Thursday, 5 March 2009

Thursday 5th March 09

Gill woke me at about 8 to help her make a costume for our youngest's 'book day' at school. Several days ago, Gill asked him if he'd like to dress up for the day (school encourages them to dress like their favourite literary character on book day) and he declined. She offered to make a costume which would make him look like Twig from The Edge Chronicles, but he wasn't bothered. This morning, at 7.45, he said he WOULD like to go as Twig. So Gill got to it and found a fleece-like woolly jacket which needed the arms cutting off and cutting down the front and the blue stuff at the bottom taking off, and she came up to ask me to do it as it would take too much time, when she was getting them ready to leave the house... I asked her to hold the garment, stretch it, whilst I wielded the scissors. 2 minutes later, the costume was ready! The only difference between Twig and our son now is that Twig's hair is in small tufts, and to get our boy's hair into tufts would definitely take too long!

I went back to sleep for an hour, much needed after some very late nights and busy times...

However, when I did get up after 9 I had a good session of washing up and did my Carbon Account readings. At midday I went out to visit Pauline who had requested a wood-chopping session in exchange for a lunch and coffee. We had a lovely chat and I processed a pile of scrap wood for her. She's trialling a compressed sawdust briquette product and has also tried a paper briquette product, which is made locally by people with learning difficulties.

After Pauline, I popped into the bank and then Oxfam for £15 worth of coffee and Kyi Po for a chat with Matthew and I bought some delicious lemon-grass flavoured mayonnaise but resisted all of the large selection of organic booze they have in now... lovely though it may be!

Then onto Sainsburys for bread and Ribena and marge and some other bits and bobs.

I came home via the cycle track where I picked up 3 chunky logs, and when I got in at 5ish, I did a bit of chopping and stacking before having tea with Gill. The boys had already had tea and were happily playing with a friend, who is staying the night.

A peaceful evening with nothing notable.


James said...

Kids are funny things.

I tried to explain composting to my (nearly) three year old last night. She didn't get too excited so I referred to it as Extreme Composting and she thought it sounded great. We then had a whole night of her running round, crossing her arms like a rapper and shouting EXTREME COMPOSTING!

Now she wants to put the things in daddys compost heap.

James said...

Opened a carbon account today. I will wait until I disclose my carbon total, as I want to get it down a bit first. It's like losing weight before joining weight watchers!

Compost John said...

Hi James, good for you... but why don't you just put in your readings now, and then do it monthly and see them drop as you begin to do whatever you need to do to lower your emissions.
I don't feel there's anything to be ashamed of.... at least you are trying, and everyone will respect that! Even if your footprint is higher than average, it doesn't matter as lots of people have a higher of average footprint, and the crucial thing is to change what you do and see it drop. Think how proud you would be to see the lines on the graph fall away over the months!
All the best, John

Compost John said...

And, re kids being 'well funny' yes they can be and I love your story.
Get em young, eh?

James said...

Just put my first Carbon Account readings in.

Need to change to Good Energy for electricity this weekend following carbon Detox.

They don't seem to do gas?

Is there such a thing as green gas?

Compost John said...

Nice... well done I'm delighted.

Good Energy do offer a gas tarrif, and this subsidises their 'Renewable Obligation Certificate' payments to customers who generate their own power on their roof (or wherever!). I don't know a lot about it but am in the process of switching my tiny gas bill over to them.

When you switch your leccy bill, ask them about gas. And let us know what they say, please!

All the very best, John

Compost John said...

I didn't fully answer your question.

Gas is methane, CH4, and the vast majority of this is 'fossil', with organic matter rotting very slowly anaerobically deep in sediments and getting trapped in the rock. We then extract it and burn it willy-nilly, releasing the carbon into our atmosphere as CO2, along with water vapour H2O. Most people don't know that coal mining releases huge amounts of methane into the air (known as 'firedamp') and this is another reason that coal mining must not be encouraged.

It is possible to extract methane from landfills, where it may be burnt on site to power a turbine, making some electricity. And then there's anaerobic digesters which take mixed organic wastes and give off methane which is usually used for making electricity, and the digestate may then be aerobically composted and used on the land. AD gas I would describe as 'green gas'.

Finally, there are huge deposits of methane hydrate trapped at the bottom of oceans. These are very unstable and if they warm up at all, the methane may be released ino the atmosphere.

And any methane going into the air is bad, very bad, as it is 23 times more powerful than CO2 at trapping heat. This is why the melting of the permafrost in the arctic and tundra areas is bad news, as trapped methane is being released, causing even more local warming, melting yet more permafrost... a positive feedback loop which could help devastate the world as we know it.

Complicated, eh?

Yours, John