It's Not Easy Being Green Series 3
Series 3 started on Wednesday 7th January, 2009 on BBC2
The new series has been produced in a 'magazine-style' format. Each episode contains: a Newhouse Farm based activity; an eco-tip from James; Lauren Laverne looking into green consumerism and Dick interviewing a celebrity to see how green he/she is.
We also have weekly visits to a young couple, Chris and Jay, who are conducting an 'ecovation' in their house in London, plus up to date reports on various aspects of being environmentally friendly - so it's a jam packed half hour!
Newhouse Farm has the outbuildings re-roofed and there is a major investment as we get solar photovoltaics (PV) so when the sun shines we make electricity - a lot of it.
We bought our system through the chaps at 'Plug into the Sun', if you want to contact Andy Tanner follow that link.
James shares a special eco-tip that involves a lot of semi-naked footballers.
Lauren looks at green swimming pools.
We visit Chris and Jay in London - they have their own website with details of what they have been using at Ready Steady Eco.
Our very clean pipelaying device came from Pipeworx.
Phil Tufnell has a wander around Newhouse Farm and we find out how green his lifestyle is.
This week at Newhouse Farm it’s all about bees. We follow the progress of our hives here in Cornwall and the bigger issues facing our struggling honey-making companions elsewhere in the country.
We also have our selection of reports:
James goes to visit his mate Duncan Glendinning, a young eco-entrepreneur living in Bath and learns about making an earth oven out of salvaged scrap. Plenty more to come later in the series about Duncan’s bread business.
Lauren takes a trip to the auction house to look at the benefits of renovating furniture and turns some rather tatty chairs into something chic. It’s a fair cop – she doesn’t actually do it herself …
Dick visits Blur’s Alex James in his ‘big house in the country’ to talk about how green the cheese-making-ex-rock-star (there’s a phrase you don’t see every day!) really is.
Brigit returns for a guest appearance to help James work on Chris and Jay’s city garden in London. And together Brigit and James offer some valuable eco-tips about how to counter the plight of the honey bee by planting bee attracting plants in the garden.
This week at Newhouse Farm we are dealing with the reality of eating bacon sandwiches and Christmas turkey. Apologies to vegans and vegetarians but we are embracing the ‘rear-your-own’ philosophy as well as the grow-your-own. So, it’s goodbye to our two Cornish black pigs and hello to our new turkeys.
We also have a selection of other eco reports:
Lauren comes down to Cornwall to be quizzed on how green she really is.
Toby Sawday tags along with a young family on holiday to Spain- a very long journey on a train, bravely seeing what slow travel abroad is really like with young children.
Our verdant journalist Jon Kay reports on the trials and tribulations of the plastic recycling industry.
Jay and Chris continue their ecovation in London by deciding to make the most out of our plentiful annual rainfall and install a massive rainwater harvesting system at home.
There should have been a much more explicit warning on the programme – DIGGING HOLES DEEPER THAN 1.2M CAN BE DANGEROUS.
It is not illegal for individuals to do it but the safest thing is to get expert advice and shore up the sides!
Here at Newhouse Farm local life takes on a huge role in our day to day activities. From popping into the local butchers to going to our green grocers we are fortunate to still have a thriving community. Another establishment that is still a key part of our lives is of course the local, our pub the New Inn. This week the team helps out the local pub with their soaring fuel bills. Plenty of projects that can just as easily be employed by other struggling businesses.
We also have a selection of other eco reports:
Lauren meets an extraordinary lady in Scotland who has plans for an eco-funeral. She even has a cardboard coffin in her living room… it pays to be prepared!
James helps a lady in York build an extension out of straw bales, and visits a new sawmill near Dartington to see and hear the difference straw bales can make to sound insulation. Straw bale construction is a cheap and easy building method to try at home, as well as being a viable business option for new builds. Amazon nails is a particular good group that offers a selection of courses and guides people through the process, but there are a range of experts around the country offering information and workshops. The bottom line is it’s great fun and easy to get the hang of.
Getting up close and personal with Dick in his local pub is actor Julian Rhind Tutt, our eco-guest taking this week’s test.
