Green goals for 2013

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Back in 2009 I took part in a local group of people committed to reducing their carbon footprint.

My wishlist of goals to achieve was:

  • double glaze house
  • draught proof back door
  • install EcoDan
  • install efficient woodburner
  • install shower in bathroom
  • insulate loft to maximum
  • Insulate walls
  • tankless water heater in kitchen

I’m pleased to say we’ve managed to achieve several of them:

double glaze house

Achieved in 2009 and what a big difference it’s made to the warmth in our home.

draught proof back door

Not done, but we’ve put our thermal lined curtains in and this year we intend to replace the door.

install EcoDan

Not done; would still consider this but not entirely sure it’s necessary. (An EcoDan is an air-to-air form of heating, in case you’re wondering!)

install efficient wood burner

Done! Our new one is wonderful and was put in during 2010; we use about a third of the wood we were using and it’s 12kws, so heats the radiators and water during winter.

install shower in bathroom

not done, but we have everything we need to put it in place – from Freecycle!

insulate loft to maximum

Not done; we only have a tiny loft space – I’m not sure the upheaval of doing this job would make that much difference.

Insulate walls

Done! Again, it’s made a huge difference to the warmth of our house

tankless water heater in kitchen

Done! Amazing; one of the best things we ever did as it means I no longer need to put the immersion heater on every day.

This week, for our Change the World Wednesday challenge, small footprints has asked us to create our wishlists for 2013. She wrote “This week start an “Action” journal. List the Eco-tasks you’d like to accomplish this year. Get the whole family involved since we’re often more inclined to follow through on a task if it was our idea in the first place.”

This year we have a few goals as follows:

  • Replace back door – we’ve looked about buying an ‘off the shelf’ one but it’s not available in our size. Our options are to get one professionally fitted or get one made to measure and fit it ourselves. I’ll be ringing around for quotes next month with a view to getting something fitted early summer.
  • Install shower in the bathroom – This is something that I’m eager to get done. It will reduce our immersion tank usage and water usage.
  • Food waste – I need to get back on track with managing food waste. We used to have zero every week, but with my increasing work load it’s had a knock on effect on my organisation skills in the kitchen (not to mention my increasing desire to grab something quick rather than make a proper meal from scratch.
  • Chickens – we have two chickens; one of whom lays – the other is a freeloader! At the end of last year Mr Green did some work for a neighbour; instead of asking for money we’ve asked for 4 good laying chickens. These are ready for us now but we need to make some changes to the hen house so that’s next on the list!
  • Grow food – last year we had a few meals of potatoes and a handful of beans. I could blame the English weather but it’s a combination of laziness, too much work and poor time management. This year I have good intentions to be more productive in the garden.
  • LEDs – I did a tot up of light bulbs around the house and there is still room for improvement. We have several LEDS, some CFLS and we still have some incandescent bulbs because we have dimmer switches. I’d like to phase out the CFLs and find some LED bulbs that can be used with a dimmer.
  • Solar panel – To increase the LEDs we might need another small solar panel. We will need to look into this.
  • Gadgets – I have made a pact that any new small gadgets we buy have to be able to be recharged off grid. With all the technology we surround ourselves with, our electricity usage must creep up. My intention is to use solar or wind-up wherever possible.

What about you? Any goals, big or small, for a greener and more sustainable 2013?


  1. The Detox Diva on January 29, 2013 at 9:32 am

    This is a great list! No, you can’t blame the English weather on the lack of garden! 🙂 I remember the amazing cucumbers we had every year…. I am going to research EcoDan. I love that you use a wood burning stove though!!!
    I really hope your LEDs last longer than ours…. I think, in the Gulf, the electricity must really be horribly done because those light bulbs that are supposed to last 8 years last about 8 weeks (if I am lucky!) Incandescent ones are even worse…about 8 days!

  2. Mairi Stones on January 29, 2013 at 11:12 am

    Great and inspiring list. We have managed a few of the things you say and have just started down the road to sorting out internal insulation too. I think it’s great to set goals it gives us something to aim for and focuses the mind.
    My main area of concern at the moment is food, making more of my won and reducing the amount of stuff we buy in packaging. So far this year I’m managing bread making and yogurt which has made a big difference to purse and waste. X

  3. Small Footprints on January 29, 2013 at 2:29 pm

    Wow … you’ve accomplished so much! Congratulations on that! I really like your list for this year because it addresses a lot of things that have a sneaky way of creeping back into our lives. Funny how that happens. I particularly like the food waste goal … I’ve just recently read that in America about 40% of food is wasted and ends up in a landfill. It’s so unnecessary and totally fixable. I also really like your attention to gadgets … it’s amazing how much those little things add up so yeah, there’s a great opportunity to reduce. Wonderful list, Mrs. Green … thanks!

  4. [email protected] eco friendly homemaking on January 30, 2013 at 3:12 am

    Oh wow!! You really have accomplished so much and what an awesome list for this year!! I know I have said this before but it is so true you really are such a wonderful Eco inspiration!!

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