Top tips for a greener Christmas this year
Are you dreaming of a green Christmas where is it possible to reduce your waste without cutting down on fun and having a cosy time without adding to the global carbon footprint?
Energy expert Ron Fox believes householders can have an environmentally friendly and warm yuletide and not having to play Scrooge with the gas and electricity controls.
He suggests residents should take the following ten cheap and easy steps:
- Don’t bark up the wrong tree: According to the Carbon Trust festive fir trees have half the carbon footprint of a 6ft plastic tree which ends up in landfill. “You would need to reuse an artificial tree for ten years to have a lower environmental impact than buying a real tree each year,” said Ron Fox, of Noreus Ltd on the University of Keele Science Innovation Park (www.noreus.co.uk). “But by far the best option is a potted tree which can be replanted in the New Year and reused year after year.”
- Light up responsibly: Use LED bulbs on your tree, which are more efficient than incandescent bulbs, last longer and can provide a cleaner and more natural looking light.
- Play your cards well: More than a billion greetings cards are sold each year in the UK. Ron said E-greetings are better, but for those who want to send best wishes through the post he suggests charity ones or those with the FSC tick-tree logo which guarantees the wood or paper it contains is not the result of illegal logging or damaging forestry practices. FSC UK is a registered charity dedicated to protecting the world’s forests. When finished recycle all cards to cut down on waste going to landfill sites.
- Package deal: Lots of wrapping paper contains plastic or glitter that can’t be recycled. If the paper holds its shape when it is crumpled up, it is recyclable. If it springs back, it is not.
- 5 Avoid tinsel town: Many festive decorations are made from plastic – make your own using garden foliage.
- Get in a stew: It is a great time for casseroles and stews. Not only do they provide a hot meal the cooking heat also warms up the home.
- Once the sun sets close your curtains to stop the heat escaping through the windows at night. When the sun rises open the curtains and allow the free heat from the sun to warm up your home during the day.
- Inefficient radiators warm up your home slowly and are expensive to run. Bleed them with a radiator key to ensure there’s no trapped air in the system. Also put a reflector sheet behind your radiators as they reflect the heat back into the room and stop it going out through the walls.
- To keep the heat in your home cut out the gusts and breezes with draught excluders on all your main room doors.
- Instead of hot water bottles use microwaveable heat pads and packs as the microwave will use less electricity, there’s no wasted water and the pads are made of eco-friendly materials like rice and wheat instead of rubber.
“If you want any advice contact me on 0845 474 6641 or go to www.noreus.co.uk – but in the meantime have a green and cosy Christmas,” said Ron.