01 September, 2011

Earth-friendly house project

In August of this year we started a new project to build a new family house that will (we hope) stand as an example of how eco-friendly a family house can be.

Our intention is to incorporate as many practical features as possible that will allow the building and running of the house have the minimum carbon and other material footprint as possible. To see and follow the details of this project please visit the project blog http://ifd66.co.uk/ecohouse/blog/main/main.html

Features will include low carbon footprint concrete, water capture, greywater recycling, double glazing, solar (and may be wind) energy, wood burning stove, passive heating, compost toilet.

12 April, 2011

Energy saving in Japan

After the devastating events in March the East coast of Japan has been left with the prospect of power shortages this summer and for the foreseeable future. As a result the news articles have been filled with anecdotes about how government, people and commerce are 'saving energy'. While this is of course commendable, the cynical part of by being can't half but scream 'WHY HAVEN'T YOU BEEN DOING THIS BEFORE?' particularly as since 2010 Japan has been committed to a 25% CO2 cut by 2020.

It seems the messages sent to us by the majority of scientists and from local observations from around the globe about the immediate and impending costs of climate change are not regarded by this society as 'that impending'.

With all the extra media attention to saving power, the question as to why Japan still avoids adopting daylight saving time has resurfaced and for a good article on this matter it's worth visiting Why is Japan kept in the dark.

Anyway, as a result I decided to do what some towns and communities have already done in Japan and to adopt an independent DST regime. From today all the clocks in our house, including the one on this computer have been put forward an hour. As a result I hope that in the mornings there won't be the pressure to get up so early (with Japanese summer light normally streaming in from as early as 4.30am) as it will be getting light at the more natural time of 5.30 and after having effectively gone to bed 1 hour earlier.

I just wish the Japanese government could develop the gumption, wisdom, and commitment to adopt DST for the country and save me the hassle of having to doing it independently.

If you think this is a good idea and live in Japan, why not try it yourself and pass on the idea to others.