12 resolutions for an eco-easy year!

January 9, 2012


1 Ban the plastic bag
 – Plastic bags are rubbish and take 30+  years to break down. Please help reduce the 17 billion bags that are given away in the UK each year. There are lots of stylish ethical shopping bags available. You could even made your own out of something you don’t wear anymore if feeling adventurous!

 

2 Know your labels –Aim to swap your brands and designer labels for sustainable ones during 2012. If you are worried they will cost more don’t. You can bulk buy to keep costs down, use cashback sites and remember to keep your eyes open for The Soil Association logo or the EU’s Ecocert for organics, the Fairtrade Mark for fairly traded goods, the FSC logo for sustainable wood, the MSC logo for sustainable and well managed fish stocks and the Energy Saving Trust logo for the most energy efficient appliances. Talking of energy...

 

Energy

 

Switch to renewable energy – You can basically cut your personal carbon footprint by a third by switching to a Green tariff for your electricity if you cannot/ do want to micro-generate your own using solar panels, a heat pump, mini turbine, even wood/biomass etc... Fossil fuels being burnt to provide electricity for our homes is one of the biggest generators of carbon emissions: renewables still only account for 4% of energy generated in the UK. It can take 5 minutes! Ecotricity, Good Energy and Green Energy have the best eco credentials. If you really have to stay with your current supplier then they all offer a Green tariff-switch now!

 Kill your energy vampires – Electrical appliances and gadgets plugged in, will often still be using energy-ever felt a plug and it is warm? It is using energy!! Get a gadget or two where you plug several things in to it and turn then all off with a remote when you go out. Alternatively  walk around the house at the end of each day and unplug any unused items, such as phone chargers, to avoid this vampire energy being sucked from your home. A gadget such as the Owl or Wattson (v.stylish!), which monitors your electricity use and tells you how much you are spending, help with this.

5  Go solar – If you cannot get some on your roof be an ecogeek and get a backpack with one on or a stand-alone one like Solio, Powermonkey or Freeloader brands. Remember how amazed you were when you got your first solar powered calculator? Plus they are practical if you own any of the following and are ever out and about and your battery runs out: mobile phone, mp3 player or even kindle and laptop!

Heating

6  Insulate your insulation etc... –Call the Energy Saving Trust on 0800 512012 and get put through to your local centre and find out about any grants/ schemes that mean you would get free/ part paid for energy efficiency measures such as insulation etc.. Installing loft insulation is simple, stops heat escaping through your roof, saves energy and can help you reduce your energy bills, draft excluders don’t just look cute! Wall Cavity insulation will also save energy by stopping heat from escaping through the walls. Got a hot water tank? Make sure it has a jacket otherwise your bills are higher than they need to be. Keep your thermostat turned down by just a couple of degrees, save money- just put on an extra layer of clothing instead! This could cut your carbon emissions by over 5%. It will save energy and gives you the perfect excuse to put on those gorgeous, cosy, organic wool and vintage cashmere jumpers.

Waste

 

7  Start composting – Alot of local authorities now collect waste but instead of them getting paid for it why not use it on your own garden if you have one? You can get a subsidized compost bin via this site:

 

You can reduce the amount of waste going into your bin and being transported to landfill by composting your kitchen and garden waste and it will give a good supply of quality soil for your garden too. A compost bin will keep your compost tidy, easily accessible and smell and pest free. If you’re short of space, a wormery may be a better option as many will fit on a patio or balcony.

8  Recycle and Freecycle – Could 2012 be the year you do more to recycle than just putting paper, bottles and cans in your weekly doorstep collection? Check out the Freecycle network where you post your unwanted items to see if anyone else can make use of them or give someone else’s item a good home and reduce the amount of waste going to landfill. One man’s waste is another man’s treasure.

Around the house

 

9  Clean up your cleaning – Start the New Year by cleaning up the cupboard under the sink. Have a good look at the ingredients in your household cleaning products and replace anything containing petrochemicals or hazardous chemicals, which can leak into the environment and cause damage to humans, animals and the planet. Ecover, Bio-D and Natural House have a range of highly effective, eco-friendly alternatives.

Out and about

 

10  If you need to use a car, consider buying an electric or hybrid model to minimise your impact. Keep your tyres fully pumped and make sure there are no unnecessary items in your boot. You could also join or start a car pool at your workplace or join a larger scheme such as Whipcar. Aim to cycle, walk or take public transport on your daily commute, every day if you can but even once a week will make a big difference. As well as saving on petrol and cutting your carbon, you’ll get fresh air and exercise and will feel more alert and awake when you reach your destination.

Food

 

11  Eat and drink organic, local and seasonal – Start the New Year with seasonal food, its healthier and tastier too. Support local farmers, avoid pesticides and limit your food miles by also buying organic and local foods whenever possible. Your local farmers market is a great place to start and allows you to chat with the producers themselves as well. IF you are lucky enough to have a garden you can really minimise your food miles by resolving to grow your own organic fruit, vegetables and herbs this year. Its healthy, eliminates the need for packaging and you get to eat the tasty rewards. You can start off in an allotment, a patch of garden, a grow bag or even a container on your windowsill.

Treat yourself

 

12  Make up with Mother Nature – Our skin absorbs high quantities of what we put onto it and the chemical and synthetic ingredients used in many products can cause irritations. Start the New Year with a beauty regime of natural and organic skincare and cosmetics and give your skin a breath of fresh air. Not all New Year resolutions have to be hard work. Buying fair trade and organic clothing and accessories in 2012 will keep you looking super stylish, will protect the environment and farmers from pesticides and ensure that workers are paid a fair wage for the items they produce.

 

New year, new blog! SAVING MONEY

December 31, 2011
Hello,

Welcome to my blog. I will blog at least once a week on topic that relate to saving money, reducing carbon footprints and negative impacts on the environment plus reducing toxic chemicals in the home and generally in one's life!

This first post focuses on getting to grips with reducing one's costs. A few years ago if someone had told me that I could save hundreds of pounds a year, without some sort of decrease in my lifestyle I wouldn't have believed them. I mean isn't it the ultimate "s...
Continue reading...
 

The Resourceress- using things better


Alex Hartley Sustainablity loving gal who is aiming to make it eco-easier for herself and anyone else who fancies it! Specialisms in energy and transport issues: lover of beauty products that do no harm.