On writing and the environment.

‘The long summer of war’ continues very well. I haven’t had a lot of time, but I’ve been trying to get a lot further into this story and get a good idea of the routemap for the plot. I have to admit that already I’m getting worried that I’ve spent too long on this one, though part of that is because of having to take a lot of time out to battle a mould infestation in the house and to work some rather strange hours for the day job.

Sometimes things click, and I write in a fury that doesn’t stop until I’m done. I remember writing on ‘Orb of Arawaan’ and putting down some 145,000 words within little more than a month because it all just flowed. On the other hand, some things dragged on – ‘Daytrippers’ became like this for its second half; I was glad to get it finished in the end. I’m not sure though that ‘The long summer of war’ fits into this category though. When I am writing, the words seem to be coming. It’s just the frequent interuptions that are stringing it out. I’ll just have to see where it is going. Hopefully I’ll be able to start work sooner rather than later on the next short story – that’s just a major edit job rather than writing from scratch.

I was struck today by how much we recycle here. Things have come a long way in the last five years, and I suppose society as a whole should be making the effort. We now buy things here with a view to how easilly the packaging can be recycled. Consequently our black bin is rarely more than a quarter full on bin day, and we empty the kitchen bin when it starts to smell rather than when it is full.

We got a wheelie bin exclusively for card and paper some time back. It is surprising just how much paper and card waste gets produced. We actually fill this bin, and all of it goes for recycling instead of landfill. Beside it is the box for plastic, metal and glass and we regularly fill that right up too.

I do believe strongly that it has never been so easy to recycle and take some degree of stand on excess and unrecyclable packaging. I agree wholeheartedly with councils who fine people who stubbornly refuse to recycle even when the means to has never been so easy. At the end of the day, it is ignorance and laziness that provide the barrier rather than anything else.

Elsewhere in the home we take great pains to switch off electronics at the plug when not in use. How I abhor badly designed electronics that try and sit and waste so much power to be on ‘standby’. The sooner that is outlawed in new electrical goods, the better. We also have all energy saving bulbs, and only ever have on what we need, and never any more. We disposed of an inefficient freezer because of the energy it wasted as well as the fact it encouraged us to stock up on unhealthy junk food because it became easy to store the stuff.

Finally, we conserve water by sharing our baths. That is, we share the water as the bath is too small for two people in it at once! There are also other measures we take and it makes our gas and electricity bills a lot lower than they might otherwise be. If only everyone else was as commited to energy reduction and recycling as we were then this country would not have the resource and generating capacity problem that it currently does.