How to Reduce, Reuse and Recycle
RECYCLING AT HOME
For more information visit Cheshire West and Chester Waste and Recycling page
NO MORE JUNK MAIL!
Around 1 million tonnes of junk mail and magazines get binned every year! To stop the onslaught, you can register with the Mailing Preference Service. There are several ways to do this:
Call 020 7291 3310
Visit the website at http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/
or write to: The Mailing Preference Service, FREEPOST 22, London, W1E 7EZ. Simply include your details and state that you would like to stop receiving unsolicited direct mail.
In the meantime, don’t forget to recycle your junk mail.
To stop Royal Mail junk mail (the mail that is unaddressed but that the postman delivers to every address), send your details etc. to: Door to Door Royal Mail, Beaumont House, Sandy Lane West, Oxford, OX4 6ZZ.
Recycling paper can start at home and in everyday practices.
Use waste paper as notepaper.
Reload your printer with paper printed on only one side.
Reuse envelopes just by using a sticky label to write the new address on.
Cut up old cards to make gift tags.
BE A GREENER SHOPPER
Reuse your carrier bags
Around 8 billion plastic bags are given away in Britain every year, that’s a lot of plastic which is difficult and costly to recycle. Plastic bags can remain in landfills for dozens of years releasing harmful chemicals into the earth. When you go shopping, take a bag with you or reuse your old carrier bags. And remember to say NO THANK YOU when the shop assistant starts to put your purchase in a bag. Plastic carrier bags can be recycled at most large supermarkets.
If there was no market for recycled goods, recycling wouldn’t happen. Buy recycled loo roll, kitchen towel, writing paper, bin liners, tissues, envelopes, etc. Nowadays the recyclers are more innovative especially with plastic. For example, furniture and clothing can be made from recycled plastic.
Buy from charity shops
This is a really effective way of saving cash, donating money and reusing items others do not need. Some charities also sell a range of fair trade goods.
Try to avoid products that have several layers of packaging.
Buy local products
Global transport costs can add up to 16% to the cost of food, not counting for the pollution associated with the transportation. Support rural farmers and buy from farmers’ markets, independent shops and market stalls. Farmers’ markets provide good quality, locally grown produce, and prices can be 40% lower.
Buy fairtrade food
Chocolate, coffee, tea and bananas are the most commonly available products, most supermarkets sell a range of products including the Co-op. Fair trade products ensure producers in developing countries get fair prices for their goods.
Buy free range eggs and meat...it doesnt have to cost more...
A battery hen has no more space to stand on, than the size of an A4 sheet of paper.
Look out for the Freedom Food logo on products, this was set up by the RSPCA to ensure welfare standards are followed.
Here are some tips to having a real green garden:
Use non toxic methods to control slugs and snails.Chemical slug treatments do not degrade. And as slugs are the hedgehog’s favourite food, you will be indirectly poisoning hedgehogs too. There are several simple ways of deterring slugs:
Interplant vulnerable species with lavender or rosemary – slugs don’t like spiky aromatic plants – or spread ash, beer or eggshells on the earth.
Fill a small plastic tub with beer and bury it in the ground so the lip is level with the soil – slugs love beer!
For patio pots, put a strip of copper around the base of the pot – they won’t go near it.
Slugs’ natural predators are frogs, so encourage frogs into your garden by providing a rock pile shelter for them to make a home.
Avoid energy wasting gadgets such as patio heaters – wear a jumper! If you need to install garden lights – go for solar powered. When you buy wooden garden furniture avoid tropical hardwoods such as teak which is fast disappearing.
Composting is easy!
As well as uncooked food waste such as fruit and veg, tea bags etc. a lot of paper and card can be composted. Items such as tissues, kitchen towels, toilet roll tubes, cereal boxes and egg boxes can go in the compost heap. The compost needs this fibre to prevent it getting too soggy. Fibre also keeps air spaces in the compost.
Coffee grindings can also go in the compost heap plus the paper filter.
Buy second-hand baby clothes
Second-hand baby clothes are cheaper, as well as being well-worn and more comfy. And if you aren’t keeping baby clothes for future children of your own, pass them on again to friends or family. Get information on local nearly-new sales from The National Childbirth Trust http://www.nctpregnancyandbabycare.com/ 0870 770 3236.
Untreated cotton bedding
Synthetic bedding can expose a baby to formaldehyde, solvents and other chemicals. Babies’ bedding should be made from cotton, wool, hemp or silk – these natural fibres breathe and fell more comfortable.
Choose organic food
Organic baby-food is already bought by 60% of mothers. Friends of the Earth have found high levels of pesticides in non-organic baby food. Pesticide residues have more impact on babies than adults as the amount they eat in proportion to their body weight is higher. Visit Hipp at http://www.hipp.co.uk/
The average baby will get through a total of 5,480 – equivalent to 2 trees - during its early years! Each day, eight million disposable nappies are thrown away accounting for 4% of landfill waste.
The financial cost of disposable nappies per child per year has been estimated to be £1,200. But the cost of keeping one child in cloth nappies is approx £300, which includes washing.
