We do not intend to lecture you as some politicians and environmentalists are at present. Quite simply we aim to show you ways of being environmentally friendly in such a way that you can save money and/or improve your own life. We think that will appeal to you. Save yourself money and save the planet.
Reduce Reuse Recycle (in that order)
Recently recycling bins for drinks cartons have been installed in the car park at Waitrose Supermarket in Wymondham. These are the cardboard rectangular packs (often called Tetrapaks) used for milk, and many soft drinks. If you shop there please take your cartons along as for very little effort it will save yet more in the waste tips. Please tell your friends and spread the word not the rubbish.
Look for the blue figures to indicate savings to you.
A. AT HOME
For details of grants available click HERE. Up to 33% of heat is lost through the walls and another 33% through the roof. If you have not done so cavity wall insulation costs approx £260 and could save between £130 and £160/year.
Insulating your loft costs approx £230 but could save up to £220/year. Even if you have existing insulation it is worth increasing it to the recommended 170cm.
If you have an older house filling gaps in floorboards or skirting boards with flexible sealant can save 10% of your heating bills.If you have floorboards, fitting under floor insulation for around £100 can save up to £50/year.
2. Light bulbs.
For details of grants available click HERE. Generally for bulbs these are available to pensioners and/or those on benefits.
Fitting energy efficient light bulbs is one of the easiest ways of cutting your energy use. If every home replaced just 3 bulbs with energy efficient ones it would save enough energy to power all the country’s street lights. Lighting accounts for one third of the average households electricity bill and switching to low energy bulbs could save 20-25% of this. They last up to 12 times as long as ordinary bulbs and can save £100 over the bulbs lifetime.
3. Heating and Water settings.
Turning down thermostats by 1o (as advocated by President Jimmie Carter years ago) could save 10% of heating bills. Setting your water thermostat to 60o will save. If you have to add cold water you are wasting energy and money.
4. TV sets and other electrical equipment on standby.
If you do this instead of turning the item off (not a hard job) it will save £37/year (or the output of 2 power stations if we all do it). That could save you enough to pay for a month or two of Sky Movie channel.
5. Household appliances (see the label)
UK households spend £1.5 billion on electricity for cooling and freezing. Energy saving fridge freezers use two thirds less energy saving you £45/year. Look for the label (A is best) showing the energy saving trust recommendation. Boilers produce 60% of our carbon dioxide emissions.
A high efficiency condensing boiler with heating controls (mentioned earlier) could save you up to £190 to £240/year and save major amounts of emissions.
6. Double glazing
This can save up to £100/year although obviously the installation cost is high. However, it will make your home more comfortable and save carbon dioxide emissions. Even closing your curtains at dusk will make the house more comfortable and save emissions.
1. Food miles
This is an emotive subject but the general principle is that a food mile measures the distance travelled by a product from the farm to the processor, to the wholesaler and to the shop. If it has come from thousands of miles away it costs the environment far more. Why not try to eat in season – this saves food miles as the food will more than likely be produced in the UK, it will save jobs here (we do after all live in a rural area), and it is enjoyable to look forward to the next food to come into season. Do you need those strawberries or beans flown into the country out of season.
A recent Defra report estimates the cost of food miles as £9billion per year, half of which is in congestion on the roads. It is estimated that the average UK adult travels 135 miles /year by car to buy food. Using local shops, or a supermarket which is nearer to home, or buying larger amounts of long life products could save you fuel and time. Why not use Wymondham Farmers Market and support your local community. It is there on the 3rd Saturday morning of each month, saves food miles and is only 3 miles away. For more information click HERE. They feature a full range of produce. Meat, veg, cakes, eggs, fudge, fish, goat products and seasonal specials as well as crafts.
For more information on local recycling matters you can click HERE. Look on the right side of the page for a link to a full edition.
Rather than simply repeat all the information here you can click on THIS LINK HERE which will take you directly to the South Norfolk Council site with practical details of what to do. Just have a look.
The best way of recycling is to re-use something.
1. Have you heard about Freecycle which is a website run for the people of Norfolk. Basically anyone can join (for free) and then receive or give item for FREE. If you have an unwanted item you can offer it via e mail on the site. Users of the site can e mail you to request it and then arrange collection. A great way to clear out your house without filling up the dump. However, you are also able to request items offered on the site or ask if anyone has an item. You may be able to find what you want for FREE. For details log onto FREECYCLE by clicking HERE.
2. Charity Shops. Consider taking items to the Charity shops rather than throwing them away. It could save waste, help the charity and enable someone to buy an item that they may not otherwise afford. Association of Charity Shops www.charityshops.org.uk or just look around Wymondham
3. Furniture Recycling. Unwanted furniture can be donated to organisations to be re-used by those in need. Contact the Furniture Recycling Network for details www.frn.org.uk or call 0117 954 4470. A lot better than having your house (or garage) full of unwanted items or worse still throwing it onto the dump.
4. Fly tipping. If you see that someone has ignored the usual ways of recycling or dealing with rubbish and is fly-tipping you can contact the District Council to report it :-
South Norfolk Council
South Norfolk House
Norwich NR15 2XE
5. Composting. If you make compost from your garden waste and vegetable peelings etc you will save the council (your money!) paying to dispose of it. The brown bins are not cheap and it is so simple to compost that you could save £40/year i.e. the cost of the bin. You do NOT need a lot of space.Norfolk County Council and South Norfolk District Council offer plastic composting bins at reduced prices. These are subsidised and currently run between £8.00 and £20.00 depending on size. So you could buy a compost bin and save at least £20 in the first year. You would also get free compost to use in your garden.
Go to recycle now or phone 0845 077 0757
The following links will help if you are not sure how to make compost.