Green ECO tips


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One cup of tea?
Only boil as much water as you need (as long as you cover the element in an electric kettle).

Wash-day -
Hang your washing on a line outside to dry. Let the sun and wind do the job instead of your tumbledryer.

Get on a bike!
Get a bike and practice at weekends or in the park before using it for work. Don’t forget a helmet and lock!

Say NO to plastic bags!
In Britain, we use eight billion plastic bags each year: more than 300 for every household. To help reduce this, when you’re out shopping, take your own cloth or string bag with you, or use ‘bags for life’. Make sure you reuse any plastic bags that you do accumulate, or recycle them at the supermarket.

Keep good stuff out of landfills – Freecycle it!
If you want to give something away or find something for free, look at the Freecycle website to find out what’s available near you. Freecycle is a web-based recycling service. Everything posted must be free and items range from plant pots to pianos. (A friend has acquired an excellent camera and some CD shelves from Freecycle – for nothing!)

Now that the nights are drawing in, close the curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through windows.

Cotton-on to Organic!
Did you know cotton cultivation accounts for around 10% of all pesticides and 20% of all insecticides used in agriculture? Look out for clothing made from organic cotton that is grown without pesticides.

Mains vs. Batteries
Use mains electricity rather than batteries whenever possible. If you do need batteries, choose re-chargeable ones.

Fill it up
When using the washing-machine or dishwasher, make sure you always have a full load, and wash at the lowest temperature possible.

Green Food Choices
Reduce food miles by buying locally grown, seasonal produce where possible. When you need to buy food flown in from overseas, look first for Fair Trade products (eg tea, coffee, bananas, pineapples, sugar, cocoa, orange juice etc…..and you don’t have to look further than St James’ Church, as we can order most of these for you!)

Fix that Leak!
Fix leaking taps – one tap dripping at one drop per second will waste 1200 litres of water per year!

Take a shower instead of a bath
It will save water and up to £10 per year on your fuel bill. (Although a power shower won’t save anything.)

Drive Sensibly
When driving your car, reduce pollution by reducing your speed – driving at 70mph uses 30% more fuel than driving at 40-55mph. Incorrect tyre pressure can increase fuel consumption too. Accelerating and braking gradually, rather than sharply, can reduce fuel use by 25%.

Lights Out
Turn the lights out every time you leave a room. A fluorescent lightbulb left on for 15 minutes uses 500 times more energy than if temporarily switched off.

Energy-saving bulbs last 10 times longer than conventional ones and use 75% less electricity. They are more expensive initially, so concentrate on those rooms that are most in use, like kitchen or living-room – that will give you the greatest savings.

A toaster rather than a grill uses less energy.

Indoor jungle
Have more house-plants – they can remove up to 87% of indoor pollution. (Spider plants are particularly effective.)

Don’t let rainwater go down the drain – install a waterbutt. You can use the collected water for the garden and indoor plants and for washing the car.

Recycle your mobile phone
If you have a new mobile phone, please don’t throw your old one away! It can be recycled to benefit a charity. On the Eco-group noticeboard (located in the passageway to the church hall, to the left of the doors), you will find a selection of freepost envelopes for recycling phones, representing various charities such as Water Aid, National Trust, Amnesty International & WSPA - if you can use one, please help yourself!

Make your own lunch instead of buying from a sandwich shop. It saves on packaging and could also save you several hundred pounds per year!

When you’re cleaning your teeth, don’t leave the tap running! Using a glass of water for rinsing, or short bursts from the tap, can save 3-4 litres of water.

Carbon Offsetting
With the holiday season fast approaching, you may be thinking of flying to your destination. If so, you can reduce and offset your carbon emissions through Climate Stewards (, run by the international Christian nature conservation organisation A Rocha. Climate Stewards is developing projects that will help the climate, people and wildlife. Currently in Ghana, they are planting a range of indigenous species of trees to absorb CO2 back out of the atmosphere. Other projects involving renewable energy are planned. (The projects are verified to the Climate Community & Biodiversity Alliance standards.)

Some environmentalists are critical of offsetting but Climate Stewards supports such projects because it feels that offsetting can demonstrate real concern about climate change and reduce its impact on millions of vulnerable people. It’s also a practical way of getting people started on planning to reduce their CO2 emissions.

(By the way, in approximately 10 days, the average UK citizen will have emitted as much CO2 as the average citizen of Ghana would emit in a whole year - World Development Movement figures.)