Alright, I admit it

I am a Carboholic

I’d say it’s not my fault, but they tell me we always say that, you know, trying to blame someone else

Own the problem, they say

If you try to say it’s someone else’s fault, you won’t face up to it

So here goes

I am a Carboholic

It started when I was very small, and I don’t blame my parents – they weren’t to know – but I always had the light on at night, because of the chickens

The chickens came and pecked your feet in the dark, so my parents kept a night-light

First it was a little paraffin lamp

But later it was a dimmer switch turned down low; then I got my own bedside light…

Looking back, you can see the slippery slope but at the time it was just for comfort, or a bit of fun

I started using my bedside light more and more, usually at night, to do reading and stuff

They tried to ban it but I bought a torch and used to read under the bed covers

Nobody in the shop warned me, they just gave me the batteries and took the money

They never mentioned how quickly the batteries would run down, the toxic waste in the landfill, the cost

No, they just suggested a more expensive, “longer life”, “better performing” battery

More expensive, of course, but I was hooked on power

Before long, everything had to be plugged in

The wind-up gramophone got replaced by an all-electric radiogram, then a radio, then a TV

I tried – a bit – to get out of the house, but they came after me with portable stuff

In a couple of years I was back on the batteries again, this time a transistor radio, then a walkman, then a game boy

The bike went, replaced first by a moped, then a motor bike, then a car

It seemed the more I earned, the more I spent it on ‘energy saving devices’ that used more and more energy

I got a petrol driven lawn-mower, but it wasn’t enough; soon I had a ride-on, and I had to get a 4 by 4 big enough to put it in the back when it needed servicing

Because they all need maintenance, you know

You don’t realise until you can’t do without them, but they all



Now, I’ve got a chain saw, a hedge trimmer, a brush cutter, a strimmer, an electric saw, several electric drills, two electric jigsaws, a power plane, a cordless drill/jigsaw pack and one of those things that blows the leaves away from your drive

I’ve got an electric toaster, oven, kettle, microwave, griddle and an electric carving knife

It’s pathetic, I know

A carving knife that has to be plugged in!It’s not the worst

I even have an electric toothbrush…

Then there’s the warmth

To begin with, if it was cold, we had another blanket or an extra sweater

But then they came offering central heating, and it was cheap at first, and, well, I never thought it was doing any harm

I just thought, I could give it up, but I don’t want to

I like being warm

After a bit I was trying everything – Oil-fired Rayburn, storage heaters, LPG (liquefied petroleum gas, known as ‘Calor’ on the street), mainline gas, carbon rock (coal, to the experts)

It was just spend, spend, spend

And the heat just went – through the roof, out the windows, through the walls

It was madness

In the end I was burning 23 tonnes of CO2 a year, and I knew, deep down, it couldn’t go on for ever

Stretton Climate Care have been very good to me

They don’t judge, they just try to help

I’m getting weaned off gradually

I’ve got low energy light bulbs now, and I use rechargeable batteries, and I’m going to get my house insulated soon

I drive more carefully, I take the train sometimes, I try to turn off lights when I leave the room and turn off the TV instead of leaving it on standby

And it is helping

I don’t have to pay the energy companies quite so much, even though they keep putting up their prices

Some time way in the future, I might be able to face a fuel efficient boiler, maybe even a ground source heat pump, a wind mill and solar panels

But right now, I’m taking each day as it comes

It’s hard, but I’ve got to do it

We all have

Or we’ve had it

Do you have an energy problem? Stretton Climate Care can help you face up to it

Start by finding out how bad it is by asking for a home energy check

It’s free

And no-one will judge you or laugh at you


Make an appointment today by ringing 07528 493181