Geyser Timers and Saving Electricity

geyser timerHeating water is one of an average household’s biggest electricity spends.  In the UK water heating and central heating systems are usually integrated and managed with a time switch as standard, but here in South Africa our water geysers up till recently have often been left to run all day and night. The conventional wisdom was that it uses more power to heat water from cold than it does to maintain the heat throughout the day. This may be true if the hot water taps aren’t being switched on and off all day, and if you have a very efficient blanket retaining the heat in the geyser, but how many of us do? Continue reading

Drive Green, Save Fuel, Plant Trees

drive green save fuel

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Going green is about changing your mindset, so that everything you do is geared towards minimizing your carbon footprint. We try, but there are some areas where it’s hard to live the green ideal. Driving is one of our biggest Achilles heels.

So it was great to see this article on saving fuel by changing your driving habits. I already do several of the things advised on the list, but there are points where I could do better – checking the tyres for one! With the price of petrol constantly on the rise, anything we can do to cut consumption has to be good, not just for the environment but also for our pockets.

Living on a farm you’d think would be a very green way of living, and in many ways it is. We can grow our own vegetables, compost much of our waste and so on. But when it comes down to transport it is the opposite of green – distances are further for schools, shopping and face to face meetings. This is when it starts to seem like a greener choice to live in a town or city…There is little or no public transport in rural areas, it’s too far to walk or bicycle to the nearest town… so until  the solar powered car becomes a reality, we just have to ease our consciences by combining trips, sharing lifts and planting trees to try and offset our carbon footprint.

But now I have something else on my eco-conscience – a planned family reunion that involves flying halfway across the world with our children. How many large trees are we going to have to plant to make up for that I wonder?!