Imagine a life without fossil fuels.
The why, the how, the highs and the lows of our journey to a sustainable life
We lifted all the ballast blocks, cleaned up all the sawdust and sprayfoam dust (which would have held any water or damp…
Most narrowboats have a base of treated 18mm marine plywood laid across the boat’s steel transverse bearers or “ribs” as I like…
Once the floor was up and the cladding was off the bow wall, I could see the insulated stainless steel water tank…
why we moved away from fossil fuels
Fossil fuel combustion accounted for 91% of global greenhouse gas emissions in 2019. Power generation and transport together accounted for over two thirds of total CO2 emissions from fuel combustion in 2019. We need to stop burning fossil fuels, now.
Almost two-thirds of all EU military missions monitor and secure the production and transport of oil and gas to Europe. Rosneft, one of Russia’s main petroleum companies, is reported to be one of the main suppliers of fuel to the Russian army. Fossil fuels are fuelling war.
We wanted to live a sustainable life. That meant free of fossil fuels, using renewable energy sources wherever we could, as efficiently as we could, and producing as little waste as possible.
We moved to Devon and spent 18 months looking for a sustainable home to buy, or land to build one on. Unfortunately property developers aren’t building sustainable houses, and we couldn’t even afford land to build our own. So we downsized from a house to a boat, and now we’re living off-grid back in Cambridgeshire, producing almost zero waste, and very happy with it.
What we wish we’d known
Never buy a boat without checking the end product (if it’s off-the-shelf) or the boat builder (if it will be built and fitted out for you). Boat building is not as well regulated as housing is, and the standard of work can vary hugely from one boat builder to another. If you’ve never had a boat built for you before, get a marine surveyor to visit the boat throughout the build phase to pickup any issues early on so they can be corrected.
The bottom line is this is a massive investment, and you need to make sure your boat is worth what you pay for it.