Eco Tips are a series of short articles published monthly. Each explains an environmental issue and provides advice on what we can do to reduce our impact on creation.  Each Eco Tip includes links to relevant information or suggestions for local service providers or suppliers.

 

 

Me and my carbon footprint: You may have heard of the term “carbon footprint” in discussions about climate change and the environment. But what does it mean for us?

We all have a “carbon footprint”, an estimate of the carbon dioxide released into the atmosphere as a result of our lifestyle choices. Carbon dioxide is a so called “greenhouse gas”, because it traps energy in the atmosphere, increasing temperatures.Everything we do in some way produces carbon dioxide…read full article

Reducing your carbon footprint – food: There is plenty of advice on reducing home energy use (and the resulting bills). One less obvious way of reducing our carbon footprint is to look carefully at the food we eat. Meat and dairy products use a lot of land and energy in their production….read full article

Shopping for presents? At this time of the year, many of us are looking for that special gift for friends and family. The obvious option is to visit local shops, town centre malls or increasingly to look on-line.

But there is an alternative which will save you money and may provide a unique gift… read full article

Lighting: There has been a revolution in lighting in recent years. The familiar orange Sodium street lights have gone, replaced by smaller, more efficient Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs). We are increasingly using these in our homes and anywhere we need light. But they cost more than traditional bulbs, so should we use them?… read full article

Plastic milk bottles: Are you thinking about ways to reduce your use of plastic containers in response to David Attenborough’s 2018 Blue Planet programmes? One product which generates vast numbers of single use plastic bottles is milk. But there is a simple option to help reduce use…read full article

Fighting fatbergs: The word “fatberg” was coined after the discovery of a 130 tonne blockage in the sewers of Whitechapel in 2017. They are caused by a build-up of wipes, fats, oils and grease in the sewers. Fatbergs have increased in frequency recently, causing around 300,000 sewer blockages each year, at a cost of around £100 million. In addition, they cause sewer flooding in thousands of homes and businesses…read full article

Let the train take the strain – cut your carbon footprint: At this time of the year, many of us are considering summer holidays. Cheap flights have transformed travel. Short breaks in Europe or holidays in the sun are increasingly popular and affordable. But the carbon dioxide emitted from flying can be a large part of an individual’s carbon footprint. So is there any alternative? …read full article

Gardeners – time to go peat free: As spring approaches, gardeners think about planting seeds and preparing their gardens. A supply of compost is essential, so we head to the garden centre. Although peat free compost is available, most of what is available contains peat. After more than twenty years of campaigning by environmental groups and gardeners like Monty Don, we still use huge amounts of peat in our gardens… read full article

Knit one, purl one and save the planet: If you like to knit or crochet, you probably have a selection of yarns made from a variety of fibres. It is worth pausing before purchasing yarn for that next project to consider its impact on our environment…read full article

A major report by the International Wool Textiles Organisation confirms that microfibres, tiny pieces of plastic shed from synthetic fibres, are ending up in our oceans and food chain. Between 20% and 35% of all microplastics in the marine environment come from synthetic clothing…read full article

Keep topped up and cut plastic bottle use: Many of us like to make sure we have plenty to drink when we are out and about. Picking up a bottle of mineral water from a shop along the way has become a routine for lots of us. The problem is, in the UK we use 35 million plastic bottles every day, most of which are immediately discarded.

But it doesn’t need to be like this. …read full article

Facemasks – a hidden problem: From 15 June 2020 it is mandatory to wear facial masks or coverings when using public transport in England. Many people are already using them in shops, or even when out walking or driving. It is inevitable we will see a massive increase in the use of PPE, or personal protective equipment.
According to an analysis by scientists at University College London, if every person in the UK used one single-use mask each day for a year, an extra 66,000 tonnes of contaminated plastic waste would be created and have ten times more climate change impact than using reusable masks …read full article

Choose song-bird safe olive oil: Do you use olive oil for cooking and in salad dressings? If so, you may be shocked to know modern harvesting practices are killing migratory birds. Portugal’s Institute for Nature Conservation and Forests has found millions of birds are killed each olive harvesting season in the Mediterranean basin...read full article

 Fit more active travel into your day: As the lockdown eases and we move back to travelling regularly for work or leisure purposes, it is worth considering what journeys can be made by walking or cycling. So called ‘Active Travel’ – the new phrase for walking and cycling – fulfils the twin objectives of improving health and well-being, while also reducing emissions which harm people’s health…read full article

Greening your Home this Autumn: With 40% of UK carbon dioxide emissions coming from household energy use, our homes have an important part to play in meeting our 2030 emissions reduction targets. As we move into winter and temperatures drop, you can help to tackle climate change and reduce your heating bill by testing how draughty or leaky your home is. Find the gaps…read full article

Act to cut medicine waste: Wasted or unused medicine is a serious and growing problem for both the NHS and the environment. And it is something you can help tackle.

It is estimated that as much as £300 million is wasted every year in the UK on unused or partially used medication which cannot be recycled or re-used….read full article