For both Stella and myself, living holistically means living green. I am a trained crystal healer with my own crystal healing practice – Ingleside Healing. We have been ‘Living Green’ for years – reduce, reuse and recycle was our way of life long before the catchphrase was invented! We grow a good deal of our own fruit and vegetables, we compost everything, we recycle everything we possibly can – and when we haven’t any further use for something we freecycle it! A few years ago we started to install green technology as well.
Visit our website by clicking http://inglesidehealing.co.uk/green-living.
It is true to say that our motives were (and are) distinctly altruistic. We simply regarded these installations as ways we could do something positive to help the planet, using money we could afford to spend. We did not regard these as financial investments, needing to make a return – more as investments in our future, and the future of the planet. Which probably makes us unusual!
The bungalow was built in the 1950s and has a detached barn – it used to be a smallholding. We purchased the property in 1996.
We had solar hot water installed and then designed and built our own rainwater harvesting system, which combined with the solar thermal, supplies all our hot water. We have also installed PV panels and a wind turbine to produce electricity. As well as installing renewable energy technologies we have insulated our house and installed double and triple glazing.
The cavity insulation has made a huge difference to the warmth of the house, particularly when the east wind blows.
The PV has exceeded predicted outputs and we are very pleased with the solar thermal panels. In the first eight months (December to July) the solar thermal generated 1400 units of electricity of which 800 have been exported. As it has an integral solar powered pump, the solar thermal system does not use mains electricity. It moves water through the panel so that when the sun is hot, the pump runs fast and moves the water through the panel quicker. When the weather is cooler the pump runs more slowly, giving the water longer in the panel to get hot – up to 70°C in the summer. But it certainly does save money – in the summer we often go for days at a time without needing to spend anything at all on heating water. In a good summer we’ve gone 5 weeks continuously just on the solar panel. In the winter we find that 5-10 minutes with the immersion heater in the evening is all that is needed to boost the temperature for washing up.