I just finished watching the first season of TV show “It’s Not Easy Being Green”, hosted by Dick Strawbridge. A great source of inspiration, and a great way to spend seven afternoons, watching seven episodes.

If you’re not familiar with european satellite TV channels, you probably don’t know Dick Strawbridge, lieutentant-colonel, and engineer. But if you live in Europe and watched TV shows like:

you probably know him well. I first saw Dick in the Scrapheap Challenge, where he lead a team of engineers who won a couple of competitions. Then I saw a couple of episodes of Planet Mechanics, and found out about the “It’s Not Easy Being Green” series. When I read about it I decided I had to watch it as soon as possible.

The first season is about the same transition I want to make with my family. I want to move from a town to live a slow and peaceful life in the countryside, being as green and self-sufficient as possible. The only difference between my family and the Strawbridges is that I want to build my house from scratch, and they bought a large and old house for a lot of money. And they have a lot more land than I do.

In the first season it was shown how the Strawbridges:

  • replaced the roof on their house,
  • installed three wood burning stoves,
  • installed a whole house ventillation system to reduce heat losses thru ventillation and distribute warm air all over the house,
  • built a water wheel and use it to power their CFL lighting,
  • erected a composting loo,
  • bought two wind turbines and installed two masts for them,
  • made biodiesel using chip fat,
  • used one of the turbines to produce electricity to pump water from their spring to the house,
  • planted a lot of vegetables,
  • built a greenhouse with a very cool heat accumulation system that stored heat produced during the day to warm it night,
  • farmed a couple of pigs for meat.

As I mentioned, this season was worth seeing as it’s a great source of inspiration. It doesn’t show many practical solutions to the obstacles they found on their way, though. I look forward to the episodes of the second season of the show.

By the way, Dick also wrote a book under the same title, you might want to check it out. He also runs courses on his farm, for only 160 british pounds (a bit more than $300) you can attend one of those courses, just sign in here. Unfortunatelly I didn’t find a DVD sets of this show to buy. 🙁