I’ve central heating but why oh why am I paying to heat spaces I merely fleetingly pass through if at all in any one day?
My kitchen, a small one by modern standards heats up super quick, is comfy and affords a fabulous view of the garden and its avain inhabitants if it is daylight, also allows me to gauge the sunset, the weather, whatever.
I think about carbon footprint a lot, I’ve a small car with much reduced annual mileage, no tv, no fridge, all is homecooked luckily I’ve the time and I enjoy the nightly ‘quick shop’. I’m intolerant to dairy and hence why have a fridge! The dreaded washing machine packed up say four years ago and thank goodness for that, its near interminable spin cycle drove me nuts, now its all in the sink in the downstairs loo which is used for nothing else but hand washing of clothes and a quick and efficient hand wring before its all on the washing line. I’ve gone back three generations and both myself and the planet I think are better for it.
The real reason I write this blog is I think we often have adopted the needless use of central heating, warmth costs money in these cold days north east England and the kitchen heats itself so to speak and here at my computer desk or at my second desk in the next room a mere five minute blast of the tiny 2kw fan heater does all I want. Luckily i cook with gas, I find electricity painful for cooking on the hob, many of my meals are sort of fusion cookery stirfry hashups, low salt, near zero fat. I’ve a small benchtop oven and that I think is more efficient than the never used huge metal box called ‘the cooker oven’.
Its the adoption of the tiny fan heater that I think is much more efficient, more enjoyable too, a greater sense of warmth rather than a vague background tepid ‘not-coldness’. Luckily this is naturally not a cold property to live in, I realise I am lucky. For eight months of the year I use a very effective blanket over my knees and lately these last couple of months keep my outdoor fleece on until bedtime as per Ruski style! And why not…
Its a simple trade-off ….. money on heating on rooms I’ll hardly enter or hallways and landings I merely pass through to go to bed or sit here in your comfy jacket and keep your money for something else. There are many people these days that have lost sight of ‘prudence’. This rapid and extreme increase in energy costs here in the UK as well as the need to reduce carbon footprint demands we modify our usage, its no pain, merely going back two or three generations, better that and then be able to afford decent food on the table.
postscript … its easy for me to adopt the above position cutting central heating and applauding my little fan heater because the UK is warmed by the Gulf Stream, its not cold here as per the winters my friends in NY State have to endure. It could however become a real lose-lose situation here in the UK as ocean currents are in a state of flux with climate change its only these last few years scientists are realising how quite beautiful (and useful) these perennial motions of water around the world actually are and their connection into the Arctic, to have afforded us the steady state climate that so far we have become used to. Everything now is on the change, this winter in the UK we’ve had worrying high wind, to my mind unusual …. and certainly unwelcome. I wonder how the grain and rice production areas of the world will fare in the coming years, our need for heating, how many parts of the world will suffer extremes of hot or cold or wet or wind, the inescapable fact of hitting ‘wet bulb’ temperatures that the ordinary and the poor will be unable to avoid.