Monthly Archives

July 2020

Switching to a Green Energy Supplier was easy, by Paul Whitmore

By Energy

We had been thinking about changing our energy supplier to a  more green sustainable source for quite a while but always seemed to be too busy to figure it all out.   So when we eventually  looked at the options available we were pleasantly surprised at how easy it was to switch.  We were looking for a supplier which generates 100% electricity from renewable sources, and with just a few clicks of the mouse we were able to compare green energy costs to our existing supplier. We found that a number of suppliers could offer tariffs that are not only green but can also lower our electricity bill by as much as 15% as well as reduce our carbon emissions. Result! So we switched there and then, dead easy! In our case we chose Octopus because of their good customer reviews, but there are a number of other companies to choose from too.

Finding out about all the various energy tariffs has been interesting,  and now we’re looking at how we can use energy more efficiently. We are keen to get a smart meter, which will allow us to switch in the future to one of the new smart time-of-use tariffs. These offer cheaper rates when demand is low and, by reducing our consumption during the peak price periods, we could reduce our bills even more. And also on the list now that autumn is round the corner is to start looking at ways to reduce our heating energy consumption and gas bills.

Paul Whitmore

 

Observations through the eyes of a Swede (a human – not the tasty turnip-looking vegetable!), by Emelie Persson

By Habitat, Sustainability

It is my first time visiting England, we have only just about taken an exit off the M1 and I immediately find myself fascinated by flying forward on a beautiful winding country road accompanied by dense, lush green hedgerows on either side. I have never seen anything like it before and England is even prettier than I could have ever imagined!

The hedgerows blend in so well with the landscape and whilst driving down a hill the gorgeous views and the rolling green landscape is almost undisturbed from the roads and traffic hidden behind the greenery.

I remember thinking, what a great natural habitat for wildlife the hedgerows must be. The hedgerows seems have an abundant variety of plant species and are even carrying fruits and berries at places. They are perfect wildlife corridors, creating a space for insects to spend the winter getting ready to start their job as natural pest control for the adjoining cultivated fields as soon as the spring starts.

I spot a gap in the hedgerow and then it hits me – how are we supposed to see if any deer or wild game is hiding in the hedgerow and how will we be prepared to stop if it decides to jump out? This can now happen any second! In Sweden we are used to most high speed roads being protected by tall see through metal fences on either side of the road. Especially at dawn, the risk of a deer or even a moose running out in the road is pretty big and it can cause some really scary accidents at times.

I remind myself of being in a foreign country and that maybe deers do not jump out on the roads here as often, fingers crossed… I try to focus on enjoying the ride again.

Looking closer at the hedgerows I started noticing little green signs with yellow writing on the side of the roads. We are driving too fast for me to read the writing on the first few but finally – “Public Footpath”. Wow, a footpath for everyone! That is fantastic. The footpaths seems to be going straight across cultivated fields, what a fantastic initiative.

The footpaths makes me think of a part of the swedish constitution called “Allemansrätten”, directly translated to “everyman’s’ right” and is maybe better described as the Right of Public Access. In Sweden everyone has the freedom to roam freely and to access land regardless of ownership. The land belongs to everybody and it is everybody’s responsibility to keep it in order. There is no such crime as trespassing as long as you keep a sensible distance to houses, take your litter with you and “leave the land as it was found”. Allemansrätten makes it really easy to camp, hike, ski, go swimming and to pick mushrooms and berries.

The idea of exploring the English countryside on the public footpaths makes me excited – I think I am going to like it here!

Emelie Persson