How far are you prepared to go for the environment?

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turn-down-thermostatFor day 14 of the carbon fast we were asked to consider how we heat and cool our homes.

The suggestion read “Put on a sweater and turn down your thermostat to 65°- 68° when people are home and active and 55°- 58° at night as well as when no one is home. In warm climates, raise your air-conditioner thermostat 4° or up one setting. Home heating and air-conditioning are responsible for a large portion of our carbon footprint.”
Heating homes in the UK can be a big problem with older houses. Oh for an eco build with amazing insulation!

I get that turning down your thermostat is good (although we can’t because using wood means we don’t have one), but INSULATION is the key. There is little point heating your home if the majority of that heat escapes through walls and windows.

So sure, put on an extra sweater but don’t make yourself miserable or ill in the process – these are the things that get the ‘green’ revolution a bad name.

I am a pretty tough gal when it comes to less-than-hot houses, but I have visited friends and had to keep my coat and hat on. In another friend’s house I can see my breath when I talk. Honestly, life shouldn’t be like that for anyone. It’s not that they are on the poverty line either, it’s that they are ‘green’.

Well actually they are blue around their mouths and have white fingertips…

I class myself as ‘green’, but I like my comforts and a few cosy layers, a freshly filled hot water bottle and a feather duvet are my staples, but I never accept seeing my breath in the mornings – that smacks of martyrdom to me….

What do you think? Am I being a snob? How low can YOU go?


  1. Jennifer on March 26, 2011 at 11:18 pm

    I’m with you on the comfort thing. I’m willing to make plenty of changes, but having blue fingertips in my own house isn’t one of them. My thermostat is set at 64F, and I usually have a warm cat, laptop, or mug of tea nearby. We’re lucky to live in a house with big south-facing windows, so it keeps itself pretty warm during the day.

    I don’t think there’s any point in making yourself miserable to be green — chances are you won’t stick with it, anyway.

  2. Small Footprints on March 27, 2011 at 12:31 am

    I’ve always believed that living green means creating a balance … it’s not about NEVER using resources but rather using them responsibly. Being a little uncomfortable is okay … it’s actually healthy for our bodies to have to deal with cooler temperatures. But that doesn’t mean we should suffer and become sick. It simply means that we use smaller amounts and conserve whenever and wherever we can.

    That’s my 2 cents! 🙂

  3. Mrs Green on March 27, 2011 at 6:23 pm

    @Jennifer: Oh How I miss my cats 🙁 I have a rabbit and she will jump up for a cuddle, but it’s not quite the same. Good point about living in misery is likely to make you unable to stick to things…

    @Small Footprints: Great comment and well balanced – those are my feelings too 🙂

  4. Lucy @ dreamingaloudnet on March 28, 2011 at 10:16 am

    I have just been awarded the Stylish Blogger Award – and I, get to award it on. So here it is from me to you, to recognise that I love your work. And am fully aware that this might not be “your sort of thing” (or that you already have it!)

  5. Mrs Green on March 31, 2011 at 9:08 pm

    @Lucy @ dreamingaloudnet: Hey Lucy, lovely to see you and thank you so much for sharing the award; I’m really touched and never knew we inspired a rebuild of your hubby’s site – that’s fantastic! What is the URL? I’d love to go along and take a nose ….

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