Eco Church – archive

Eco ideas and news items published in previous months can be found below:-

  • Ideas you could try in August 2018

…not all at once but perhaps pick one or two ideas and try them out during August and they might become new habits or spark your interest in a particular area….

Travel

How do you travel to and from church… if you left earlier could you consider walking to church? 

Are you aware there are cycle rings installed at church.  Now you have somewhere safe to store your bike when you cycle to church!

Use water wisely

Fix those dripping taps to save water and money.

Consider fitting a water meter.  

Do you have a Hippo  fitted in your toilet cisterns throughout your house?  They could save you water with every flush.

Holiday Highlights

If you are going out for a day to the beach, why not take a bag in your pocket and pick up any litter you see to stop it ending up in the sea.  Remember only leave footprints in the sand!

Consider using public transport for your day out or holiday journey.  This will help you reduce your carbon emissions and travelling by train or ferry can be part of the adventure!

If you are planning to fly for your holiday you can offset the carbon you generate from your flight.  Check out Climate Stewards.

Holiday waste.  When you are away try and take as much care to save energy, recycle and prevent food waste as you would at home.

  • Ideas you could try this Autumn

…not all at once but perhaps pick one or two ideas and try them out this Autumn and they might become new habits or spark your interest in a particular area….

  Harvest and a time to consider reducing food waste

Consider writing a weekly menu plan and then plan your shopping list based on this menu plan.  It will encourage you to buy items you need for the week therefore avoiding over purchasing and wasting food … ideas!

 Have you prepared too much food, or your family not feeling as hungry as normal?  Consider freezing your left overs in individual portion sizes.  Then, occasionally, have a menu day of left-over meals form the freezer … minimal preparation and food and money saved!

Compost your (uncooked) food waste such as peelings, apple cores, broccoli storks, or invest in a wormery to make fertiliser from your waste. Wormery ideas!

Cook only the amount of food you will need for each meal time, portion control during preparation by weighing portions of rice, pasta etc.

From April 2019 Wokingham Borough Council are planning to collect food waste from the curb side.

  As the clock’s change and the darker nights are on us, is it time to consider the lighting in your   home?

Light Bulbs! If an average household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs it would cost about £100 and save about £35 a year on bills. How?

Use natural light when you can to save energy.

Turn lights off when they are not needed. Try lights set on manual timers or there are bulbs, plugs and apps that you can link to your mobile phone to be able to switch lights off or on in your home from your phone.  You don’t need to leave a light on all night if you go out, you can switch the front door light on as your leave to return home!

If you have lights in your garden use solar powered lights that charge during the day and don’t require electricity. Wrap up warm this Autumn and get ready for the winter evenings.   Now the nights get darker earlier, close your curtains to prevent the heat escaping through the windows, and make it feel cosier!   Bring back the dog!? The draught excluding “sausage dog” for the door! Now you can get cats, owls, rabbits, and hedgehogs to name but a few “friends” to prevent draughts from leaking in under doors! Professional draught exclusion for windows, doors floors and skirting boards can cost around £200 for an average house.  DIY draught proofing can be less.  Another alternative, especially on a draughty front door is to install some heavy curtains.    Insulation is also ecological.  Hot water tank insulation and hot water pipe insulation will save money on your water heating bills and help to reduce your carbon emissions.  Insulating your loft will help you save money too!  More insulation ideas!    Preparing for Christmas often means clearing out and tidying up.  Remember this is a good opportunity to improve your recycling efforts.   Why not set yourself up a simple recycling system in your home.  Have a waste bin, a bin for kerbside recycling, a compost bucket and a container for other recyclables.   In Wokingham Borough Council kerbside recycling will take:

  • Aerosols
  • All food tins and drinks cans
  • Paper and card including window envelopes – shredded paper should be put in envelopes or cardboard boxes
  • Plastic bottles without lids
  • Broken down cardboard which must fit in the box or be in box size bundles placed to side of box
  • Tubs (Ice cream and margarine)
  • Clear plastic food trays (e.g. cakes, meat or punnet containers)
  • Cosmetic pots and tubs (made with flexible plastic)
  • Cartons or tetrapaks (milk, soup or juice) – all without lids
  • Clean foil and foil trays

For more details click here!     Be pedantic about your recycling – think about every item and whether it / or part of it could be recycled. Tubes from wrapping paper, toilet rolls, kitchen rolls, used envelopes, junk mail, etc.   For other items of recycling check out our recycling guide.   Recycle @ St James Church Recycle your good quality used: Clean adults and children’s clothing, soft toys, paired shoes, belts, handbag, scarves and ties, hats, bedding, lingerie, and socks using the “Bag to School” and return your bags to Church on Sunday 25th November. For more details pick up a bag and leaflet from the Church lounge.  

