Monday, 5 March 2007

Monday 5th March

Today I'm in the Yorkshire Post, as Justin the Ethical Man had given them my details and suggested that they do a feature on me. Gill took the boys to school and then went to buy the paper. I am always amazed how much of a forehead I have, receeding hairline, shiny and large. The Post had published a photo of the untidiest part of the garden and the best view of my forehead. Never mind, it was a good story with only a few mistakes. I'll write in to them with a letter with the factual corrections.

Soon after getting the paper, Justin rang and asked if it had been published and if I was happy with it. He asked me to buy a second copy and send it to him. Then a media company rang up, saying that they'd be interested in doing a feature about our family in a women's magazine, and were we interested? What they'd do is to send a short synopsis of the article to a number of magazines, and if any were interested they'd agree a deal, as we'd recieve a fee if we respected the contract of exclusivity, ie not giving interviews to any other people/papers/media organisations. I said we'd consider it.

I needed to do some photocopying in town and buy a Yorkshire Post and collect compostables, so I biked it in and did all that, getting back at 1pm hungry for lunch. However, before eating I prepared some seconds butternut squash for soup tonight, chopping out deteriorated bits and steaming the remaining chunks in a pan on the woodstove. Then did some unloading of compostables onto the heap and suddenly it was time for me to pick up the kids.

I had recieved an offer of two bags of logs from a Freecycler the other day, so I cycled over to Heworth and collected them, and elivered a Green Party leaflet requested by the nice lady who gave us the CD player for my son. She seemed very pleased to see me, and I expect we'll meet again.

I enjoyed the squash soup but Gill says that soup is always better a day after it was made, as the texture is smoother and flavour more developed. So perhaps she'll enjoy it more tomorrow!

I cycled off to my monthly LETS meeting, York Local Exchange Trading System has a core group meeting at the Seahorse Hotel near the Barbican on the first Monday of the month, and as I'm on the core group, I had to go.... it's always nice to see my LETSy friends but tonight I had to leave within the hour as I wanted to watch Panorama, as I was on it. The programme was good, and my little bit came accross well. My best buddy Jonathan rang up after, congratulating me! How lovely of him.

Later in the evening I got a good Freecycle message. I had replied to an offer of an old computer that someone was offering, on behalf of a friend of mine who wants to learn computer skills but is jobless, skint, and doesn't have many social contacts. The offerer had had loads of replies but had chosen my message as the deserving one. I rang her number and spoke to her husband, and I'll be able to pick it up on Thursday, and I emailed her with a big thank-you. I popped round to tell my friend, she was very moved and happy.


Kirti said...

Hi John,
I have recently been reading about your low carbon lifestyle and your daily activities,its very fascinating and inspiring!!

I live in Atlanta ,USA and was wondering how hard is it for someone like me to get started in composting?
i have to expain its very humid here in the summer and we are by the woods and get all sorts of wild animals ,snakes ,spiders etc
But mainly its very hothere and I am not sure about the smell.HELP!
your friend from USA

Compost John said...

Hi Kirti, I think it would be relatively east for you to start recycling your garden and kitchen materials in a compost heap. The warmth and humidity wouldn't be a problem, and as long as you get the right mix of materials it shouldn't smell.
The main problem you might have are scavenging animals such as Coyotees, which might find the food scraps in the pile attractive. If you have a well-made bin, often a plastic bin with an open base, you can partially bury the base in the soil and put some stones and rocks around the base to make it difficult to dig up.
There is a very good American composter called Compostumbler which is raised up off the ground and is impossible for rats etc to get into. I have a 'top of the range' 600 litre version and I think it's fantastic. Why not look up Compostumbler and invest in one.
The benefits will be that you produce a soil-improver which will enable you to grow better flowers and fruit/veg, and you won't need to buy composts in. Secondly you'll be recycling materials which if put in a landfill will emit pollution like leachate juice which uses energy to pump around and clean up, methane which is a global warming gas, and fill up finite landfill space. Driving this stuff to be disposed of also wastes energy. If your municipal wastes are incinerated, the wet kitchen wastes use up energy to turn them into ash, which then needs to be landfilled anyway.

Finally, recycling gives you a feelgood factor, connects you to the Planet and is an ethical way to live.

Composting is great, it's a win win win win situation!

Do let me know if/when you start, and which method you decide to use