This weekend was the occasion for me to go and visit my family in Lorraine (Eastern France). This enabled me to help out my two uncles and their families cut their water and energy consumption.
Indeed, I first helped one family install a rainwater harvesting system that will enable them to water their garden for free. Under my advise they will also install dual flush toilets to further cut their consumption.
I also helped my other uncle and his family insulating their spare bedroom where I generally sleep when I visit them.
Regarding the rainwater harvesting system : A slight rain with only 7 mm (it generally rains 700 to 800 mm per annum in this region [Fr] ) will enable them to fill 30 times their watering cans with a 300 liters capacity. This will be of huge help in watering their huge garden and kitchen garden.
Concerning the insulating of the spare bedroom : ten centimeters of fiberglass were installed on all external walls and windows had been replaced by professionals by super efficient double glazing models.
My uncle has been doing this for years and thus knew how to do it in the best possible way.
As I like doing odd jobs like this, I was and still am wondering if associations helping poorer communities to weatherize their homes exist in France, Europe in general and elsewhere.
Indeed, what fun it could be to work manually with people with whom you may share a lunch or dinner afterwards while having the satisfaction to enable a part of society to slash its water and energy consumption…
What do you think ?
2 thoughts on “Sustainability in action : helping my family”
great post on personal cooperation; a fine example to assume responsibility for using skills and funds to conserve energy and provide natural comfort.
in the US: much has been accomplished in the area of weatherization; the Dept. of Energy (DOE) provides information on how to implement retrofitting programs under the 2009 Recovery Act. $5 billion have been allocated via WAP training and technical assistance. in the form of grants to states and local gvts, Indian tribes and US territories to improve efficiency and to promote use of renewables.
Thanks Nadine !
My grand-father – my uncles’ dad – taught me a lot in DIY, protecting and loving Nature and energy conservation (among many other things).
I think I owe him an important part of my motivation to work in this area.
Glad to read about the situation in the US, but I don’t 5 tiny billion will cut it. In France alone there are 20 million housings to retrofit…
Keep commenting, you are fueling my work ! 🙂