Resolve to make some changes in your life to go greener in 2008. Here are ten ideas for easy ways to reduce, reuse and recycle.
Waste Less Food. 2008 is the year to waste less food. 6.7 million tonnes of food wasted in the UK every year. Take care to only buy and cook as much food as you will eat, and learn how to use up leftovers to reduce food waste. Visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com to find out more about using up leftovers.
Can You Use Food Scraps? Some local councils are considering piloting schemes to collect food scraps. Until your council collects such waste you can compost every scrap of uneaten food using a Bokashi Bin. Even fish, meat and dairy which cannot go on your compost heap can be turned into useful compost for your garden.
Reduce Your Air Miles. Commit to reducing the amount you fly this year. One, two week holiday is better than two week long holidays which require twice as many flights. Choose to stay in the UK or visit our nearer European neighbours by boat or train.
Buy Fair Trade Food. Promise yourself that you will choose at least one fair-trade item every time you go shopping. Almost every supermarket stocks fair-trade items now, or better still support your local small grocer or health food shop where possible. Items such as fair-trade bananas, tea coffee, chocolate and biscuits are easiest to track down. You can also buy them online at Ethical Superstore
Grow Your Own. Grow something to eat this year. Find out how much better home grown food tastes compared with the fruit and vegetables you buy in the supermarket. Yes, even if you only have a windowsill and grow mustard and cress it still counts!
Say No To Plastic Bags. The momentum for plastic bags to be banned is growing, so add to that momentum by reusing your bags and carrying your own bag with you at all times. Easier for women who can stash a bag in our handbags. Guy can make a start by storing a bag in the car, their desk at work, their laptop case or a coat pocket.
Get Rid Of Junk Mail. Stop junk mail by contacting the Mailing Preference Service. Sending mail back marked 'Moved Away Please Return To Sender’ will work too. You can also stop that junk that the postman puts through your door by writing to Royal Mail Door to Door Opt Out, Kingsmead House, Oxpens Road, Oxford, OX1 1RX. Most importantly DO NOT RESPOND TO JUNK MAIL. If nobody bought anything from junk mail they would soon stop sending it out.
Install loft insulation. Not that glamorous, but you can cut up to 20 per cent off your energy bills.
Old Clothes Still Have A Use. If you have clothes that really are in too poorer condition to give to charity, reuse them as cleaning cloths. Not only are you wringing the last bit of use out of them, you can also save on disposable kitchen towels.
Put Your Mobile On A Diet. Most of us are guilty of putting our phone on to charge and forgetting about it, leaving them burning electricity long after they are fully recharged. Don’t put them on just as you go to bed, as your phone only needs about 3 hours charging. (Note: It may need a longer charge the first time you use it). Also you may actually reduce the life of the battery by overcharging it.