Living with sustainability

This week I had the chance to take students to visit Hockerton Housing Project a sustainable housing project in Nottinghamshire as part of an environment and society course for Gifted and Talented students.

The project was started after a group of people took the decision to try and lead more sustainable lifestyles. The houses are specially designed to be self sufficient for energy via solar panels, wind turbines and space heating (no central heating), and for water via a reservoir and innovative but simple water filtering system.

I was impressed by the site which includes areas for filtering waste water and sewage (naturally via reeds), but areas for grazing sheep, and growing vegetables, water storage and general recreation areas (which includes a lake that is safe to swim in). If you’re teaching issues of sustainability, I would highly recommend looking into this development. The tour we took last about an hour and a half and really inspired the students to show that more sustainable lifestyles were possible.

I admit that I was sceptical about a house without any central heating being warm, despite the insistence of the residents that using the heat gathered from a large conservatories would work. I was surprised at how warm the homes felt, and many of the students commented on how they would love a house like the ones at Hockerton.

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