The new washable cloth nappies come in different shapes, sizes, colours with elastic or Velcro fastenings and biodegradable liners.
Nappy washing services make life easier and use less water and energy than home washing.
Buy eco-disposables for long journeys etc. The manufacturing process does far less harm to the environment than normal disposables.
SLOW DOWN IN THE CAR
Slowing down in the car can be good for your health and also for the environment according to the RAC Foundation and the Energy Saving Trust.
With average traffic speeds falling on all types of roads and at all times of the day, road traffic increasing and congestion in towns and cities now a serious issue for a majority of people, driving for many motorists is not always the pleasurable experience that it used to be.
Traffic on our roads is also responsible for 26% of the UK's total carbon dioxide emissions (CO2), one of the green house gases attributed to climate change. It also emits a cocktail of poisonous particles that can lead to respiratory problems especially in children and the elderly.
The RAC Foundation and the Energy Saving Trust are therefore calling on motorists to use their cars in a more efficient way, by avoiding harsh acceleration and heavy braking, using the gearbox efficiently, and sticking to speed limits. By taking simple steps everyone can learn to leave their stress at the car door.
- Plan your journey carefully to avoid congestion, roadworks and getting lost. Allow plenty of time for the trip. Never drive for more than two hours without taking a break.
- Before setting off adjust the mirrors, seating and heating / ventilation for maximum comfort. Maintain a constant flow of fresh air into the car.
- Vehicle breakdowns can be stressful. Carry out routine checks regularly and ensure your car is regularly serviced and well maintained. Check your tyre pressure regularly; under inflated tyres wear out more quickly and can increase fuel consumption by up to 3%.
- Drive defensively - avoiding harsh acceleration and heavy braking where possible. Pulling away too fast uses up to 60% more fuel.
- Be tolerant of other road users and errors they may make. Listen to relaxing music, or practice breathing exercises to keep calm.
- Use the gearbox efficiently - changing gear at a more modest engine speed can reduce fuel consumption by up to 15%.
- Drive off immediately when starting from cold - idling to heat the engine wastes fuel and causes rapid engine wear.
- Avoid short journeys - a cold engine uses almost twice as much fuel, while catalytic converters can take 5 miles to become effective. Take a walk in the fresh air to the local shops instead.
- Stick to speed limits and make your fuel go further - driving at 70mph uses up to 30% more fuel than at 50mph.
- If you are stuck in a jam, switch off - turning off the engine after two minutes will save fuels and cut all emissions.
By adopting these 10 simple steps everyone has the potential to help the environment, save money and make each journey more enjoyable.
SAVE WATER IN THE KITCHEN
Like many things in life, when it comes to saving water the majority of us have good intentions- if only it was easier, or we had more time.
Well, saving water in the home is something you can cross off your guilt list, because it is easy, and it doesn't take up much time. In fact we can all do one thing each day to save water, and drop by drop it all counts.
Let's take one room - the kitchen. There are plenty of things we can do here to save water, which will also help your pocket if you are on a water meter. Here are our easy to achieve top tips:
- When washing up use a bowl and don't leave the water running.
- Rinse vegetables in a bowl.
- Fix any leaking taps.
- Don't rinse dishes before putting them in the dishwasher.
- Only fill a kettle with as much water as you need - saving water as well as electricity.
- Use grey water from your washing up bowl to water your plants.
- Instead of running the tap for a cold drink, put a covered jug of water in the fridge and replace every 24 hours.
- Wait until you have a full load before using the washing machine or dishwasher.
- Hand wash small amounts of clothing in a bowl.
- If you are buying a new water using appliance, first check to see how water efficient your chosen model is before purchasing it.
- Defrost food in the fridge or microwave instead of under a running tap.
- Every time you boil an egg, save the cooled water for houseplants who will love the nutrients released into the cooking water.
You may find it useful to visit www.unitedutilities.com which has important information on water levels across the region and useful tips on how to be water wise.
HAVE A GREEN CHRISTMAS!
Recycle your cards. Make sure your Christmas cards don’t go to waste – take them to a recycling point after Christmas, such as a Woodland Trust recycling point at WHSmith. Or send ecards instead.
Buy charity Christmas cards, that are recycled too.
Use recycled wrapping paper. If you use string and ribbon to wrap them with, the paper can be reused too.
Recycle your Christmas tree. Either buy one with roots and plant it in your garden or recycle it after Christmas. Last year Vale Royal had several collection points.
Give a recycled gift. Wastewatch is full of good ideas and details of where you can find original recycled gifts. Go to http://www.wastewatch.org.uk/ or phone 0870 243 0136.
More gift ideas. Fairtrade chocolate, beeswax candles, recycled paper books and pencils. Wind-up phone chargers, solar/wind-up radios and torches. Visit http://www.greenshop.co.uk/ for more ideas or call 01452 770629.
Buy wooden toys and games. Wooden toys are much kinder to the environment and last longer too.
Buy fairtrade toys. Fairtrade shops sell toys made to strict ethical rules, and manufacturers get a fair price for making them. Find out more from traidcraft at http://www.traidcraft.co.uk/ or call 0191 491 0591.
And, don’t forget to recycle all that extra Christmas waste!