining our possibilities we’ve come up with the following plan, which we hope to initiate on change-of-house.
1) Borrow / Fix my mum’s G-Wiz. If we can fix it, we buy it. Otherwise we sells-it for her for cash monies (for her).
2) Electrify the Minor. This requires planning, forethought, advice and research.
3) Keep the Volvo for long trips.
4) Podcast/Videocast/Zine (FTW!).
Essentially, we’ve got a whole bunch of things going on which require time and energy, but which will hopefully be quite cool and me being the geeky self-centred-media-tart that I am, I think it’d be quite cool to do something video/podcasty about the po’-ass middleclass couple trying to green-up their life. Why? Well, a lot of the green/eco stuff I’ve seen has been fun things like It’s Not Easy Being Green, where the people doing it have lots of money and lots of time.
We kind of occupy the other extreme, no money, little time. Kathryn works three jobs, and I’m currently engaged in shift work (plus occasional agency when I get my act together) and doing a course for my job/self development.
And what we’re trying to do is green up our life in a way in which most people can, in the kind of house that much of the UK population dwells. So, that’s the plan. The G-Wiz should be relatively easy. Assuming the batteries didn’t freeze. Not sure what the freezing point of Sulphuric Acid at the concentration it’s in the batteries is, but I’m hoping it’s high enough that it didn’t cause a problem. My mum’s car’s lead acid battery survived, so I’m hoping they’ll be okay.
One battery will produce a pack with a strong battery, which isn’t great, but will hopefully be adequate for our purposes.
Electrifying the minor. Well, this is more complicated. I need advice and guidance, also need to research what’s appropriate. Am aiming for keeping a decent top speed, needing a range of 50ish miles (just to be certain I can get to work and back and do the odd errand). This should all be achievable with fairly cheap technology. Sadly, I think this means selling the Enfield, which is a great shame, but hopefully we can find it a good home. I’d love to fix it, but the G-Wiz is an easier fix, and will cost us less to get back on the road (hopefully).
The Volvo (Chester) needs some TLC anyhow (it’s in need of a few jobs doing), so could do with being able to be pulled for a day or two and having a bit of a tidy of a few small things.
The house, well, current plans include Solar PV Panels (on a shared cost / free basis), external insulation (solid-brick walls, so no cavity wall insulation for us), eco paints, as lower-carbon building technologies (e.g. fly-ash breeze blocks, timber frame construction, eco friendly render) as we can manage for the extension and garage (we’re limited by cost). While none of this is wildly exciting high tech bleeding edge green tech, its the kind of things anyone can do.
All of this is, obviously, dependent on us getting the house!
So, wish us luck.