Recycle your mind

My children’s school is starting a redevelopment programme aimed partly at becoming a low-environmental impact school.  The school is tight for space already and as the building works commence the children will be using the outdoors (parks etc.) to deliver parts of the curriculum.  My 7 year old spent yesterday at the park looking at rocks and soil.  All good stuff I think…

Unfortunately one element of the school’s plans has been knocked back in planning due to local residents’ objections – namely the wind turbine – for reasons of low frequency noise as far as I understand it.  Sadly the plans will have to now go ahead without the turbine.

A contributor* on the Today programme made an eminently sensible point this morning, which joined up my thoughts on the wind turbine and other energy consumption issues.  He said we should start thinking of the use of power in quantitative terms.  We should not (as we do) think  not in my sight line to wind farms, definitely not to more nuclear energy and it’s not sunny enough for solar energy; rather we should think in terms of how much power do I want to use in the future and where is that power going to come from?

If  you turn energy consumption on its head like that you begin to realise where else in life do we consume with such heedless abandon – twiddling our collective thumbs until the gas bill comes in.  Most of us limit how much we eat, which informs our food shopping which means we can set a budget.  We know how much we need.  I have no idea really which are the energy guzzlers in my house (aside from the obvious ones like central heating and hot water).  The contributor also reminded us that we were not to fool ourselves into thinking turning off the mobile phone charger was more than a drop in the ocean!

We need to be more intelligent and informed about what we intend to consume and then take some responsibility for ensuring we are involved in positive planning to provide for our requirements.  Anything else seems to me to be a hopelessly short-sighted approach.

The Westborough Primary School, where the kids go, has a cardboard classroom dedicated to the memory of Stephen Lawrence.  We are lucky that we have a visionary head in Jenny Davies who seems never to tire of innovation.  We are lucky to have the school and I am sorry they won’t be having their wind turbine on account of a few NIMBYs.

See Mrs Davies and the cardboard classroom here it’s 15 minutes long, but I think worth it.

If you do watch the programme you may be interested to know that Westborough is now a Foundation school with hopefully a little more freedom and that we do now have a climbing frame which the children love – it is more of a fort with slides than a frame!

*David MacKay – “Sustainable Energy – Without the Hot Air”

Posted on September 11, 2009, in Biophilia, Children, Consumerism, News and tagged , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. 1 Comment.

  1. An update – the wind turbine is not dead yet. I have written pointing out how the plans fit into the Local Authority’s Local Strategic Framework. Fingers crossed many more do the same.

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