Energy Diet

Green Recreational Time

Within my lifetime, the amount of gadgets inside the average U.K. family home has quadrupled; we have gone from dusty old cathode ray televisions and wireless to HD/3D televisions in every room, computers, laptops, Playstations, iPhones and iPads. A continuous stream of information media surrounding our very being; is this really good for us, can this really be good for us? It certainly isn’t good for the planet.

Each morning I wake up, check my Twitter newsfeed, load up my laptop to do a bit of work before pouring countless hours into the game Skyrim. Is a 51-inch display in 3D really necessary? I don’t even use the 3D. It gives you a headache, after continual usage and you have to wear those ridiculous glasses that hurt your nose.

Cover art for The Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim


Yet with all this freely available information, all this entertainment, I find myself left hollow, born into a life where my biggest destiny is to complete endless fetch quests, but what’s the alternative? The X Factor and endless reruns of Friends? Surely there is something else I can be doing with my evenings and weekends.

What else should I be doing with my recreational time if not indulging in the delights of the modern world? How can I reduce my dependency, energy usage and still have my down time? If I am ever going to find the answer to this I suppose now, during this eight-week challenge would be the best time.

Low Energy Usage Recreational Pastimes

  • Family Time: Instead of slumping down in front of the television after work, turn it off and spend some time together as a family.  Instead of eating meals on the settee, sit instead around the dining room and enjoy the meal.
  • Board Games: I utterly adore board games. However, I never get the time to play them, partly because my entire family refuses to play Trivial Pursuit with me and partly because I never seem to find the time. Right, that’s decided then, I shall have one games night a week that does not involve Skyrim — well, maybe a little Skyrim.
  • All Those Books: Finally all those books I haven’t gotten around to reading yet, I will now make the time for them. Come to think of it my library book is overdue…
  • Volunteering: Saving having to go to the gym and getting out for the weekends, volunteering is a chance to meet some new friends whilst trying something new. In the past I would spend countless hours out in the field but for the last couple of months I’ve had little inclination to go anywhere, so I might just sign myself up for a course with the BTCV.
  • Walking/Sports: It is winter, it is cold, and I have little inclination to head out to the tennis courts or up to the moors for a nice walk. Badminton anyone? I haven’t been fencing for a while. I must look into what is going on over at my local sports center.
  • Ever wanted to try a new hobby? I have always wanted to learn to play the piano. It’s probably not the best example, as pianos are large and expensive but it is something that I have always wanted to do. I paint also, sometimes at least – I do have a lot of old supplies lying around that I could make use of.

I am afraid that is all I can think of for now; do you have any suggestions for me? I could really do with them, don’t be shy just add them in the comment box below. I would really appreciate it.


  1. Christina Nunez
    December 6, 2011, 12:24 pm

    These are good ideas, Samanta — one of our previous energy dieters was a knitter and even recycled material from old sweaters into new clothes and accessories…