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5 Tips To Save Energy This Winter

Kay Newton Images October 2022 1

Simplicity & Connection Thought Leader –  Kay Newton

Water and warmth are basic human needs.

It is not until they are no longer readily available do we realize our human predicament and start to consider what our future will be if we do not alter habits. 

“When at sea, we only had a small freshwater supply.”

Water Shortages:

2022 saw climate changes across the planet. In Spain, it was the hottest summer in over 60 years. Temperatures reached as high as 46º C (115º F). Drought has followed. Here in our small village in Mallorca, we now have an indefinite hosepipe ban. We are still awaiting the seasonal rains. 

Instead of seeing the lack of water as a negative issue, I challenged my husband to simplify our usage. As I previously worked on private yachts, being frugal with water is not a new concept. When at sea, we only had a small freshwater supply. Quick showers have been ingrained into me.

Recycle The Water – Save Energy:

Now at home, a one-minute shower starts by standing in a large bowl. The grey water is collected for washing floors and watering plants. (Note the showering has to be with natural soap and no chemicals). Any water used in the kitchen also has a second life. 

Washing machines and dishwashers only go on when full and using the eco cycle. I am keen to see our next water bill as I am sure this will create the incentive to carry on the process. Saving our precious resources provides water for others in the community. 

Imagine if we all did this.

The Increasing Cost of Energy This Winter:

With the soaring price of energy and winter on its way, finding a way to stay warm, without hurting the pocket, may require some ingenuity. Yet, there is nothing new under the sun. Our forefathers knew all about ways to cook and stay warm and we have the advantage of tapping into their knowledge and modern ways.

“It has been a tremendous help against the ever-increasing price of electricity.”

At the beginning of the year, we installed solar energy in our home. It has been a tremendous help against the ever-increasing price of electricity. Yet I am always looking for simple ways to save energy and money. 

I remember my first visit to my future mother-in-law’s home in South Africa and her hay box. A simple cardboard box with two cushions filled with straw. The concept is simple; prepare your ingredients, put them in a saucepan bring to a boil and then place the pan in your box for four to five hours and let the insulation cook a delicious dish for you. Safe and little energy used. 

Create Your Cooker:

Research on the internet will lead you down a rabbit hole of videos and different methods to create your cooker. Some use a summer cool box and rags. Others include making a wooden box and filling it with insulation boards or polystyrene. 

Whilst on the internet, I came across the Wonderbag, its story offering a recipe for world change, and I fell in love. All households should have one as part of their kitchen equipment. https://www.wonderbagworld.com/shop

As I delved deeper, I noticed that it is not available in every country as yet, and, for others, it is quite an investment. 

As I rooted around my home, I realized my Morrocan footstools were filled with polystyrene bags. Taking them apart I saw the potential to recycle the inner bag. Using my sewing machine and some unused material, I made two covers. (The Moroccan stools have been temporarily stuffed with old clothing so we can still use them, and in the summer the ‘cooker’ can be stored back inside them). The total cost €6 plus an hour of patience. 

Our first trial was a ‘chilli stew – throw in what was leftover’ recipe. It was brought to the boil, left in the bags for four hours and then served with rice. It was surprisingly delicious. I cannot wait to experiment more and test our favourite tagine recipes, Spanish stews, and maybe even a modified paella recipe. 

5 Ideas For Saving Energy This Winter:

  1. Spend some time thinking about where you use energy. Is there another way? Get creative. For example, a small investment may save more over the following years. Our next home improvement will involve changing our washing machine for a newer eco model with a 15-minute cycle.
  2. Take showers like your home is a boat with a limited water supply. Then teach everyone else in the house to do the same. Why not send them this video for fun? 
  3.  Wear clothes more than once. Did you know you can wear jeans for a month before washing them? Maybe you would like to take on the 100-day dress challenge here – (I have just bought my dress.)
  4. In cold weather – wear thermals and move! When you sit, you feel the cold more. In the heat, relax, wear a wet t-shirt and when it dries, wet it again.
  5. Cook your meals. Cooking has many positives. Not only will you know what nutrition you are putting into your body, you now know how to cook without using much energy and it will keep you warm.

“When you take the time to simplify your use of energy, you also realize that the issue is a first-world privilege.”

First-World Privilege:

When you take the time to simplify your use of energy, you also realize that the issue is a first-world privilege. Third-world countries have to deal with lack daily, yet what if we all took action, would there be enough water and energy for everyone on the planet?

I would love to hear your thoughts and what actions you are taking to save water and energy. Let me know if you have a hay box and/or delicious recipes, or reach out if you would like to know more about my findings.  

“Frugality is the daughter of common sense, the sister of moderation and the mother of freedom.” Samuel Smiles.


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Kay Newton

About the Author:

Kay is the founder of Midlife Strategies, an award-winning International Speaker, and enthusiastic author. She is an acknowledged expert guiding women to find their mojo, through the Midlife Squeeze.

Kay’s books include: 

Today, Kay lives a simple life next to a beach in Mallorca, Spain. You can find Kay here: www.KayNewton.com.

4 thoughts on “5 Tips To Save Energy This Winter

  1. Beth says:

    I love your fun creative spirit, Kay!

    As a desert dweller, I do my best to be water aware. Like you, I’m always looking at how I can reuse what I use. I have a bucket to collect cold water as I wait for warm/hot water to come; then I turn on the shower. The water I collect is what waters the plants.

  2. Yvonne says:

    A great article Kay for these present days we live in … and it’s true … “there’s nothing new under the sun”only that we find or remind ourselves of how to live simply again!
    Thankyou x

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