|Everyday changes we can make now … for a better future
| Join Friends of the Earth
|Friends of the Earth is a respected non-government organisation (NGO) and is the only local-global environmental campaign group. Join or make a donation to National Friends of the Earth, or come along to a local meeting.
- Recycle everything you can – if your council collects recyclable material make use of this service. Anything else recyclable can go to a recycling centre
- If you have a green bin use it
- Buy refillable, reusable, repairable and reused products eg. shopping bags, printer or toner cartridges, cleaning liquids (See Plastic-free shopping for places in Leighton Buzzard where you can use your own containers, or buy refills)
- Use durable items where you can, not wasteful disposable items eg. razors, cameras
- Buy from and give items to charity. Most charity shops welcome donations that are in good condition which can be sold on (ie. clothes/books/CD’s/DVD’s/Tapes/non-electrical kitchen items/toys/jewellery)
- Buy recycled paper products for use in the office & home
- Don’t drive if it is avoidable – take a train or bus. By leaving the car behind just one day a week, we could cut congestion by 20%
- Walk or ride a bike if you can – enjoy your parks and avoid main roads. It’s good for you & good for the environment!
- Report water pollution to the Environment Agency, car dumping and fly tipping to the Council
- Speak up! Write objections, go to public meetings to save green spaces and old buildings and ask for better public transport and cycle paths.
- Cut down on over-packaged products. Take your own carrier bags, long-life bags or boxes with you and refuse carrier bags at tills – ask the shop assistant not to wrap things up when they’re already packed.
- Buy Fair Trade, organic and locally produced food, and support local shops and markets
- Cut down on meat and fish (many welfare/environmental/health issues)
- Buy products which have as few as possible food additives and cut down processed food
- Avoid hydrogenated vegetable oil (trans-fats), salt, and foods with long lists of chemicals
- Get together with a friend or neighbour to share the delivery charge from a supermarket
- Buy cruelty-free cosmetics and shampoos etc
- Don’t buy clothes that need dry-cleaning – it’s a polluting process!
- If buying wood, furniture, or doors, please shop around carefully to avoid rainforest timber. Much is illegally logged. Look for the Forest Stewardship Council’s FSC logo on wood and paper products
| In the Garden
- Don’t use chemicals in your garden, or slug pellets (which kill birds). Leave an area for wildlife, and plant wildflowers attractive to bees and butterflies. Start a pond. Use hoses sparingly and never a sprinkler!
- Get a water-butt (perhaps cheap from your council) – use for the garden and washing car
- Grow your own vegetables if you can – it’s very rewarding & they taste much better!
- Make your own compost – if you buy, get peat-free (list of local suppliers here) as a lot of carbon dioxide is released from peat bogs when they are drained to produce the peat used in ordinary multipurpose compost.
- Join a gardening club or allotment where you can share plants and advice, and buy cheap seeds
- Plant a native tree (perhaps a fruit or nut); if you have a big tree put up a bird-box (high as you can, facing north)
| In the Home
- Use eco-friendly cleaners. Please don’t put bleach down your sink or toilet, or any solid items at all. These enter rivers and kill fish – sewage works can’t cope with everything
- Switch to an electricity supplier using renewable sources
- Don’t have water that burns you! Turn the heating down a little and use a timer; lag water tanks; insulate loft; use radiator foil; draft-strip doors & windows. Buy low-energy light-bulbs for the rooms you use most – they last 8 times longer and save you money
- Turn off lights, appliances and machines when not in use. Turn off computer when not using, and at night turn off TV, video and music equipment – do not leave on standby
- Dry clothes in the sunshine and wind when you can – it’s free!
- Get a water meter – it saves money (unless you have a houseful of kids!) Use bathwater for house plants
- If buying a fridge/freezer or other white goods, look for the most energy efficient (A)
- Buy a charger and use rechargeable batteries
- Don’t buy vinyl flooring (polluting process, bad for health in house) http://www.healthyflooring.org/
- Avoid oil-based paints – try environment-friendly. Never pour oil, paint, white spirit or oil-based solvents down the drain. Take used oil to container at council tip or a garage