Today we officially harvested the first lettuce from our allotment. This lettuce, grown from a seed, has required minimal work besides occasional watering. It reduced our carbon footprint simply by being a tiny seed when it came to us instead of full-sized. We didn't have to burn fossil fuels to travel to the shop several miles away to buy it, either. There are also several more of them, begging to constitute the next salad or become a burger topping. Now it's just up to us to make use of them instead of squandering them! It is a small (but significant) step in our quest to create a more sustainable lifestyle.
Next, we need to get harvesting the strawberries and raspberries!
As a part of my attempt to advocate a simpler lifestyle, after two weeks and two days of intensive building work, the shed project is complete.
With some help from friends along the way and a lot of wood (which is remarkable itself during a worldwide timber shortage), we've managed to create a shelter to work from whenever we're at the allotment. We can now begin the arduous task of growing things there in earnest.
We initially created the shed for a number of reasons:
We aren't going to be using this shelter as a house since it is on an allotment; however, it is insulated and generates a small amount of electricity for lighting via a 6-watt solar panel kit from BioLite. These panel kits are in use in many homes in Kenya, providing lighting to people living in energy poverty. I believe shelters such as this one could be used to provide an eco-friendly small place to stay during a shortage of housing in the UK.
All the materials used in the build, except for the insulation, can be infinitely recycled. The 'house' will biodegrade over time but has been built using screws rather than nails for overall longevity. It's warm, dry, and draught-free.
It remains to be seen how the structure fares over the winter and how livable it will become without heating. I hope to test out passive measures of remaining warm inside the structure when used and perhaps find an alternative active heating method if the temperature levels fall too low.