Properly recycling your regular household waste can have a large positive impact on your environmental footprint. In addition, many household items and appliances can be upcycled, donated, or recycled as opposed to sending them to a landfill. Larger items can be taken to a dedicated recycling centre, and there are also services available to collect these items from you to be taken to a recycling centre if you do not have the means to transport them yourself.
As well as reducing waste, you can also have a positive impact on the wider community during these difficult times by donating any unwanted food to a local food bank. Unwanted clothes can also be donated to local clothing banks, ensuring that perfectly good clothes are not wasted, and helping those in need.
These services can all be found via the following links:
The single most cost-effective measure that you can take to reduce your energy usage, bills, and carbon footprint, is to replace older standard or halogen lightbulbs with newer LED bulbs. These come in a range of colour warmth and use only 20% as much energy for the same level of brightness (in lumens).
Ask your energy supplier if they can provide a smart meter. Smart meters display your energy usage and carbon emissions in real-time, allowing you to determine which appliances are costing you the most money and to make savings more effectively. In addition, you can manage your energy bills/tariffs as well as manage prepaid energy meter balances with some energy suppliers.
Set your thermostat to activate the heating system only when required and avoid using an excessive heat setting which inefficiently uses energy and leads to overheating. 18oC should be a comfortable central heating temperature for most people.
Ensure to switch all non-essential appliances off at the wall when not in use. TVs in ‘standby’ mode still use a small amount of energy which can really add up.
Ensure that appliances are being used efficiently. For example, if using a washing machine or tumble dryer, ensure that you are filling them up as much as possible for each use. Kettles are a very energy-intensive appliance; a good method to reduce the amount of time required for a kettle to heat your water is to ensure that you only heat the water that you need at any given time, rather than heating up a full kettle.
Draught excluders are very cost-efficient at reducing heat loss within the home and ensuring that you do not need to use excess energy to keep your home at a comfortable temperature. These can be placed both underneath external doors and internal doors. Draft sealants are also available for windows and smaller crevices.
Closing curtains and blinds in the evenings when external temperatures begin to fall can help exclude draughts and allow your property to retain more heat.
Public transport is becoming more frequent, reliable, and comfortable with each passing year. There are now a many of bus services travelling to all corners of the Wirral area and, in addition, Merseyrail will soon be rolling out a brand-new fleet of trains to reduce travel times and increase capacity, reliability, and comfort. Not only is public transport cheaper than owning a car, but they are also far more eco-friendly. Switching to public transport from an older vehicle is one of the largest contributions you can personally make to reduce your carbon footprint.
The following link will provide a list of all available methods of public transport around the Wirral area, including trains, busses, and ferries:
Your choice of food can have a large impact on your carbon footprint. Did you know that beef requires 28x the land and 11x the water resources per kg than pork or chicken and produces 26.5kg of C02 equivalent emissions per kg (five times as much as chicken!). There is not only an ecological benefit to choosing chicken over beef; your wallet will thank you too!
Locally sourced foods are a great way to reduce your carbon footprint, as foods imported from abroad are responsible for a much greater amount of CO2 due to the carbon emissions involved in their transportation to your supermarket.
Community supermarkets are a great way to save money and help in the fight against food waste! Community supermarkets perform a vital role in supporting people, who may be in difficult circumstances, to access a wide range of essential items at an affordable price. At Magenta Living we are proud to support the work of 3 such supermarkets by providing space in our community properties for them to operate in addition to donating seed funding to get them established.
The supermarkets are:
Although the focus of their work is to help combat food poverty the supermarkets also perform a crucial role in diverting food waste from landfill. Much of the food donated to the supermarkets either has; short date, damaged/misprinted packaging, or are discontinued promotions all of which means it would routinely be disposed of. The amount of food waste diverted since April has been significantly higher due to increased donations received from high street food retailers. Supermarkets collectively estimate that approximately 130 tonnes of food waste has been diverted from landfill in the past 8 months.