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Help me cut down my carbon footprint

17 replies

Backwoodsgirl · 06/06/2019 14:57

We are really trying to reduce our reliance on petrol, but I am struggling to find savings. I really want us to be greener but we are struggling.

We live remotely on 120 acres of woodland. We are 15 miles from mains electricity, and further from gas and water. As a result we rely on wood for heating and cooking and solar and a generator for power to the house and water well pump.

We have petrol power tools for the garden (5 acres) we have ATV’s to help with the chores. It seems like this time of year we are buying so much petrol for everything but I can’t see a alternative.

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QuestionableMouse · 06/06/2019 18:10

What jobs can you do without using petrol power?

I'm not sure what you can do without going back to horse power which brings a new set of problems!

SpaceCadet4000 · 06/06/2019 18:57

With the biomass, if you're sourcing wood from your own land I'm sure you're replanting so you're probably close to net neutrality. I would just ensure that you have the most efficient equipment possible.

The petrol is difficult as the alternatives are manual or electrical, and I doubt that either are going to give you what you need. I'm sure yo'uve considered it, but there's a chance that some equipment could be adapted to biofuel, which can be net neutral, but the challenge is sourcing it (and doing so sustainably) if you're very rural.

Have you looked at Drawdown for ideas? It ranks solutions to climate change by efficacy and impact.

Backwoodsgirl · 06/06/2019 19:35

Thanks, I’ll check out drawdown.

Our veg garden is 2 acres and our lawn is 3 acres, electric tools just don’t have the battery life.

I wondered if we could convert stuff to propane?

Horses are a lot of work, goats could mow the lawn though.

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YeOldeTrout · 06/06/2019 19:46

Does your home have terrific insulation, do you keep indoor temps relatively low (without being cold)? Do you minimise journeys in motor vehicles (school, shopping, deliveries, etc)?

AlecOrAlonzo · 06/06/2019 19:54

Put more of your lawn to wild flowers or just don't cut it. Use a push mower for the bit you keep.

QuestionableMouse · 06/06/2019 20:07

Do you need that much lawn? Could you convert some of it to gravel?

Is their access to get a tractor on? A local farmer hires out his small tractor (and son, to drive it!) for jobs like this.

QuestionableMouse · 06/06/2019 20:08

There. Sorry, auto correct caught me out.

Backwoodsgirl · 06/06/2019 20:16

Does your home have terrific insulation, do you keep indoor temps relatively low (without being cold)? Do you minimise journeys in motor vehicles (school, shopping, deliveries, etc)?

It’s a log built building heated by 2 wood stoves

We only leave the land maybe one a month or so (homeschool, self sufficient on food)

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Backwoodsgirl · 06/06/2019 20:17

It would be a lot of gravel, our neighbor (4 miles away) has a tractor we have used a couple of times before

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greengoose · 06/06/2019 20:25

Get rid of most of the lawn...rewilding would cut the need and really help with biodiversity. We have land and lawn, and I’m struggling to let it go, but I honestly am beginning to think lawn is almost as bad as tarmac...just not much need for it on a field! If you cut paths through it it’s still amazing for playing etc, and you can keep some? Alternatively, you could graze it? If you eat meat or milk goats they could keep down two acres. We have alpacas on ours, but not really very good, as no use other than manure makers and green lawnmowers! If you want to plant more trees the woodland trust offer grants and planning and planting help, also for new hedges...
Impressed by the size of kitchen garden! Are you in UK?

Asdf12345 · 06/06/2019 20:29

Gasifier conversion of petrol engines to effectively run on wood is possible if you are mechanically inclined. It was how they ran early lorries in Russia and the states.

YeOldeTrout · 06/06/2019 20:31

It doesn't sound like U have great insulation.

Backwoodsgirl · 06/06/2019 21:21

Insulation isn’t great but we have no way of insulating the walls.

We are brits in the US, we have worked hard on the garden to build something that will support us.

DH has talked about a gasification

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YeOldeTrout · 06/06/2019 21:32

What about the roof, windows, doors? are they well insulated?

How to insulate your log cabin.

MrsSquiggler · 06/06/2019 21:34

2 acres of veg garden, wow! Out of curiosity, how many people does that feed? Do you keep animals or are you vegan? What do you grow?

Could you generate more electricity using renewables / invest in battery storage to complement the solar panels so you don't need the generator so much?

But self sufficient in food, water, fuel for heating - I think you're doing pretty good on the sustainability front already! Smile

Backwoodsgirl · 06/06/2019 21:54

We keep chickens, bees, a pig and are looking at goats. We hunt deer and turkey. DH also goes fishing.

The garden will feed the 4 of us year round and give us enough to trade with neighbors.

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Backwoodsgirl · 06/06/2019 21:56

We could probably work on insulating the roof better

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