Here are a few easy eco tips, to help you and your family live a greener life.
1 Instead of buying more toys/books for your kids, get a toy/book group going with a group of friends, where you each swop a nominated number of toys/books each month so that your kids actually get to try out different things. This is great because it will save you money, save on excess packaging and over production.
2 Borrow books from your local library where possible so saving money and excess packaging/production. Some areas have toy libraries too – try contacting your local library or children’s centre to see if there is one in your area.
3 Start composting – your local council may offer free or heavily subsidised compost bins. It’s an easy way to use up kitchen waste and grass clippings, plus it’s good for your garden too.
4 Start using Freecycle. It lets you swap unwanted goods with your local community, to help cut down on waste. Check it out here http://www.freecycle.org/.
5 Donate to and buy from charity shops. Goods get reused and the charity benefits too.
6 Switch to low energy bulbs. Quality is much better now than a few years ago and costs to purchase have fallen dramatically plus you’ll save money on electricity.
7 When shopping for fresh food, shop locally, it helps support the local farmers and businesses and saves on the petrol. Also try and buy food in season.
8 Use dish cloths instead of disposable kitchen towel. If you choose cotton cloths, ideally opt for organic cotton – or recycle old towels/sheets for a more budget-friendly alternative. Read via the Friends of the Earth Website.
9 On a regular basis give the back of your fridge a good clean out, either with a hoover or duster. Just by keeping this dust free you can save up to 30% on your electric bill. Also make sure you defrost it regularly as well.
10 Buy a water butt or two from your local garden centre and install them in your garden to collect rainwater, to help you through the summer months. You can use it for watering indoor and outdoor plants, washing cars etc.
11 Broken shoelaces? Slightly worn? Use them for tying up plants or thread it through the hanging holes in your small garden tools to keep them together. Read via Maddy at Ooffoo.
12 Can not afford to go on holiday but need a break away from your old routine. Why not check out the sites that offer house swops for a week or two. If you live in town you may find somebody who lives in the country that would like to swop. Or if you know somebody is going away, offer to housesit for them, people with pets will appreciate this.
13 When washing your vegetables, use a bowl of water, then when you are finished use that water for watering your plants. Read via the Friends of the Earth website.
14 When brushing your teeth, do not let the water run the whole time. Either use a glass of water for rinsing or turn on the tap for short bursts.
15 Use grass cuttings as a mulch around shrubs and trees in the garden to help them conserve water – and to stop weeds growing. Read via the Friends of the Earth website.
16 Insulate your water heater and pipes, to help save valuable energy and keep your bills lower.
17 Switch off all appliances at the mains, do not leave on standby as this costs as much as when they are in use.
18 When I was little we always had to cut off the stamps from any letters we received and we used to always take them to school to give to charity. With sending letters now a dying trait, I was pleasantly surprised to hear that you can still recycle your old stamps at Oxfam shops, so am off to start collecting the stamps again.
19 Help save on your heating bills and put reflector paper down the back of your radiators, if you want you can make your own panels with tinfoil on cardboard, stuck to the wall behind the radiator.
20 Car needs a wash, get a bucket and sponge out and do it yourself, save yourself some money and better for the environment. Remember and use eco-friendly detergent when washing the dirt away.
21 Reuse your old glass jars or bottles, wash them out and reuse as containers for keeping food in.
22 Glass baby bottles may be good for the sustainability of the environment however they are not that good for babies, especially concerning mums who express their breast milk. The fats in breast milk tend to cling to the glass, meaning that if a baby only feeds from glass bottles and are not yet on solids, they are likely to become undernourished and not get the calories they need to grow properly. I would therefore suggest the use of BPA free plastic bottles, with most manufacturers now producing these or as you say breastfeed! Sent by Rebekah G.
23 If you have a real Christmas tree, don’t throw it away! Either shred or compost it for your own garden, or contact your local authority to find out what services they’re offering for recycling trees. Read via the Friends of the Earth website.