2014 in Review.

It has been a year of ups and downs to be honest.

For the most part up but a few things along the way that have made it an interesting times 🙂

On January 5th 2014. I posted a blog for 2014 on a plan.

https://iamnotanurbanhippie.com/2014/01/05/2014-a-plan-well-maybe/

These included

  1. Drop our energy usage below the 50% for Australians (a Paul Wheaton definition of being green)
  2. Improve the back yard as far as it carrying capacity goes (permaculture Principle 3: Obtain a yield – you cannot work on an empty stomach)
  3. Eat more locally, sustainably and ethically and importantly buy a LOT less from the duopoly in Australia
  4. Feel generally better about our position in life.

So how did we go on these 4 items?

Pretty good actually

One item 1 we have reduced our power bill to 40% of the average usage and this is even lower now the solar has kicked in. Gas is a bit harder to quantify we are either at national average or 50% of it depending on how you play with numbers. Either way our gas consumption has dropped by over 80% over winter and 1/3 in the warmer months

On item 2. A very mixed bag. Lots of good stuff happening but the garden could still do with some work but it is getting better each year. The year of the backyard it was not so much :

3. We eat more Australian produce and have reduced our dependency on the duopoly (Coles and Woolworths) form over 80% to less than 40% so all in all a good outcome.

Option 4. Even with the addition of a 3rd child we are looking are feeling better. A. is planning to stay home longer with this child and we are enjoying the moments with the kids and life in general. I am still a registered member of the cult of business but I take breaks from it for a while.

So highlights other than those above?

  1. House Reno Done – House is far more efficient with the addition of the insulation in the walls.
  2. Lots of Fruit on trees last year and this year (fruit trees and berries are doing best in backyard)
  3. Solar on the roof. Really starting to kick in we use no power off the grid during the day and even with the addition of a split system we use less power than we used to by 50%
  4. Wood stove. Reduced our gas bill by 80% over winter and this is from when we were out all day at work to having the people at home all day. So a big effect. We got our fuel for free but even if we had to pay for fuel it would still be a payback in less than 2 years as it is we will be in the clear by mid next year. It is nice not burning fossil gas so much and the warmth is so much better.
  5. Side of the house is now decked this has added an incredible dimension to the house and allowed us to feel like we have expanded the house and just makes it nicer to sit and relax 🙂
  6. Down to a 1 Car Family (and surviving)
  7. 3 healthy hives (lost one but got another 1)
  8. Decent crop of Garlic
  9. Back area setup for kids to play in.
  10. And …Birth of number 3 🙂

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For next Year

  1. Insulation in Floor last area in the house but I may look at roof as well.
  2. Improve gap efficiency after the reno (things have moved in reno and in general)
  3. Improve energy usage in house
  4. Hot house finished.
  5. More garden beds
  6. Bike back on the road.
  7. Reduce what we have (still way to much stuff)
  8. Get back into produce swaps.
  9. Maybe a PDC if Darren Doherty runs one.

On other fronts we are trying to chill out more and enjoy the kids and enjoy friends and family. In this hectic life you need to remember they are the most important thing. They always where and it is only this society and this time that has forgotten that.

I did have a list of 24 things I wanted to do or learn. I did zero of them… but no biggie as they are still worth doing and I will look at them again this year. I got a lot done but not the list and the most important things in life being my family did get looked after 🙂

I have heard quite a few people say to me they will be glad when the year is over and many said the same of 2013. Life is to short and too precious so enjoy your year ahead. Make it the best you can.

Wishing everyone a great New Years and hope it all comes together for you in 2015.

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