Chris and Jay are putting solar panels on their roof in London. They choose to install solar thermal evacuated tubes- an extremely energy efficient hot water system. Solar thermal systems range from basic black plastic to copper systems and then evacuated tubes. All the technologies do basically the same job at different efficiency levels and therefore different costs. In our opinion the technology is definitely still one of the most viable future-proofing investments you can choose to do. However, if you want to have a go at something really simple and easy to do at home then try making an outside solar shower this summer.
This week at Newhouse Farm we go a bit space-age. Taking delivery of a geodesic dome and setting up a new organic hydroponic system. The dome is the first of its kind for domestic use in the UK but the design concept itself has been around for about 100 years. New domes and information are available from Grow-Dome. Most famously on show at the Eden project in Cornwall it was our chosen sustainable structure for growing more food at home. Read more here.
It’s important to stress that for people interested in growing outside there are other cheaper options ranging from getting really lucky on Freecycle with a greenhouse, to buying a polytunnel in the classifieds (which proved well worthwhile here on the farm!), or building your own cloches out of rubbish. Cloches are essentially mini green houses that cover vegetables in order to start them early, protect seedlings or accelerate growth rates. The simplest DIY version has to be a plastic bottle with the bottom chopped off and then placed over a seedling. We have also found old scrap windows are great for building cloches. Happy growing…
Lauren looks into the high end of the eco-fashion industry and the work of sustainable designers. In our opinion you are what you wear. We find that car boot sales and charity shops, even the occasional vintage clothing shop are all great low impact places to shop. Making your own takes a bit of effort but knitting is on the comeback! Shopping for clothes ‘ethically’ sounds tough but phrases like ethical consumerism surely mean thinking about where money goes when it leaves your wallet or purse, being responsible. So, look out for some hemp knickers and give them a go or darn a sock. Dare you…
Sam and Mark from CBBC are this week’s eco-test guests. What will the children say?!
Chris and Jay are flush with success as their rainwater harvesting begins.
Jon Kay tries to understand the logic behind the planning regulations that are designed to protect our historical buildings and conservation zones and yet are also trying to encourage us towards using energy saving devices and reducing carbon emissions. Bottom line in our opinion is it’s better to beg forgiveness than ask permission!
This week at Newhouse Farm it’s homebrew moments fermenting away. The team collects bucket loads of local apples to make their very own cider and reinstate an old farm tradition.
Jilly Goolden is this week’s eco test guest. Is she brave enough to risk her renowned taste buds and delicate palette on the Newhouse Farm scrumpy!?
Lauren goes foraging in her local park with expert Carol Hunt and rustles up a delicious supper. There’s always a first time to eat some hedge…
Toby goes to the Gower Peninsula looking for an eco-rental property. In shades of green it’s definitely on the well intentioned but light-side...
Dick and James have a slightly different tip about soap nuts. They’re far out man…
Chris and Jay in London are fulfilling their green dream and getting some chickens in the back garden.
This week at Newhouse Farm we are conjuring eco-magic. How do you get water to flow uphill with no batteries included? This week Dick and his team prove the impossible with a new eco project: the ram pump! Plus, the waterwheel gets its annual renovation.
Journalist Jon Kay discusses carbon off setting and attempts to calculate the footprint of the series.
Lauren goes foraging with expert Carol and discovers she can eat a hedge...
Toby follows the verdant progress of ‘It’s Not Easy Being Green’s first wedding- assessing the environmental options for that stressful journey from flower petal confetti to honeymoon decisions.
This week’s eco-test guest is Nick Knowles who apparently has all the answers to our green problems.
At Newhouse Farm this week Dick and James are preparing one of their home reared Turkeys and their organic vegetables for a special lunch to be delivered on Bodmin Moor.
This week’s eco-test guest is Phill Jupitus who is on a road trip with his mate Lauren. Together they are test driving the latest Airstream eco caravan and sing a lot along the way...
James visits his mate Duncan who is launching his Thoughtful Bread Company in Bath with a tasting session at the local farmer’s market. Let’s see how beetroot bread goes down with the punters?!
Thrift is a word that is coming back into fashion and for some people is a matter of habit. James talks to journalist Hunter Davies about the frugal nature of the Past.
Lastly, it’s the final visit to Chris and Jay at their Victorian terrace in London. Have they moved in yet? And just how eco is their renovation?