Greening your life results in a cleaner environment. Here are several tips that just about anyone, as an individual, can follow to do a part in reducing our energy usage.
It’s easy to start home composting. Get yourself a compost bin at a bargain price from your local council and start collecting your fruit and vegetable peelings, grass cuttings, cardboard and paper and then let the worms do the rest.
Think the items you purchase and how much use you will get out of them. Think to about how much energy and how many natural resources have gone into producing them. Then you might be able to buy fewer goods and save yourself some money in the process. Things like avoiding over packaged items, buying loose fruit and veg, supporting local farmers markets and producers will all help to reduce your carbon footprint.
In many cities across the country we can recycle all sorts of items in the blue bins including; paper (magazines, newspaper, computer paper), thin card, all types of plastic bottles, food and drinks cans. You can also recycle glass bottles, tetrapaks, household batteries, garden waste, vehicle batteries, rubble, scrap metal, bric-a-brac, textiles, fridges, wood, engine oil, cardboard and gas cylinders at the North Road Industrial Estate Waste
Household energy use accounts for more than a quarter of all energy used in the country, but the typical household wastes more than one third of that energy each year. Poor wall and loft insulation, high thermostats and household appliances being left on standby all mount up to account for this waste. Here are 10 actions to take in your house to save energy and save yourself some money in the process.
- Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 percent. You could save around £40 per year
- Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat shouldn’t need to be set higher than 60°C/140°F
- Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.
- Always turn off the lights when you leave a room
- Don’t leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave appliances on charge unnecessarily
- If you’re not filling up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher, use the half-load or economy programme.
- Only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you’re using an electric kettle).
- Use energy saving light bulbs. Just one can save you $60 over the lifetime of the bulb – as they last up to 10 times longer than ordinary light bulbs.
- A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure they’re fully turned off!
- Do a home energy check at www.energysavingtrust.org. Just answer some simple questions about your home and we’ll give you a free, impartial report telling you how you can save up to $400 a year on your household energy bills.
All cars on the road today contribute to climate change because their engines burn fuel and therefore produce carbon dioxide (CO2) every time we drive. Yet you can easily reduce these emissions and save money too. By following a few simple tips and suggestions on the Act On CO2 website you can reduce your engine’s workload, which means it will burn less fuel and produce less CO2.
You could choose a new car with a more fuel efficient engine. Or make sure your tires are pumped up correctly to reduce resistance. Even traveling a bit lighter when you’re out and about can help.
There are other transport choices you can make to reduce your carbon footprint. Why not start by walking or cycling to work once a week; it’ll save you money and keep you fit and healthy. You might also be able to set up a travel plan for you workplace which encourages employees to car share, walk, cycle or use public transport to get to work.
In this country we throw away 6.7 million tons of food every year, roughly a third of everything we buy. Most of this avoidable and could have been eaten if only we had planned, stored and managed it better. Less than a fifth is truly unavoidable – things like bones, cores and peelings. Planning our meals for the week and tying this in with our shopping list can really help reduce this amount of waste. Other actions we can take are learning how to make meals from leftovers and being more aware of sell by and use by dates.
Nearly one quarter of the 4.1 million tons of avoidable food waste is thrown away whole, untouched or unopened. Of this, at least 340,000 tons is still in date when thrown away. A further 1.2 million tons is simply left on our plates. This all adds up to a story of staggering wastefulness.
All this wasted food is costly; in the U.S. we spend $11 billion every year buying and then throwing away good food. That works out at $420 for the average household. And for households with children it’s even more – $610 a year.
Local councils then spend another $1.2 billion collecting our food waste and sending most of it to landfill.
Food waste is also harmful to the environment. The food we throw away needlessly is responsible for the equivalent of 18 million tons of carbon dioxide emissions every year – that’s the same as the CO2 emitted by one in every five cars on roads. It’s not just the methane that’s released when the food goes to landfill that’s the problem, but also the energy spent producing, storing and transporting the food to us. Put another way, every ton of food we throw away needlessly is responsible for 4.5 tons of CO2 equivalent emissions.
Food waste is an enormous challenge, not least because most of us don’t yet recognize the amount we all produce. But it is also a massive opportunity – to reduce waste, save money and minimize our impact on the environment.