Monday, October 4, 2010

Blogtoberfest – Day 4 – Simple Living

As mentioned yesterday I have in mind to run a series of posts this week (and if it works I will choose a different subject for each week this month). It will run from Monday to Friday (to leave space for my crafty stuff at the weekend) and this weeks series will be on Simple Living.

There was a British Sitcom in the 70s called ‘The Good Life’, starring Penelope Keith and Richard Briers. This show is about a couple who, tired of the rat race, decide to turn their suburban back yard into a small holding completed with Chickens, Pigs and a veggie patch much to the horror of their neighbours.

My revelation was not as the result of a mid life crisis (as Toms was) more of a subtle shift as a result of Jots arrival. I am steering us along the road to ‘The Good Life’ slowly and by degrees and I hope that in a decade (or two) we will be fairly self sufficient although I doubt our destination will be quite extreme.
The need to protect Jot from harmful chemicals and to create a better world for her to live in (even if we only affect her immediate surroundings) has driven a number of changes within our household.

Our big shift has been to install a Solar Photovoltaic (PV) system on our roof to provide us with our electricity. We found our supplier through Solar Choice and have ordered a 3kw system. This should generate around 13kwh of power a day (more in summer less in winter) and will hopefully provide us with about 80% of our electricity. We ordered back in July and due to some supplier issues for the inverters (they are coming from Germany) we are still waiting for the installation. I am really excited about this as it will help us financially as well as provide a much smaller carbon footprint.

We now have a garden (after 9 months this is still a novelty to me) and are making plans for raised beds, wicking beds, an orchard (do three trees an orchard make?) and a veggie patch.

I am also trialing changes in the house. I have started to make my own soap, deodorant and cleaning products. I use cloth nappies on Jot (although I am hoping this will not be the case for much longer) and I am shopping more locally and once a month I do a bulk shop at Costco.

And of course there is my crafting. I am sewing more and more of Jots clothes, knitting was cloths and warm clothes and this year I think I only need to buy 2 things for Christmas presents.

Over the next 4 days I plan to introduce you to some of these aspects of our life, some of the very cool websites and books I have found to help guide us (me) along the way and some of the benefits I have found.


Car said...

Good idea on the simple approach blog posts! Looking forward to reading about it, I am slowly making small steps here... We got the 3kw system installed and am looking at another water tank + chickens in the very near future!

HayleyK said...

3 trees an orchard? You bet! Sounds lovely.