An eco friendly winter home

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winterathome3076This week, Small Footprints has us taking care of our home for her “Change the World Wednesday” challenge.

She’s asked us to prepare our home for winter by doing one thing which would ensure our winter was Eco-friendly.

I have to admit, I wasn’t exactly sure what she meant, but with her handy 29 tips for fall I was soon up to speed.

I’ve split the things we will be doing or have done already into categories for ease of use:

Heating

I’ve already noticed that I’m not closing curtains at night and opening them first thing – this is such a simple way to retain heat in the home and welcome solar heat during the day, so it’s a no brainer and I’ve committed to doing it as part of my electricity usage challenge.

We’ve been collecting wood all summer and have a pretty good stock. Depending on winter temperatures it will last us 3 – 6 months. Let’s hope it’s mild!

I will go and dust behind the radiators <sigh>. I’ve also considering shoving some silver foil down the back of them to reflect more heat into the room – not sure if it works, but it’s reported to so there’s nothing to lose.

We have double glazing at last, so apart from one door which still needs replacing; we’re pretty free of draughts. For the lounge I have a cute recycled draught excluder!

I have a couple of old duvets to wrap around the immersion tank to insulate it. As we don’t have a tumble dryer, it’s important we can air clothes in a warm environment.

Water

Rain barrels (all four of them) are in good condition and will be storing water throughout the winter ready for spring sowing

Our bedroom and kitchen annexe roof was repaired this summer – let’s hope it’s been done well!

I will check the pipes for insulation (or rather delegate that to Mr Green). Last year we managed down to -15 with no problems, but it’s still good to be prepared. The thing that DID get frozen solid was the back door – we really must save up and replace it next summer…

Transport

Small Footprints writes “Check the air pressure in your tyres. Cooler temperatures lower tyre pressure and that, in turn, lowers fuel efficiency”. I’m due to buy fuel tomorrow, so I’ll check them then.

Garden

Mr Green has cleared one vegetable bed and is in the process of clearing the other. Once that is done we’ll be collecting some horse manure to spread on the top which we will leave for the worms and frost to do their work on.

I’ve asked for apple trees as my yule present; so those need to be bought and planted – yipee!

Leaves are left to rot into our vegetable beds – mother nature takes care of that for us so we don’t have to rake, collect, mulch and spread – aren’t we lucky!

Food

I’ve been dehydrating apples. I made so much chutney and marmalade last year we still have enough. We have tins and packets in storage in case the weather is bad (last year we had 3 weeks of snow which is virtually unheard of around here! So as you can imagine, pretty much everything came to a standstill)

Phew! I think that’s it – so much for a quiet couple of weeks I was planning! What will you be up to in order to be eco friendly this Winter?

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