TOP TEN TIPS FOR GREEN LIVING
- Find out if there are any grants available in your area for improving your home energy efficiency. Call the Energy Savings Trust hotline on 0800 512 012 or see www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/proxy/view/full/165/homeenergycheck
- Use greener, low-phosphate products to clean your body, your home and your clothes, to reduce pollution in waterways and help aquatic life. Examples include Ecover, Tesco’s "Naturally" range, Sainsbury’s "Cleanhome" range, Faith in Nature’s "Clear Spring" range, or the Bio-D range available from many Oxfam shops.
- See if anyone in your area makes similar car journeys on www.liftshare.com and consider car-sharing with them, to help save money and reduce the number of cars on the roads.
- Grow your own veg - it means less packaging, fewer chemicals, fewer food miles, less money spent and more of your five a day! Don't forget to compost any peelings afterwards. Some councils sell heavily discounted home composters to help people reduce the amount of waste sent to landfill.
- Make a list of all the places in Britain you'd like to explore or re-visit and tick them off instead of taking a flight to somewhere exotic - Britain has just as much to offer, such as beautiful scenery, fantastic wildlife and great local food. Consider camping for extra "green cred" - its romantic and lots of fun for kids (and adults!). See www.visitbritain.com and www.ukcampsite.co.uk If you'd like to visit a working British wind farm as part of your trip, they are all mapped on www.bwea.com/ukwed
- Choose products which have less packaging and use a re-usable shopping bag rather than accepting plastic carrier bags. "Consumer power" works!
- Consider fitting Thermostatic Radiator Valves to all your radiators - they can help to make your home heating system more efficient. Draught-sealing doors and windows is also very effective.
- Consider investing in an energy meter, such as Wattson, Efergy, Eco-eye or the Owl (all compared here www.electricity-monitor.com/energy-monitor-comparison-chart-i-26.html). This will help your family to see a real difference by turning off unwanted electrical appliances.
- Buy British food in season. Out of season or imported food may have been picked long ago, and lost some of its nutrients. Buying British supports the rural economy and ensures that your diet is constantly changing in tune with the seasons, which will help you to get all the essential nutrients your body needs. See www.bbc.co.uk/food/in_season/ to find out what's at its best right now.