It’s no secret that the majority of electricity in the UK is still produced using fossil fuels. It’s also no secret that one day, at some uncertain point int he future, these will no longer be available. Let’s face it, we’re using these resources at a far greater pace than nature can produce them! Renewable energy is increasingly becoming the preferred option, and individual turbines and wind farms are springing up all over the country (sometimes to the horror and protest of locals, which I’ve never understood – I love to see them and find them very peaceful to watch), and solar panels are becoming an increasingly common sight on rooftops everywhere.
But imagine a time when these were the norm and we could phase out fossil fueled electricity completely. he way I see it, it could happen a lot sooner if those in power got off their butts and did something about it.
I read an article this morning about all new buildings in commercial zones in France now being required to be either partially covered in plants or have solar panels installed. This is a great idea, but now imagine it was rolled out to include ALL new builds, not just commercial ones. How could this work?
Well, we all hear about how councils struggle with not enough money – if all social housing (both council and housing association) underwent a rolling programme to fit solar panels to all their homes, then the tenents would have decreased energy bills, and the councils and housing associations, under current government rules, which cannot be rescinded retroactively, would also make money back selling the excess electricity back to the power grid. While this is happening, institute a ruling than all new builds, including housing, should have solar panels installed, whether social or private housing, and you’ve already started making a big difference to how our country’s energy is produced and its effect on the environment.
It would be a massive undertaking, but the payoff would be immense and lead to a greener Britain.
Now let’s go a step further. Let’s make it even greener and healthier. How do we do that? Well, if the councils could then plough some of the money from solar panels into parks, planting fruit trees and other food plants for anyone to pick and eat as they please, and you have a great social food situation going on. Kids could pick and eat a piece of fruit to enjoy while playing in the park, instead of chowing down on crisps and sweets.
I read about this happening in a few parks in America the other day (take a look at one such project HERE), so it can be done!
Next, we roll it out to planters around the villages and towns – all those large planters in market places and on roadsides filled with carrots, onions, strawberries, and all manner of fruits and vegetables.
The knock on effect of this would be that homeless people and those living on the breadline would also be able to supplement their diets with fresh produce at no cost.
Community service could include the care and upkeep of social food areas. Schools could get involved, showing children where their food comes from as well as interesting them in growing their own food.
And while we’re at it, shouldn’t all schools have at least a small vegetable plot? Again, it can be used as an educational tool – children can help tend the plots and the school can use the produce to supplement the kitchens, even if only in a very small way – the kids would be eating what they grow!
Now, imagine the sense of achievement and of community we would gain from all this.
Wouldn’t that be nice?
I’m doing my part. We’re about to have solar panels installed on our roof and I’m on the waiting list for an allotment which should hopefully be available later this spring, where I will have Tadpole and Choochie help to grow our own produce, teaching them how to tend the plants and help look after our planet.
I look forward to a greener, healthier future for all of us.