Environment at home

Environment at home


Environment at home


It is important how we use the environment around us. In the past it has sometimes been more about abuse that use. We are now more aware of the environment around us, in several different ways. 

  • the surroundings or conditions in which a person, animal, or plant lives or operates
  • the natural world, as a whole or in a particular geographical area, especially as affected by human activity.

In this section, I look at not the wider environment around us nor climate change, but our home. Of course the wider environment impacts the local environment of our home, and the things we do within it, hopefully in an Environmentally Conscious manner. In and eco friendly and sustainable way.

Natural Swimming Pools


Natural Swimming Pools/Ponds

Moving on from my homemade readbed project, not only has an industry emerged catering to Water Harvesting, which is a lot less Heath Robinson than my early attempt, there is also a resurgence in wild swimming. See history of wild swimming. Even the BBC broadcast about wild swimming in one of Kate Humble's programmes, 'Off the beaten track'. Unfortunately Iplayer does not have the programme but here are some clips. Kate with Natasha Brooks, explain why. Kate enters the water.     Thermals back on.

A very different view of wild water with Kate Silverton

We were holidaying in the area and found ourselves at Carding Mill Valley Reservoir just as somebody was going for a swim. The signs allow swimming but not on your own. It was evident that she was a regular.


One length done and we don't feel the need to stay for safety's sake, and leave her to her swim.

It looks a beautiful place to swim, very peaceful and quite, with just the bird song. Proper communing with nature.

Some of the comments on Wild Swimming website for this location even suggest skinny dipping is OK.

However, is is eventently cold.

Water harvesting reed beds

My homemade reedbed


My homemade reedbed water harvesting project


Project overview
Project: Grey water reclamation at home
Client: Me / Planet Earth
Cost / Value: “Undisclosed”
Programme: Spring 2006 – Spring 2007
Client’s Requirements: How to beat the hosepipe ban and save the planet
The inspiration and research: Article on Monday, 13 March 2006


 Article on Monday, 13 March 2006, extracted from BBC News.

Hosepipes banned by Thames Water


Hosepipe ban
Britain's biggest water company will ban hosepipes and sprinklers from next month, the firm has announced. Thames Water, whose eight million customers will be affected by the ban, says two unusually dry winters have caused "serious" water shortages. The South East has experienced its driest period for more than 80 years

 Rainfall graph

  I used the water usage calculator on the BBC website and estimated that my family uses approximately 400lts of water per day. That equates to 133lts per person which compares favourably to the national average of 155lts per day. Of this about 60% is for showers and baths. However, the above calculation did not include the irrigation system that I have in the garden. I recalculated the water usage including use of a hosepipe to water the garden, but for a reduced time to account for the difference between a hose pipe and irrigation system rate of flow. This added 90 lts per day. Coincidently the water used for showers and baths equates to 80 lts per day.

We already did some water conservation by collecting rain water using a single water butt and leaving the grass to grow a little longer, and not watering it. So it seemed a simple solution to use the bath waste water to water the garden. At this point I should have just decided to have showers with the plug in and siphon out the water with a hose after it had cooled. As sane people eventually did. You can even now buy special products specifically designed to make it easier.

Control the heating

Control the heating to reduce bills and carbon


When we moved into this house, the central heating and domestic hot water were controlled by a traditional programmer. A great improvement to either leaving the whole system on all the time, just controlled by thermostats, or a manual switch, akin to lighting a fire in the hearth when you get home. There is an uncomfortable period of being cold before the room or house warms up. 

The programmer had settings for Weekdays, and Weekends. An acl Lifestyle (Drayton) Model LP522.  We swapped that out for a similar one, but with the additional function of being able to set each day separately. It was a very easy task as the industry had adopted a standard docking for such things many years before. It was just a case of switching off the power supply, unscrew the retaining screws, clip out from the dock and then clip in the new one, and reverse the procedure. Then set the times you want the heating to come one and the time for the hot water, for each day, and sit back and enjoy being comfortable.

PV solar panels and battery


PV solar panels and battery


The story does not start here though.

Green my home



Green my home ... Some more!


The PV solar panels on the roof together with the Tesla battery are working well. The Central Heating Controls are also performing well, and doing their bit to reduce energy consumption.

Picking up on recycling's Reduce, Reuse, Recycle, or 3Rs. Which has developed into Reduce, reuse, repair and recycle and then 5rs (Reuse, Reduce , Reuse , Recycle , Repair and Recover)

Reduce, Renewals, Recover.

The next stage is to look at home heating, and the first part of that is how to reduce the amount of heat we need. Insulation and draft proofing.

The second part is to replace the ancient central heating boiler.


Water Harvesting


How to improve the home heating, domestic hot water, draft proofing and insulation in a stainable way to reduce our impact on the environment.



The use of renewable energy at home to cut cost, reduce CO2 output, and to save the planet, one step at a time.


Most read article in last 100 days