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|What YOU Can Do|
RECYCLE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Recycling has never been more popular but we can do so much more. Visit www.reuze.co.uk, www.recycle-more.co.uk to find out more about recycling facilities in your area or contact your local authority.
Metals – Recycle all your tins but please wash them thoroughly first. Aerosols can be recycled but ensure they are emptied first.
Paper, Cardboard and Boxboard – Paper and cardboard recycling uses much less energy that required in manufacturing virgin material.
Plastics – Whereas most plastics can be recycled, some are easier than others. Local authorities will be happy to recycle plastics, as a genera rule, if the recycling triangle contains the number 1 or 2, normally located on the base of plastic containers. It is always a good idea to check this before you choose to buy a product in the first place. For more details on different plastics visit www.recoup.org
Glass – This is a very easily recycled material to recycle. Please ensure all glass containers are washed thoroughly and caps are removed before being placed in your recycling bin. It is also important at recycling centres to place glass containers of the same colour in the appropriate bins - don’t mix colours.
Electrical and Electronic Equipment - the directive from Waste Electrical and Electronic Equipment (EU WEEE) now means that retailers and manufacturers of electronic and electrical products are obliged to take them back for ethical disposal. A good indication of which products this legislation refers to is the crossed out wheelie bin symbol on a product – this means it should be returned to the retailer. Many organisations and charities will recycle electronic equipment and the Waste Online website lists very useful places that recycle electrical goods.
Batteries - Batteries are difficult to recycle so try and use rechargeable batteries as much as possible. Many of the older batteries contain very harmful chemicals and materials and should never be put in landfill.
Kitchen & Garden Waste – This type of waste when landfilled will usually produce large volumes of unwanted methane. So instead of putting it in the wastebin, try composting instead – it is a very satisfying and economical way of getting rid of organic waste. Some local authorities have set up community sites for composting for those that do not have a garden. Visit the Community Composting Network or the Composting Association for further information.
REDUCE AS MUCH AS POSSIBLE
Cutting down on the amount of waste we produce in the first place is arguable the first step in an eco friendly strategy towards reducing our impact on the environment.
Here are a some suggestions of how best to achieve this:
Only buy what you need. Use a shopping list to ensure you do not buy food that will go off before you get around to eating it is a useful idea. Resist the temptation to ‘buy two, get one free’ or similar offers if you are not sure you can use them before their expiry date.
Choose products with the least amount of packaging. A good example would be fresh fruit and vegetables instead of canned or prepacked versions.
Reduce the amount of unwanted mailshots you get by contacting the Mailing Preference Service
Use electronic messaging such as email, text etc instead of convential mail. Ensure that you only print out what is absolutely vital.
Before buying any product ask yourself Do I really need it?
Reuse – Plastic bags, clothing, computers, furniture and lots of everyday items can be reused instead of being placed in landfill or burned.
Over 300 projects in the UK are coordinated by The Furniture Recycling Network (FRN) They accept household and business products for redistribution.
Use charity shops to find a new home for your unwanted items. Find your nearest Charity Shop.
Consider having your electronic or electrical goods repaired instead of buying new ones.
Use washable nappies instead of disposable ones - call the Nappy Line (01983 401959) or visit their website on www.realnappy.com for more information.
Paper has two sides so use both when writing..
Donate your used or tired computer to charity for redistribution in countries less fortunate than ourselves . Contact Computers for Charity on their website for more information
There are many things you can do at home to cut your energy use and also save money, as follows.
Lighting – Use low energy light bulbs or at least replace them with with ones of a lower wattage.
Heating – Wear warmer clothes, turn the thermostat down, close curtains at nighttime are all ways of saving energy of reducing your dependence on it.
Fridges and freezers – Keep them at temperatures that are not excessively cold. Ensure door seals are intact, allow air to circulate freely behind them, keep the heat exchanger fins clear of dust and fuzz and defrost regularly to avoid buildup of unnecessary ice.
Electrical appliances – Hi-Fi, Televisions, videos, and electronic items in general use quite a bit of electricity when on standby; therefore switch them off at the plug when not in use, particularly nighttime. Only boil the amount of water that you require for cooking and drinking as it is wasted energy if you overfill.
Insulation - insulating your home properly may be costly to begin with, but this cost will be recouped in the first couple of years through energy savings. Here is an indication of heat losses from the average home.
Water – Lag your hot water pipes to reduce heat loss. By placing a thermal jacket on your hot water cylinder you will also cut down on heat loss.
10% heat is lost through windows
35% heat is lost through walls
15% heat is lost through the floor
15% heat is lost through draughts
25% heat is lost through the roof
Energy savings – see below for a list of great energy savings around the home and payback time.
Water Boilers: Fit the latest condensing boilers as they are energy-efficient and comply with the latest EU legislation.
Energy-efficient Electrical Appliances: Check the energy rating before buying new appliances. Ratings go from A (Most efficient) to G (Least efficient)
Loft Insulation: This must be at least 200mm thick to be effective. Invest in draughtproofing for your doors and windows. Losses through walls can be reduced significantly by having cavity wall insulation or by lagging.
Green Tariffs – Try using suppliers of electricity that use eco friendly methods for producing power, such as wind farms, hydrolectric or wave power.
Grants and financial support
TIps on how to save water both indoors and out.
SAVING WATER OUTDOORS
Gardens require up to 50% more water during hot weather but there are several ideas to save water in these conditions.
Only water the roots and not the leaves. Remove the bottom of any plastic bottle and insert the neck end into the soil next to the roots of the plant you need to water. Fill up the inverted bottle with water and the water finds its way directly to the roots with minimal losses.
Apply mulch to soil when it is moist.
Sprinklers use over 500 litres of water per hour so avoid using them if at all possible. Use a hose instead applying the water manually ensuring even coverage of grass areas. For plants use a seep hose.
Long grass keeps moisture in the soil and stays green for longer so don’t cut the grass too short.
Collect rainwater in water butts and then use it for watering plants, grass and vegetables.
Stop the tap from running when brushing your teeth.
Wash fruit and vegetables in a bowl of water rather than running water. Also use a bowl for washing dishes.
Fix leaking taps and pipes.
Ensure dishwashers and washing machines are used on full loads only.
When buying a new washing machines ensure the water usage is below 55 L per cycle.
Try to reduce the water used for showering and bathing. A shower lasting for five minutes uses 25 litres of water, a power shower about 120 litres and the average bath about 80 litres.
Reduce the flush in toilets. This can be achieved by placing a brick or similar in the cistern or by purchasing a dual flush toilet.
Sanitary waste such as nappies , sanitary towels and tampons should be disposed of in bins rather than being flushed away in the toilet.
Reduce your use of detergents, bleaches and soaps as these have a negative impact on rivers and when they enter the sea or water treatment plants.
Follow these driving tips to reduce your impact on the environment.
Turn off the ignition if your car is stationary for two or more minutes.
Ensure your tyres are inflated to the correct pressure
Never carry baggage in the boot that is not necessary.
Drive smoothly avoiding excessive braking and acceleration.
Consider walking for short journeys
Consider alternative fuels.
Consider using a hybrid car powered by both electricity and conventional fuel.
Use public transport when possible
Use a bicycle for those distances to far to walk but short enough where it is feasible.
Avoid flying whenever possible as the impact on the planet is very significant when compared with other forms of transport.
CHOOSE ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS
CHOOSE ECO-FRIENDLY PRODUCTS such as recycled pens and recycled pencils or biodegradable pens or any product that helps to reduce your carbon footprint.