Monday, 22 June 2009

Recycle Week Day 1: Reduce and Recycle

There was no opportunity of me breaking my Recycle Week pledge. I didn't have time for any shopping, yay me. Downside being that our fridge is empty and we had a rather, well, strange dinner. Nevermind, I liked it anyway.

Back to the point. I challenged myself a bit further to find out how I can reduce my waste or recycle more. Any step I may take has to be simple and fit into the daily routine of a working parent household because time is limited. In a previous post I already mentioned that my local area, while providing blue recycling bins to households, is limited in what materials can be recycled through these bins.

A second look into my cupboard revealed that cereal boxes and plastic packaging which is not a milk/drink bottle are big bin fillers which cannot be put into our blue bin. I'm not even sure if say a shampoo bottle is meant to go into the blue bin or not, and it takes some effort to find out. Ideally, recycling bins should take any plastic packaging, but that's simply not the case where in my local area.

So I had a look at nearby recycling centres which would take those bulky items.

I'm not impressed. There are 3 in the whole of Glasgow, all of them at least 4 miles of a car drive away (no public transport). However, one is close to where I work, and I may be able to drop off stuff there during my lunch hour. It still involves car use though.

Secondly, I asked my colleagues to pledge for recycle week and that I would include their efforts on this blog. Not sure if the latter offer is alluring or counter productive, we'll see.

Here are 10 energy saving tips that we try to practice in our household:

1. switch off all appliances at the socket to save energy. We're in the habit of doing this every night.

2. switch off dishwasher (guilty as charged for using a dishwasher)/washing machine after use.

3. dry clothes in conservatory or in the garden instead of using a dryer. It works for our small family even in winter.

4. use the short cycle for general washing, which in our case is less than a quarter of the length of the full cycle.

5. take glass to bottle bank, collect empty jam jars for making jar or giving away to other jam makers through freecycle

6. freecycling stuff I don't need anymore, or selling it through ebay for a second life

7. frequenting charity shops and NCT nearly new sales to buy toys and clothes to reduce the amount of new stuff bought for baby, also sharing with friends, handing down, borrowing items. In fact, in Cubling's 2 years 3 months I've almost not had to buy any clothes for her.

8. energy saving light bulbs - well not in every room but getting there. Why don't they work with dimmers?

9. contributing to green office scheme and a cycling policy for the company I work for

10. Always consider walking/cycling/public transport for journeys and only use car when either isn't an option (which is a relative decision, so we do use the car quite a lot).

And as a bonus,
11. put lids on pots while cooking. This really saves energy.

What are your top tips for recycling, saving energy and generally reducing your carbon footprint?

photo credit: how can I recycle this


SandyCalico said...

Brilliant tips, I'm off to check out Freecycle after this comment!
I can only think of adding the following:
Use your local library and toy library.
Don't overfill your kettle.
Don't keep the computer on ALL DAY. Sorry, I've gone too far now! ;-)

amy said...

great tips! erm...make sure you drug your husband so he doesn't leave all the lights on,the playstaion, the computer (mine is the worst for that!).......the list is endless!

cartside said...

Hubby is great switching off appliances, though on the computer all day due to work. No drugging needed!

Funny the mention of a toy library, I actually spotted one close to work yesterday!

I sometimes wonder how much energy baby monitors use, say, in a year.

Hubby came across a blog where LED lights in place of Halogen spot lights were praised for energy efficiency.

Alex said...

Rejoice, for you can get dimmable energy efficient lightbulbs!

In a fit of tom and barbera-ness, I'll add a couple:

12) get a water butt because it makes it easier when watering your...

13) grow your own veg- gives the kids something to do that doesn't use leccy and is outdoors



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