Christina's Diary: 2 - 6 October

Thursday 19th October 2006 00:00

Christina Simons, who owns the Cottage hotel in the New Forest with husband David Mascord, has decided to make her nine-bedroom, 250-year-old former forester's cottage greener. So far she has begun by using sustainable products and improved insulation. This is her diary...

2 October
I spent the morning on the web trying to make sense of wind turbines. I admit I am struggling. Last week an engineer friend of mine did some research and found that the smaller roof-mounted wind turbines need a wind speed of nine miles an hour to make 1kw of power. It really isn't a windy spot here so I think I'll have to cover the roof in wind turbines to make a difference.

I'm also finding it difficult to wade through the individual specifications of wind turbines. And wondering where these turbines are made? Will they be imported from overseas, with huge carbon footprints? In which case, will the carbon used to transport them be more than the carbon saved once they are working?

4 October
Today I spoke to a couple of wind turbine suppliers on the telephone and am now left with even more questions. I've decided that the issues are too complex and I can't do this alone.

So, I left a message for Dr Garry Felgate, looking for inspiration. Dr Felgate is director of delivery and external relations at the Carbon Trust - a government-funded independent company designed to help businesses tackle carbon emission issues. We met at the Caterer and Hotelkeeper Big Energy Debate in the Dorchester in the summer and he was very inspirational.

6 October
Had a chat with Dr Felgate, who assures me I am not alone in finding all the issues complex. We feel there are probably quite a few hotels in the local area around me who are struggling with similar thoughts.

I have created a slot in the local hotels group meetings agenda in January 2007 so members can share related information. Dr Felgate is going to see if he can track down someone who can be there and help us find a way through the issues.

Next week: the final chapter of Christina's diary.


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