Julia Stephenson: Green Goddess

A A A

I am made envious by recent pictures of David Cameron's partially dismantled house, which is being greened up. He and I share the same architect - a tenuous link with the bastions of power which once gave me a frisson of excitement. But not any more. I see Cameron speeding ahead in his eco-building improvements while I lag behind waiting for the shared party wall agreements I must have before we can start work.

Of course, there are more effective eco-improvements to be done than all the flash stuff such as wind turbines and solar panels. It's important to remember that insulation, installing a water meter (a great incentive to cut down on water usage), switching off lights and transferring to an energy supplier that sources its energy from renewable sources (for example www.ecotricity.com) is just as important.

There is a danger that people start thinking that being green is an expensive add-on rather than an unglamorous but essential reduction of what we consume.

Anyway, people say I should be in no great rush to get the builders in but the trouble is, I already have.

My squeeze, who is doing the renovations, is already fairly much in situ, and leaving a trail of beer bottles, ravaged tabloids, packets of crisps, grubby cups half full of old tea, fantasy football leaflets and piles of old coupons of which when you collect 10 you get some boring David Attenborough DVDs. (I know these will never be sent off but I am forbidden from throwing them away.)

He hoped we could start in the summer but at this rate it will be winter before we begin. Thank goodness he is hardy - funds won't stretch to any kind of tarpaulin, or "tin hat", as it is called in building jargon, so he'll have to make do with a woolly hat covered in clingfilm.

As I may not live to see a return from my eco-improvements (an optimistic five years but I'll be gone long before that if I keep having this sort of aggro), I'm thinking of becoming a wind guerrilla and just bunging a wind turbine up anyway. I mean, who would notice?

Domestic wind turbines are smaller than the average satellite dish and are so beautifully designed these days that they're barely noticeable. They are very quiet, too, making far less sound than the average snoring man-squeeze.

According to eco-architect and wind guerrilla Bill Dunstone, who has done just that, they are no harder to assemble than an IKEA table.

I don't know anyone who has actually managed to assemble anything from IKEA but my squeeze reckons he's up for the challenge.

But if you're shopping in the Peter Jones haberdashery department and you see a turbine precariously dangling off the next door roof and a woman being dragged into a Black Maria in handcuffs, you'll know I've been shopped.

j.stephenson@independent.co.uk

Life and Style
A monstrous idea? Body transplants might no longer be science fiction
Science An Italian neurosurgeon believes so - and it's not quite as implausible as it sounds, says Steve Connor
Sport
Demba Ba (right) celebrates after Besiktas win on penalties
footballThere was no happy return to the Ataturk Stadium, where the Reds famously won Champions League
Arts and Entertainment
Natural beauty: Aidan Turner stars in the new series of Poldark
arts + ents
News
Mia Freedman, editorial director of the Mamamia website, reads out a tweet she was sent.
arts + ents
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
people
Arts and Entertainment
The write stuff: masters of story-telling James Joyce, left, and Thomas Hardy
arts + ents...begging to differ, John Walsh can't even begin to number the ways
Sport
Jose Mourinho on Sky Sports
footballEXCLUSIVE COLUMN Paul Scholes: It was not a leg-breaking tackle, as the Chelsea manager had claimed
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Recruitment Genius: Bookkeeper

£23000 - £26000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This small, friendly, proactive...

Recruitment Genius: Photographic Event Crew

£14500 - £22800 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This is a fantastic opportunity...

Recruitment Genius: Software Developers - .NET / ASP.NET / WebAPI / JavaScript

Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: A Software Developer is required to join a lea...

Austen Lloyd: Corporate Tax Solicitor - City

Excellent Salary: Austen Lloyd: A first rate opportunity to join a top ranking...

Day In a Page

HIV pill: Scientists hail discovery of 'game-changer' that cuts the risk of infection among gay men by 86%

Scientists hail daily pill that protects against HIV infection

Breakthrough in battle against global scourge – but will the NHS pay for it?
How we must adjust our lifestyles to nature: Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch

Time to play God

Welcome to the 'Anthropocene', the human epoch where we may need to redefine nature itself
MacGyver returns, but with a difference: Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman

MacGyver returns, but with a difference

Handyman hero of classic 1980s TV series to be recast as a woman
Tunnel renaissance: Why cities are hiding roads down in the ground

Tunnel renaissance

Why cities are hiding roads underground
'Backstreet Boys - Show 'Em What You're Made Of': An affectionate look at five middle-aged men

Boys to men

The Backstreet Boys might be middle-aged, married and have dodgy knees, but a heartfelt documentary reveals they’re not going gently into pop’s good night
Crufts 2015: Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?

Crufts 2015

Should foreign dogs be allowed to compete?
10 best projectors

How to make your home cinema more cinematic: 10 best projectors

Want to recreate the big-screen experience in your sitting room? IndyBest sizes up gadgets to form your film-watching
Manchester City 1 Barcelona 2 player ratings: Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man?

Manchester City vs Barcelona player ratings

Luis Suarez? Lionel Messi? Joe Hart? Who was the star man at the Etihad?
Arsenal vs Monaco: Monaco - the making of Gunners' manager Arsene Wenger

Monaco: the making of Wenger

Jack Pitt-Brooke speaks to former players and learns the Frenchman’s man-management has always been one of his best skills
Cricket World Cup 2015: Chris Gayle - the West Indies' enigma lives up to his reputation

Chris Gayle: The West Indies' enigma

Some said the game's eternal rebel was washed up. As ever, he proved he writes the scripts by producing a blistering World Cup innings
In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare and murky loyalties prevails

In Ukraine a dark world of hybrid warfare

This war in the shadows has been going on since the fall of Mr Yanukovych
'Birdman' and 'Bullets Over Broadway': Homage or plagiarism?

Homage or plagiarism?

'Birdman' shares much DNA with Woody Allen's 'Bullets Over Broadway'
Broadchurch ends as damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

A damp squib not even David Tennant can revive

Broadchurch, Series 2 finale, review
A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower: inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

Inside the mansion of Germany's 'Bishop of Bling'

A Koi carp breeding pond, wall-mounted iPads and a bathroom with a 'wellness' shower