How We Grow Food in a Vertical Garden Using Milk Cartons On A Fence – 2022 UPDATE

What Did We Do? Not being happy with the amount of plastic that was going to landfill, we wanted to come up with a solution to help reduce that. When…

How We Grow Food in a Vertical Garden Using Milk Cartons On A Fence – 2022 UPDATE

Take Aways From The Heatwave

This week the UK saw its hottest temperatures since records began. An average July used to see temperatures topping at 23 degrees Celsius but this week we peaked just above 40 degrees, which would have been unthinkable when I was growing up. Working in such hot conditions without air conditioning was really difficult. If this is going to be the new norm, we have to change the way we do things.

With meteorologists now predicting a further ‘heat dome’ over Europe in August and the extension of hot weather into September (which has been apparent for the past few years), the time has come to think carefully about how we ready ourselves for such hot weather.

My thoughts…

Yes, in Southern Europe they are used to having very hot days, but they are also closed during peak sunshine hours for a siesta. As well as this, their homes are painted white colours to reflect the sun and have shutters on the outside of their windows to block out the damaging rays. Air conditioning is part of their strategy too. In Britain our homes are designed to trap hot air. We have double glazed windows and extra insulation which make things worse.

Governments need to start thinking about working conditions during such hot periods. Perhaps they will consider:

– funding air conditioning for key workers and hospitals as well as subsidising this for low income households

– making affordable shutters an option to darken houses during hot days and reduce internal temperatures

– adapting school days to suit the weather (perhaps starting earlier and closing at midday or having a siesta)

However…

I notice that President Biden has set aside 2 billion dollars for air conditioning and sun protection. This is great but I hope he and other governments are putting even more money into finding ways to counter the effects of global warming.

The following things need addressing right away:

– ensuring all power stations use renewable energy supplies such as wind, hydro or solar

– funding a better network of trains and buses to reduce the amount of traffic on the roads

-taxing and discouraging frequent flying and overuse of aeroplanes

– widespread tree planting schemes and re-wilding

Hopefully some lessons have been learned from this week’s heatwave. It would be sad to see no changes taking place, given this massive wake up call. We all know that climate change will become more of a problem over the next few decades. We really need to act now to protect our homes, our health and our crops. Thank you for reading my article. If you enjoyed it, please consider following my blog for similar future content.

Buying A Car In Tough Times

Collaborative post(AD) – All opinions and comments are my own.

I am looking for a new car because mine is getting old and starting to cost more to keep going. Right now I am awaiting my annual service and expect a hefty bill as I know my suspension is very clunky and my air-con needs cleaning and refilling. During an energy crisis, we are all having to make difficult decisions about where to put our hard earned cash. Buying a car may be a better option than constantly fixing an older model.

Where to start?

Now I never said it had to be a new car! There are two popular options when it comes to getting a new auto. Some take loan cars which they can swap in after three years. Many prefer to buy a second hand car, using finance, on reasonable terms. This article on Bloomberg highlights used cars as the favoured option for thousands of drivers. Who can blame them?

My last car was a Ford and had been used by a previous owner. It gave me six years of stability whereas my previous ‘new bought’ cars gave me no end of problems with problematic gear boxes and struggling batteries. There is a lot to be said for second hand cars which have been lovingly cared for.

For my US readers…

Trying to work out how much you can afford to spend on a car is tricky. There are a lot of factors to take into account and you need to make sure you are not stretching your finances too far. This is especially important right now, during an economic crisis where energy prices are surging.

Also, when thinking about getting a new car, you have to have unexpected expenses in the back of your head. Let’s face it, you can drive it off the forecourt and soon find yourself inadvertently driving over a nail or having to swerve to avoid a chicken crossing the road.

Unforeseen costs include:

– tyre repairs or new tyres

– broken exhausts

– minor repairs or touch ups to paint work

– oil leeks

– suspension problems

– battery issues

– electrical faults

Now I have come across a really good website which is used to calculate how much you can afford to spend on a new car. It provides a really easy-to-use calculator to estimate car payments where you can input the price of car you want or work backwards by selecting the monthly amount you are prepared to pay for your loan.

Photo from my iPad.

I played around with various US sites and can honestly say this is one of the most flexible sites with so many options. You can soon hone in on the aspects you need to tightly control, such as down payment size or monthly payments upper limit.

There is also a fun arcade where you can play games related to driving such as the Cars Lightening Speed game which I found fun and unexpected on a calculator website. I love refreshing touches like this.

For my UK readers:

Working out affordability in the UK, I have tried many websites and actually found a bank calculator most useful. After playing around with a few, I can truly recommend Halifax car payment calculator which is very user friendly and organised. Although it leans towards that particular bank, it is really clear, easy to play around with and straight forward.

Summary

My car is costing me a lot all of a sudden, due to some really badly maintained roads near me, which are ruining my suspension, amongst other things. We are all on the same boat when it comes to financial demands caused by international energy shortages and rising inflation.

I am no financial expert but can truly recommend using a good online calculator to work out your car affordability. This is the best way to begin your journey to finding a new car.