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My Diary For 2023

Every year I write a blog post about which diary system or set up I am going to use for the following twelve months. In recent years, I have moved away from a Filofax (I trialled something earlier this year - more of that in a minute) and fallen in love with the Hobonichi printed diaries. For the last two years I have used a Hobonichi Weeks as my personal planner and I won't be deviating from that this year. I have tried a Hobonichi Techo A6 a couple of times but have never managed to feel comfortable with it size-wise.  I have always lusted after the Hobonichi Cousin A5 as a main work planner so, this year, I have bitten the bullet at launch time and invested in my very first one. Hobonichi Weeks The Hobonichi Weeks is a slim diary with a yearly, monthly and weekly layout. The main section is a "week to view with notes" and there are an additional 70 note pages at the back. This year (2022) I used the "Mega" version which comes with almost three times as m

British Gas Smart Meter Campaign

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I am currently working with BritMums and British Gas to promote a campaign to to help educate children about energy conservation (although I'm sure that children could educate the adults with all the projects and discussions in school today).

You can find out loads of information about British Gas' vision for a more sustainable future on their website but I believe that starting small focuses the need to conserve energy and nurtures the ethos behind wanting to look after our planet.

British Gas are beginning to install Smart Meters in homes an businesses across the UK (they aim to have them in all homes by 2019) but we need to be aware of why it is important to be supportive of this campaign rather than wait for our new meter to be installed and tell us where we can save energy.  That's just a bonus, after all, isn't it?

I'm really looking forward to finding out more about the energy that we use and that we could save because we live in a 1890's, end terrace in deepest darkest Northern England.  We cannot have cavity wall insulation as the brickwork is too weak and we have no house next door to "trap in" the heat we use.  But in the meantime, we encourage our children to take the plugs out of walls when they have finished using their computers and X-Boxes - even more so now that most of their in-house entertainment is powered by electricity.  We are also new allotment owners so we are looking forward to getting down and dirty and growing our own food this year.  We have an log burner in one lounge which heats up the front of the house in next to no time.  We would be interested in seeing how we can power our whole heating system from this but predict that the initial monetary outlay would be more than we can afford at the moment.

What are your Top Tips for conserving energy or utilities?  I'm not just on about turning the tap off when you're brushing your teeth or taking a shower instead of a bath, I want real, brand new, unique energy or time savers.  I am really boring and would just post about unplugging everything rather than leaving it on standby (I'm way past checking the time on any digital clock on the front of a DVD player or microwave) or I would tell you about seeing if you are eligible for free loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and draught excluders (have a quick Google search for those) or see if anyone is offering solar panel trials in your area (again, start with Google) but I guess you already know about all of those.  

It's really important to instill this way of life into our children at an early age so that it becomes second nature and so that they can pass it on through the next generation and beyond.  We can't control the rising cost of energy at the moment but we can do more to use less energy and bring those costs down.  What do you think?

I'm participating in the British Gas Smart Meter campaign. Smart meters work with an in-home display to show how much energy you're using in pounds and pence. You can see how much you're spending by leaving your phone charger plugged in all the time, or the heating on at night. And when you can really see how much you're using, you can start to make small changes to become more efficient. Smart Meters automatically send British Gas readings so they represent the end of estimated bills! British Gas is committed to install 1.5 million smart meters by the end of 2012.

(Images supplied by British Gas)