D4D

Life Jim, but not as we know it.

Archive for the category “Green”

Changing Plants

Over the weekend, I spent some time changing the plants and pots I’ve got in the yard of my house.

Some of the things from last year had died off, most having only been expected to live a year, a couple of others just needed to be changed and a one needed to be replaced as the poxy cat had decided that pot was a spare litter tray.  Additionally, I’d changed a bit on what I wanted to try out this year.

For example, last year I had a couple of small apple trees in patio pots. One had done OK, but ended the year overtaken by wooly aphid things that made it look like it was covered in frost/snow/cotton-wool, while the other hadn’t taken at all.  So they were candidates for going as well.

This time, I went to a proper garden centre, and got a bundle of new things – two types of raspberry, a blueberry bush, and a couple of flowering currants.  Once I’d got home, I emptied out the old pots, putting all the residue into garden sacks. Then all the new things got planted, and so far it’s all worked out pretty well.

The final stage was taking all the garden sacks to the local tip, and getting rid of them all in the garden waste.

So all told, quite the successful day – a near-complete change of the plants, and all the rubbish dealt with, leaving the place looking pretty much how it did before, just with new plants.  I class that as a success.

More New Greenery

Having sorted out some new pots and plants earlier this week, I’d been thinking about a couple of small trees to put in Big Pots, which should finish things off nicely.

Today, I got some – two ‘patio apple’ trees and pots for them to go in.  They’ve been outside all the time anyway, so they’re now planted out and situated where I want them to be.

I’m done for now with plants, I think. I do want to find a more comfortable table and chair(s) next, although that can wait a while ’til I see what there is that I like.  I’m not in a hurry – I’ve a chair that’s serviceable, but I do want to find something better. I just have to know it’s better before I buy it…

All Lit Up

In the office building I share with a bundle of other companies, I find I have my irritations. I know, shocking.

One that regularly annoys me is the way people shove on all the lights – even in public spaces where they’re not necessary – and completely fail to then turn them off again.

At the start of the day, people come in and just automatically turn on every sodding light – regardless of the conditions outside, the time of year, or of anyone else in any other offices.  In short, the entire place is lit up like fucking fairyland – even in the height of summer, when you don’t need the lights on at all.

The same applies in the toilets – again, an area that at this time of year really doesn’t need any illumination other than daylight. But no, on go the lights, and then no other fucker turns them off again.

Of course, I don’t mind people turning on the lights when they need them. What bugs me is that they then don’t bother to turn them off when they leave the rooms/facilities.

But the thing is, everyone pays a piece of the electricity bill. You’d think that would encourage some responsibility, some desire to only use what’s necessary. But of course that’d require some vague sense of altruism, of being interested in something other than self, of just giving a shit about things.  And that’s what’s missing.

Grrrr.

Illuminating

When I moved here, I had a “mother and child” lamp, which I’ve used as the main illumination in my living room since.

Sadly, both bulbs in the lamp were halogens, so it’s been a bit of an energy hog – which I realised more once I’d bought my OWL energy monitor and saw the way the usage figures went up when I turned the lights on.

As a result, I said that when the bulb(s) finally blew, I’d replace the lamp with one that was more energy-efficient (or at least was able to use more energy-efficient bulbs) and that finally happened today.

So – a new lamp has now been purchased, assembled, and installed. It’s a similar style of ‘mother and child’, but both bulbs are non-halogen and standard-fitting, with eco-bulbs in.

The drop in power-usage is pretty noticable already, and it should result in a noticeable drop in the electricity bill.

All told, I see that as a success all round.

Skyline

Last week, there was a new addition to the skyline at home – and for a fair dollop of the surrounding area.

It’s obviously been planned for a while, but it’s really only been in the last month that I’ve seen a new wind turbine being erected at the Forestry Centre.  It went up mid-February, but the turbine blades were only added last week, which is when it became truly noticeable. (There are chimney stacks around the place, so the initial turbine stalk didn’t stand out as much)

And now it’s visible – for quite a distance. I can see it as I come in past Bedford, and also as I come over the hill in the other direction. It’s pretty impressive.

Fortunately, I like wind turbines – I like the sight of them, and the sound. But I’m willing to bet there’s some NIMBY bastards who’ll complain about it.

Organising and Recycling

Over the weekend, I got a couple of things done that’ve been on the to-do list for way too long, but I’d simply not got round to doing.

One of them, getting the batteries on two watches replaced, hadn’t happened because I hadn’t spotted a place in Milton Keynes where I could get it done. It turns out, I’d just not explored all of the shopping centre, because at the end I rarely go to I discovered last weekend there are two places that do it, virtually next door to each other. (Last weekend I had a proper wander, and found lots of bits I didn’t know about in central Milton Keynes, but that’s probably just my idiocy)

So – that got that done, and now for the first time in a couple of years I’m wearing a watch again. I should note they’ve not needed batteries for that long, but I got out of the habit of wearing watches, shoved them in a drawer, and re-discovered them recently – at which point I also found they needed batteries.

The other big task was also drawer-related (and yes, the two were connected) in that I wanted to do a clear-out of stuff I no longer wear, or don’t like.  That one took a bit longer – there was a fair amount, particularly in the ‘don’t actually like‘ category. Again, it’s been put off mainly through having other stuff to do, and/or knowing it’s all part of a process, that once it was sorted, there’s no point leaving it hanging around.

So Sunday involved doing the whole thing: going through everything, deciding if I wanted/liked it (with one key point being ‘have I worn it since I moved here?’), sorting everything out, filling a couple of bags with stuff I didn’t want/need (or that was knackered) and then hoying it all to the local recycling centre (they used to be called tips, or dumps – now it’s ‘recycling centre’, go figure)

As always, the local tip recycling centre is a pig to get to, and invariably populated by ballbags in 4x4s with no idea how to drive, pack, or any idea of the width of their vehicle. It meant I got to have a laugh with the council guy directing everyone, generally abusing bad drivers, but it does amaze me how twunty so many people are.

All told though, it meant I got rid of a load of stuff, and recycled about 95% of it. I couldn’t recycle my old pillows – which is kind of understandable – but that was it.

It means I’ve got two watches that work again, some more hanging space for shirts, trousers etc., and about three drawers of empty space that I can store stuff in properly again. Pretty successful all round.

Exhaustive

I don’t know why I’m seeing this more often – it’s not like I’m driving more, have had it happen to me, or anything similar – but while I’ve been commuting the last couple of weeks I’ve noticed that a lot of cars seem to be having problems with their exhausts.

So far there hasn’t been a day where I haven’t seen at least two or three with fumes coming from the exhaust, and at least one a day with major-league smoke and crap.

Maybe it’s more about being on slower A-roads that make the engines work harder, I don’t know. It’s just an oddity that I seem to have noticed a lot more this last couple of weeks.

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