500 Year Vision

Take pleasure from walking lightly on this Earth

The big spring melt…


… is under way. This is the longest winter I have ever experienced, and now, at the end of March, we still have snow on the ground. It first fell in mid October – so that’s a fair few months of sub zero temperatures. It rained the other day – wetness falling from the air is a completely new experience for our 5 month old puppy – who we seem to have inadvertently snow toilet trained.

Last week Joann and I went on an expedition to collect willow switches with which to plant a living willow fence at the bottom of our land. It became a bit of a mission when we had to clamber through soft snow of more than a foot deep… carrying our bundles of sticks with our lively pup either pulling on the rope tying the willow together, or wrapping me up very effectively with her lead. But – it was a rare day of winter sunshine and it was beautiful to be outside nonetheless. The area we were gathering from is now completely flooded with melt water. Read the rest of this entry »

Paintently stupid…


In an almost frenzied burst of activity, this weekend I began work again on the 24 Vienna style windows at Novy Mlyn… Frenzied because it was so cold with the windows open, I had only the warmth from the heat gun to keep me going. So, I stripped, sanded and painted… before realising that with snow on the ground outside the windows there was no way that the water based paint I was using was going to dry.

The lesson – don’t paint when it’s below zero. Stupid.

Be Eco Clever


Be Eco Clever – from eco worrier to eco warrior in a few simple steps.

Climate change in one paragraph: In short, if we carry on putting so much CO2 into the atmosphere, and if China & India increase their output to the same levels as the west, we will cook the planet – I admit this may not be the scientific term, but the scientific debates are well covered elsewhere* . If we carry on at the rate we’re going, there will certainly be life on planet Earth in 500 years time – insect life. Cockroaches are very robust. Read the rest of this entry »

Look, no footprint – inspiration from New Scientist


My first day back working in Birmingham. I am sharing my office with aimag0374.JPG parrot. He is called Sid and is 25 years old. We’re not sure about each other yet.

Yesterday I caught the train to London for a meeting with the Water Works UK, based in Wood Green. I left my laptop at home as it doesn’t travel well & spent the journey reading the New Scientist. There was a thorough article on carbon offsetting called ‘Look, no footprint’ – raising concerns about the efficacy of tree planting as a method of carbon offsetting.

One strong concern was that it may only postpone the problem – when the natural life of the tree is over , carbon will be released back into the atmosphere. I think this will only be a problem if we have not a) developed cleaner energy or b)developed better CO2 capture in the mean time. Therefore, I think that planting trees is fine, and as long as they are not then chopped down to use as firewood, will give humanity time to develop other solutions.

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Back in the UK – must buy carbon credit!!!



So, I have a meeting with the guys from Water Works UK ltd this afternoon. They produce a brilliant grey water filtration system which will also act as a green roof for bog. I want to see if they would like to develop a version of their product which is suitable for the more extreme temperatures of Central Europe. There is a great market there because currently many people do not have mains connected water in their more remote homes. The cost of putting in a contemporary sewage system is vast & such things also need to be pumped out every six months. Allowing things to simply leach into the ground, which has been the more traditional way, is now illegal. If we can find a suitable flushing composting toilet manufacturer to co-operate on the project – perhaps Sun Mar, then we can build a safe and (importantly) EU approved solution for many different environments.

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