Green living: contribute towards an eco-friendly environment

Written by    Last updated: August 28, 2007

There is a great deal that each of us can do to help towards a less wasteful and more natural lifestyle. Here are some ideas to consider…

green living

Create less waste

Reduce the amount of waste you create with the following ideas:

  • Re‐use plastic bags for shopping
  • Join a library
  • Use rechargeable batteries
  • Go for quality as things that last create less waste
  • Compact non‐recyclables and use less bin liners
  • Use concentrates as they use less packaging
  • Bring lunch in reusable containers
  • Swap instead of buying

Recycle

Wherever possible separate what can be recycled. Buy recycled goods such as paper, aluminium, plastic and glassware. Donate unwanted items, including cell phones to charities. Buy or borrow reusable moving boxes

Composting

If you have a garden, there is really no excuse for not composting. Once you’ve set it up, it’s actually quite easy to maintain

Better insulation

Insulating the hot water tank, double‐glazing, replacing roof tiles and adding insulating material to the loft, all help in reducing your heating bills as well as cutting down on unnecessary waste.

Fix leaking taps

You may not notice it, but a leaking tap can waste gallons of water each day. Replacing a washer doesn’t take long and besides also helps to reduce limescale stains in the sink.

Seasonal foods

Shop at farmer’s markets to eat fresh, seasonal, locally grown produce for healthier meals and less use of food miles and cold storage.

Dry naturally

Turn off the dishwasher’s drying cycle to save energy and line dry your clothes whenever possible. Hang wet towels to dry outdoors.

Energy‐saving appliances

Check the energy rating on appliances before buying. Stream direct washing machines use steam to remove creases from clothes, saving on ironing. Consider replacing old appliances with new ones that use less energy for the same task. Replace lightbulbs with low energy ones.

Freezers

Remove frost regularly as this reduces efficiency. Fill up your freezer with food and ice trays as the fuller it is, the less energy it uses.

Go online

Online banking and bills help to reduce the paper mountain. Use online directories and recycle old paper ones.

Naturally fragrant

Use pure essential oils and natural fragrances instead of chemically produced ones. Open windows to freshen rooms rather than using room fresheners. This will not only be more beneficial to your health but also helps to cut the amount of chemicals dispersed into the air.

Switch off

Turn off lights and gadgets when you leave the room. At work, switch off computers at the end of each day and before the weekend. Avoid leaving the television on standby and the mobile charging overnight.

Use cold water

Whenever possible, avoid turning on the hot water tap. In the summer months especially, washing up can be done with cold water. Unless the clothes are heavily soiled, turn down the temperature on washing machines to 30 degrees or better still, run the wash on a cold programme.

Upgrade to a laptop

If you’re upgrading your computer, consider switching to a laptop as they use far less energy than desktop PCs.

Travel light

Wherever possible walk, ride a bike or use public transport. Check air pressure in car tyres regularly as incorrect pressure uses more fuel and causes faster wearing out on tyres. Unload your boot of any heavy loads as it leads to greater fuel consumption.

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