Thursday, 17 July 2014

Recycling Information Sheet

Our PDF document on recycling has been updated and offers a great way to quickly find out more about recycling different materials.  If you are looking for this kind of information for an event we are happy for you to make use of this in electronic or printed format. 

Other PDFs on energy saving, renewable energy and energy saving grants can be found here.

Autumn Energy/Green Events

If you are planning ahead to the autumn already, take a look at our energy saving events page which has been updated with upcoming energy and green living-related events.  Whether you want to join in a national event or visit a trade exhibition, there is something for you.

Friday, 11 July 2014

New Research Concludes that Organic Food Really is Better For You

A new paper due to be published next week in the British Journal of Nutrition concludes that, as many have long argued, organic produce is nutritionally better for us than non-organic.  The study was led by Newcastle University and has found that organic crops are up to 60% higher in certain key anti-oxidants than non-organic produce.  There are also a series of other benefits, and the study can ultimately draw the conclusion that farming methods do indeed affect the quality of produce. 

Find out more about the highlights of the report on the Soil Association website.  The paper will be published on the 15th July. 

Monday, 7 July 2014

Energy Watch - Organix

This month's Energy Watch page features Organix, the well-known organic baby & children's food company.  Have a read and find out more about their values and product range.

Tuesday, 24 June 2014

Eco-Friendly Home Improvement Tips on a Budget

Homeowners have a lot to take into consideration as they live their lives inside of those walls. While your home might be sturdy and aesthetically pleasing, it might also be a money pit. Lost energy, leaking water, poor insulation and other factors could all be contributing to a home that’s an energy hog. Creating an eco-friendly property is the goal of many homeowners, not only for the planet but also for a budget. It’s simply cheaper to live an eco-friendly lifestyle.

If you want to make eco-friendly home upgrades, you should know that you won’t need to break the bank to do so. There are many ways to go a lot greener without your wallet becoming leaner.
Ways to Improve Your Home to Help the Environment – And Your Wallet

Perform an Energy Audit
Anything containing the word “audit” might be a bit scary and remind you of the taxman, but performing an energy audit is the only way to correctly find out what your home needs and where it needs it. Unfortunately, creating an eco-friendly home isn’t as simple as switching your refrigerator and pledging to only shower every other day. You need to know how your home operates, including:
·         How much air escapes the home
·         How much water escapes the pipes
·         How well your HVAC system operates
·         How well your windows actually work
·         How much energy you’re wasting
·         How many weak spots and strong points you possess

Some of this you can do on your own, but when you get into more complex areas, like with your HVAC and water, you may need professional assistance. Though before you can begin to make any sort of eco-friendly upgrades, you must find out where the changes are required.
Invest in Leak Detection

The smallest leaks in the home—leaks that you cannot physically see with the naked eye—can add up to many litres of water lost every single day. Not only can this extra water add on to  your monthly bills, but it can also cause ample damage around the home over time, including mildew and mold, cracks and holes, and much worse. Investing in leak detection allows you to find any potential leaks in the home and to have them fixed before they cause more damage.

Professionals use high-quality and state-of-the-art detection methods such as:
·         Acoustic profiling
·         Endoscopy
·         Tracer gas technology
·         Thermal imaging
Rather than examining with the naked eye or with guesswork, a professional service can find out if there’s even a fraction of a millimetre of water leaking from any pipe in and around your home.

Weather-Proof the Home
What exactly does it mean to weather-proof the home? This is the process of sealing the home up from the elements. Doing so will result in using far less resources to heat your home in the winter or to cool it in the summer. It will also help to protect your home against weather damage – i.e. a small open space turning into a gaping hole. Weather-proofing can be done in small, simple, cost-effective steps, and the amalgamation of the weather-proofing will save you a bundle in energy and repair costs over the long-term.

1)      Control Your Home’s Airflow: Around 20% of your home’s energy escapes through cracks in doors and windows. Applying weather stripping and new sealant will keep the airflow controlled in and out of the home. You should also check the foundation, roof and other locations around the home for cracks and gaps that can be sealed.

2)      Low-Cost Reflective Insulation: There are many avenues you can take for insulating the home, such as expanding foam, biodegradable options, and other eco-friendly options. But most of these options cost a small fortune. Going with reflective insulation is a low-cost way to reflect the sun’s radiation and to keep your home balanced. Instead of replacing the insulation completely, reflective options are more like a quick addition to add extra protection.
Make Every Minor Change

Being green and eco-friendly in the home isn’t some award you win after spending X amount of money on Y amount of upgrades. It’s not about switching out your appliances with the latest and fanciest Energy-Efficient rated gizmos, nor is it about chipping away the marble to replace with bamboo. It’s an amalgamation of small changes, both to the home and to your lifestyle, that add up to continued eco-friendly living. Doing the smallest things in the home and with your life can have the largest impact.
Here’s a checklist to give you an idea about the small changes you can make that add up to continued eco-friendly living:

ü  Make sure your pipes aren’t leaking
ü  Make sure your home is weather-proofed
ü  Control the airflow in the home
ü  Change your light bulbs
ü  Use cold water where applicable
ü  Invest in low-flow fixtures
ü  Shut off electricity when you don’t need to use it
ü  Hang more clothes out rather than mechanically drying them
ü  Shut off fans and ACs when not in the room
ü  Use open air for cooling in the night
ü  Take advantage of cooking heat in the winter
ü  Take advantage of natural sunlight
Whether it’s something you’re doing as a matter of habit or something you’re doing as a home improvement, there are many small steps you can take that add up to a giant leap in the green department. Making all the minor changes is actually the biggest change you can make.

No one has to spend a fortune in their home to make these eco-friendly upgrades. As you can see, many on this list are all about your particular attitude and your willingness to properly inspect the home, while others are low-cost upgrades that will pay for themselves within months.
Guest post

Monday, 23 June 2014

World of Water Facts

Infographic world of water facts big

Guest post

Monday, 2 June 2014

Energy Watch - Recycle Now & Recycle Week 2014

Later this month is Recycle Week, organised annually by Recycle Now to promote recycling.  Our Energy Watch page this month takes a brief look at what it's all about so have a read to find out more.