Showing posts with label environment. Show all posts
Showing posts with label environment. Show all posts

Saturday, 29 February 2020


Been thinking a lot about carbon today, as it's the last day of February when I check our car mileage, gas, electricity and solar meters. I do this on the first day of each month and have been for the past 14 months to monitor how much energy we use.
Above is a graphical representation of this data. The wine-coloured line is total emissions, which is the sum of gas, electricity and car usage, minus the emissions avoided due to our solar panels.

To calculate the emissions from using our hybrid Toyota Auris, I've taken into account manufacture of fuel and production of the car as well as the combustion of the fuel, per mile as described here ( According to the dashboard display the fuel efficiency rates between 56-58 mpg.

For gas usage I first had to convert ft3 to kwh using the following calculation from here (

Here's how to convert cubic feet (ft3) to kWh from your gas meter reading. 482 unit used X 2.83 to convert to cubic metres X 1.02264 X 39.2 calorific value divided by 3.6 provides 15,189 kWh. At 2.84p/kWh provides an estimated bill of £431.38. 482 x 2.83 x 1.02264 x 39.2 ÷ 3.6 = 15,189 x 2.84 = £431.38.

Then I multiplied it by 0.18 as described here (

For electricity usage I multiplied by 0.2733 as used by the same carbon calculator website. For solar, the same, except negative.

If my calculations are correct (doubtful) then the above graph should be representative of our family's CO2 emissions in kg for the past 14 months.

Some things to note: I cycle more in the summer months when the weather is better, and the mpg rating of our car is also better in the summer months.

We went on holiday to Legoland in August 2019, which may explain why that reading is so low across the board.

Interestingly the 1/8/19 readings reveal that we generated so much solar power that it offset the use of car, electricity and gas combined.

Here's a pie chart:
As can be seen from this, car usage is by far our worst means of CO2 emissions at about 57%. And it's a hybrid.
Looking again at the above line-graph, the difference between summer and winter emissions is quite shocking. From 75 kg in August 2019 all the way up to 525 kg at the start of data collection in Jan 2019.

So what can be done? It's cold in winter and there's more sunlight in summer. There's not much I can do about that. But the car is screwing everything.

Big time.

Saturday, 27 October 2018

Back to the 90s

Well, it's been an interesting week. I've still had my ear blocked – that's about ten days now. I went to the doctor yesterday and he peered inside and said my ear was full of wax and that I should continue putting in olive oil and Otex on a daily basis because it seems to be working and might solve the problem. But if not, it will make it easier for the nurse to suck it out when I get it syringed on the 5thNovember. Matron!

In the social news – we are shitting plastic. People all over the world have had their poo studied and micro plastic has been found in most of them. So micro plastics are already in the human food chain. Via what? Must be sea fish. That must be the main one. Surely it can't be in fruit and veg or in meat from vegetarian animals, because they just eat grass and seed, right? Is there micro plastic in rain water? Can it be carried up into clouds? Is it sucked up through the roots of plant systems? Surely not. It's the sea fish – it must be. Lazy buggers drifting along with their mouths open taking any old crap that drifts inside. Some animals may dispose of the plastic better than others, in which case we should eat them.

So where do we find fish that have no plastic in them? Fish farms? River salmon? Grow our own? Some day I would like to try to go down the aquaponics route. I have a fish tank, I have a place to grow tomato plants. All I need are the tilapia, some pipes, a solar powered water pump, and to make the greenhouse into a water system. But I think I need more tanks.

Warning : May contain fish

We got a new fridge freezer today, which I'm looking forward to going home to. Not sure what else I can really get excited about it for. I expect I'll just open and close it a few times, enjoying the lack of having to bend down to get milk for the foreseeable future. Then after the first day I imagine it will become hum drum. Mundane. Just another boring old fridge freezer that takes up the whole kitchen and that we can't really afford. Appreciate your fridge freezers ladies and gentlemen! Don't take them for granted! Go out on a date once a week to keep the spark alive.

I wish we could go back to the 90s. That was the best decade for me. Before Bush, before 9/11, before Facebook. I was in my pre, during and post uni days. I drank, I studied, I read, I philosophised, I traveled, I met a variety of interesting people, I wrote, I did judo, played music, and could hear though both ears.

Maybe I should start a petition : Back to the 90s! When people weren't addicted to cell phones, trolling each other on social media, or shitting plastic.

Sign the petition here.