The A - Z to Eco: E & F
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Date: 3 January, 2012

 

'As well as being economical with our own personal money, this is all about being economical with the earth’s finite resources.'

Working our way through from A to Z of the environment, Suzanne Elvidge continues the series with a look at E and F.

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E is for…

…economy. There is a perception that being green is difficult and expensive, but the good news is that it doesn't have to be - it's often just about being economical.

Be economical with electricity – don’t leave things on standby, but turn them off completely. This could save about £38 a year, as well as cutting enough power to allow decommissioning of an entire power station.

This could be as simple as using the power switch or may mean turning things off at the wall, or using something like a standby saver, which has the added benefit of keeping everything plugged into one socket.

Be economical with heat – turn the thermostat down. Heating costs increase by 8% for every additional degree.

Be economical with light – turn the lights off when you leave a room, and make the most of natural light.

Be economical with clothes – buy only what you need, and buy quality that will last, rather than end up in landfill.

Parents spend on average £1677 on children’s clothes, with more than half buying things that are never worn, according to a survey, and textile waste now makes up 30% of total landfill waste.

As well as being economical with our own personal money, this is all about being economical with the earth’s finite resources. In the economic downturn, surely the only sustainable long-term economic plan for us all is a green one.

F is for….

…Free. What's even better news? Some parts of being green actually come for free.

  • Free recycling – this is giving unwanted things away for free. The Freegle group is UK-based, and grew out of the US organisation Freecycle. Freegle exists simply to keep anything reusable out of landfill, but has the side effect of linking people into their communities, creating networks, and building new friendships (even sometimes reuniting old friendships) – see the site for some great stories. Find a free recycling group near you.

Read the first article in the series

Suzanne Elvidge is a freelance writer and the Surefish Ethical Living Editor

 

 


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