I was torn between work and home today. Our first ever lambs were born yesterday morning and, having worked late, I didn’t get to see them until this morning. Ros had been there just after they were born and she managed to rub one of them into life.
She said it was amazing and I was gutted that I missed it! I was in the Planet Positive office having a great time developing our 2020 Vision campaign that we will be launching early June.
So, this morning we went to check the lambs who were in good shape but found two of our ewes clearly had a stomach upset… After the school run we set to work in cleaning them up and calling our farming friends for some advice to make sure it would not affect their lambs.
I was able to hit-foot to work for a meeting with our web manager and the preparation of the Planet Positive carbon calculator which is looking great on the ‘mirror’ site before it goes live in a couple of weeks.
This balance is really exciting but it is difficult when it is out of kilter. When there is real pressure of essential (and fun!) opportunities to make more of our sustainable living then getting a train for over an hour to London is not so appealing. Conversely, running Planet Positive is my dream job. It is all consuming, stretching your mind and your ability. There are no boundaries and you could literally spend every waking hour making more and more opportunities happen.
So, sustainable living and working do put pressure on the work/life balance, but only because you want more of both.
At last our home insulation is complete!
Our Planet Positive living is really gearing up. Outdoors we are working hard to supply more food from our land. Indoors we are trying to use less, improve our sustainable living and reduce our carbon emissions.
We still get our gas and electricity from E:On, specifically because we wanted to complete our discounted cavity wall insulation. This is a great scheme – the subsidising the insulation of homes across the UK.
We applied to our energy provider late last year and after a telephone survey were given the all clear for an onsite survey. This is conducted by a local company, subcontracted to E:On. After some time (about 3-months) we received a survey and after a couple of weeks were given the green light for a subsidised insulation.
Now, in mid-April the work has just been completed. The timing is somewhat pedestrian, however, I am sure that is down to the number of applicants and homes to process.
We have a 4-bed home and were asked to provide about £240 towards the insulation. We estimate the cost saving will be about £150 per year, giving us a payback period within 2-years. We know that cavity wall insulation can reduce heating loss by up to 15% and reduce our annual carbon emissions by about 1-tonne per annum.
This is one of the most cost effective and carbon effective activities you can do. To find out more take a look at the following: Planet Positive reduction tips for your home and Grants in the United Kingdom
We will now review the different energy suppliers to secure the best green energy we can get.
Spring has really put a focus on our Planet Positive and sustainable living. Having sat back and relaxed as Basil the ram enjoyed his 3 month stay with our 4 Manx Laughton ewes, we now have had to prepare for the results!
3 of our 4 chocolate Manx Laughton sheep look like they are pregnant. This is our first lambing so we have tried to prepare ourselves as best we can.
Ros and I have a clear demarcation of duties. She and the boys tend the animals (4 sheep, 2 pigs, 30+ bantams, half a dozen ducks and assorted dogs, cats, fish and rabbits) while I do the labour and the building.
So, this weekend I built 3 stalls in our barn. It is imperative for the mum and the lamb to bond so they spend the first few days in a stall before going out into the field.
We wanted to make our own stalls so we scavenged our wood store and created 5’x 3’ pens out of old pallets, fence posts and picket fencing. Total cost £0. We let the sheep into the compound around the barn tonight and their inquisitive nature has already led them into the pens. So far, so good.
Ros has attended a local lambing course and also attended some live lambing at a local farm. She saw (and helped with a few) births including one ewe that successfully delivered 6 lambs! We are hoping ours only produce 1 (as is usual in their first year apparently) and much easier for us to manage.
So now the serious business of lambing is about to start. We think the first one is due on Thursday. We will keep you posted.
What an inspiring movie. Starring Pete Postlethwaite, the Age of Stupid looks back on our lacklustre efforts to act on climate change. We did too little too late and suffered the consequences as the movie ends in meltdown by about 2070.
It is a wake-up call and if you haven’t seen it, please act and move fast. The film will remain in circulation as long as attendance remains strong. To find out more and join the Not Stupid campaign go to www.ageofstupid.net.
After the movie I caught up with Chris Brierley who was responsible for the wonderful music and score. Following a lively Q&A, I asked if he and the Age of Stupid team would provide their views on climate change if we get it right.
This is our 2020 Vision campaign which gives people, kids, artists, business leaders, celebrities and scientists the chance to express their view of how life will be better by 2020 as we work together to reduce carbon emissions. We want to inspire people into action and reassure them that there are practical steps and solutions that they can achieve to get to their persona 2020 Vision goal.
I was pleased that we are developing this idea when my 9-year old son asked about the movie. I gave him a softened version but still let him know the ending. I could see him computing 2070, 2070, 2070. He could not comprehend, “But that is in my lifetime Dad, I’ll be alive. I’ll be a grandpa but the world will be ending.”
I saw genuine panic, genuine fear spread across his face. It brought tears to my eyes. “It’s ok fella, we can still solve this thing.” I told him how we can hold on to what we have got, how we can survive and how we can still create a better way of living, but we have got to act.
I am even more sure that fear and inspiration have a role to play in bringing people in climate action.