  • Carbon Footprint

Ideas you could think about this New Year 2019:

The New Year 2019 gives us all an opportunity to think of the New Year as a fresh start, open book, fresh page, like found in our church prayer corner:

It’s a new page we can write together on our eco journey. But where to begin?

You might like to contemplate your personal eco audit. The Church completed the eco church audit, on a personal level your audit could be under taken by completing your “carbon footprint.” Your “carbon footprint” is the amount of carbon dioxide resulting from various activities, to see where your eco journey might be. If you search on the internet there are lots of sites that can help you calculate your carbon footprint try:

WWF (link: https://footprint.wwf.org.uk/)

Carbon Footprint ™  (link:  https://www.carbonfootprint.com/calculator.aspx  )   

Climate Stewards Foot Print Me: (link: https://www.climatestewards.org )

The results of your “carbon footprint” will identify where you might be on your eco journey. You can see whether you are above or below the “average” on your carbon emissions and give you areas you might want to consider off setting or reducing you emissions.

Throughout 2019 we will think about ideas you might consider to reduce your carbon footprint.

Tips for reducing your carbon footprint in the Kitchen:

* Never put warm or hot food into the fridge or freezer as this will make the fridge / freezer work extra hard to try and keep it cold; always allow food to cool down first.

* Do not wash up under a running tap. Using a bowl for washing up can save up to £25.00 a year in energy bills. For more information click here! (link: http://www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/home-energy-efficiency/energy-saving-quick-wins)

* When making a hot drink, only boil the amount of water that you need. Don’t waste electricity (and money) heating water you won’t use.

* Reduce your use of aluminium foil for cooking wherever possible; use a container with a lid that can be reused. Aluminium is a rare metal and its extraction and purification uses a lot of energy. Remember clean used aluminium can be recycled.

* Consider eating less meat, production of red meat uses more carbon dioxide than white meat or vegetables. There are lots of ideas in this area including:

Choosing vegetarian or vegan meals.

Reduction the amount of meat consumed each meal.

# Meat free Monday (link: https://www.meatfreemondays.com/   )

Veganuary (lots of information on the web)

Providing your protein source from alternatives to meat: beans, pulses, nuts, seeds such as “quorn” bolognaise, or a bean chilli instead of beef chilli.

Ideas you could think about in February 2019:

Home Energy:

Tips on saving energy:

  • Reduce draughts
  • Are you hot water pipes and heating pipes insulated?
  • Install a thermostat so that you can control the temperature in your home.

Get to grips with your energy bill.  They can be very confusing to understand, understanding your energy bill can help you understand your energy use. This link links to a helpful video.

One way you can save money on your energy bill is by switching your energy supplier.  If you decide to switch your energy supplier to save you money at the same time consider purchasing renewable electricity rather than electricity made by burning fossil fuels.

You could use the Green Journey price comparison site (others are available on the internet). 

Renewable Energy:

What is it? Renewable energy is energy that is collected from a renewable resource, these resources are replenished on a human timescale – sunlight, wind, rain, tide and wave.

Why use renewable energy? It reduces the need for energy generation from burning fossil fuels which are linked to the production of carbon dioxide.  Fossil fuels are a finite resource and will run out. 

The Church purchases its energy from renewable sources. 

For more information on renewable energy look at the Church of England’s website click here!

Take Control of your heating.

Turning down your thermostat by 1 can save approximately £80 (depending on the size of the house.) Jumpers are in, in 2019!

Whatever the make and age of your boiler the right controls will allow you to:

  • Set your heating and hot water to come on and off when you want it
  • Heat only the areas of your home that you need
  • Set the temperature for areas of your home (using thermostatic radiator valves.

Previous Eco News items, now deleted, can be found here.