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Green living advice please.

(25 Posts)
GoodGollyMissMolly Fri 21-Sep-07 12:20:53

Hi, I've just calculated our carbon footprint and it come s to 11.04 tonnes per year, this seems like a lot to me and I am very shock especialy as there are only 2 of us in the house at the minute (Due our first child in November)

Is it a lot?

We have been recycyling for a while now and only throw out 2 bin bags full of rubbish a week.
I was thinking of starting to compost food waste but Dh and I have no need for any compost as we have intrest in gardening ect. Does anyone know what I could do with the compost? I was thinking of maybe of ringing a local alotment to see if they would want it!!!! but I dont know if they would do this!!!!!!!!!!

Anyone got any advice on how we can lower our carbon footprint? and any other way of recycling things.

I hate the thought of waste and want to get in the habbit of 'being green' so that we can get the LO use to it as being a normal thing to do, IYKWIM.

TIA

GoodGollyMissMolly Fri 21-Sep-07 12:22:28

That should read, 'have no intrest in gardening' grin

GoodGollyMissMolly Fri 21-Sep-07 13:05:56

Bump smile

curiouscat Fri 21-Sep-07 13:28:06

Hi MissM, I haven't dared do my carbon footprint so well done for your bravery. There is a lot of advice out there for reducing it but I guess my top ten things for a greener life, over and above the usual recycling would be:

1.don't use plastic bags ever for anything, or at least find biodegradable ones 2. use washable nappies when your baby's born 3. turn off TV etc overnight not leave on standby/switch to eco-energy supplier 4. Buy secondhand clothes and household items where possible 5. give away or sell your old stuff not send it to landfill 6. try to avoid plastic packaging generally 7. use environmentally friendly cleaning products round the house instead of toxic bleach etc 8. limit car/flight use 9. lobby your council to collect food scraps (mine does) 10. buy good quality clothes/household stuff which last longer than a couple of washes.

Finally, smile and pat yourself on the back. There's a lot of us out here doing the same thing and the more the merrier

primigravida Fri 21-Sep-07 13:36:56

If your local council doesn't take foodscraps do try out a local allotment. When we lived in Newcastle and had allotments down the road Dh asked one of the people working on them if they'd like our food scraps and they were very keen. Curiouscat's tips are really good and I can't really think of anything to add except for trying out a local, organic fruit and vegie box (abel and cole are brilliant, you can put together your own one if you're picky like me) which helps to cut down on packaging while being good for the environment in other ways not to mention the vastly superior quality compared to supermarket produce. Btw. I don't work for them. Lol.

GoodGollyMissMolly Fri 21-Sep-07 14:00:47

Thanks curiouscat and primigravida, all your advice is really welcome.

Curious, We have already bought washable nappies and liners for when LO gets here and we also got some for my parents who will be looking after LO when I go back to work. I use the Ecover cleaning products for the house and soapnuts for my washing.

Prim, I love the idea of the fruit and veggie box, are they easy to maintain, as I'm really not greenfingered in the slightest.
I've tried to ring a couple of the local allotments but no one is answering so I'm gonna take the dogs for a walk to one and see if I can speak to someone there.

Our council dont take food scraps, TBH our rarely take our recycling boxes, so DH and I take all our recycling to the local recycling plant every couple of weeks as it is only round the corner from us. I have rang the council to say that the recycling hasn't been taken and they just said to leave it outside when the recycling van is due!!!! hmm

GoodGollyMissMolly Fri 21-Sep-07 14:04:34

Primigravida, I've googled Abel and Cole and am now very blush

I thought that they were like mini allotment boxes for you top have in your own garden.

blush

majorstress Fri 21-Sep-07 14:09:17

can you break down where the carbon is coming from?

If you don't dump much waste, maybe you need to look at travel, or heating and lighting?

primigravida Fri 21-Sep-07 14:09:48

I was wondering about needing to be greenfingered to order online. Lol. Abel and Cole are awesome but if they don't do your area Riverford/River Swale are another option. Definitely something to look into. I love online shopping.

curiouscat Fri 21-Sep-07 14:14:39

Hi again GoodGolly, can you tell me more about the soap nuts, how do they work, how much do they cost etc?

Giving food scraps to an allotment group is a good idea if you can. I've got an allotment and there's no central composting facility so it'd only work here with an arrangement with a particular plotholder perhaps. I suspect they'll only want uncooked vegetable peelings or similar, and not meat products so you may have to pre-sort it. Otherwise meat and similar products attract rats to the compost heap. Alternatively maybe you've got a gardening neighbour who'd be glad to have them.

Lio Fri 21-Sep-07 14:20:53

Freecycle is a brilliantly green thing. Google it, then find your local group. It is to do with giving things away (and indeed receiving things from others) instead of putting things into landfill. Ranges from really rather wonderful things, like pianos and maternity clothes, to things you don't imagine people would want even thought they actually do, like gravel or half-used tins of paint.

GoodGollyMissMolly Fri 21-Sep-07 14:20:59

Hi Majorstress, most of it is comming from our travel, we average about 12000 miles per year, but I am thinking of ways we can reduce that. Dh wants to invest in a bike to get to and from work as he only works about 3 miles aaway. I however work 20 miles away in the middle of nowhere and no public transport goes to it.

After LO is here I am planning on going back PT only so it will reduce then, and while I am on Mat leave it will reduce as Dh will be going in on a bike. Oh and I dont drive so I rely on DH to drive me to work. My supervisor used to pick me up and bring me home as she passed my house everyday but she has just left for a new job and no one else who I work with lives near me.

Suppose I better learn how to drive!!!


Thanks PG, Abel and cole dont do my area so will check out the others. I also love shopping online, it's my fave thing next to MNetting grin grin

Thanks to you all agian for the advice, any more advice will be gratefully received.

GoodGollyMissMolly Fri 21-Sep-07 14:30:53

hi Curious, I found outb about soapnuts from MN, I got mine from www.inasoapnutshell.com (I dont know how to post links, sorry blush)

It is wonderful not having to buy washpowder.

They last ages, I got a massive bag for about £7 or £8 pounds I think.
You put them in a little bag that they send you (Or inside a sock and tied at the end) and put them in your drum and just wash normaly. You dont need any fabric conditioner as they leave your washing so soft. they dont smell of anything so your wasing doesn't smell, but you can put lavender or citrus oil in your fabric conditioner drawer and that makes you washing smell yummy. On whites I add a little bit of Ecover laundry bleech. grin

You can also use them for wasing your hair and other things.

Lio, I never heard of Freecycle, I've had a look and will join, they have loads of baby things up on offer that I could use. and I have alot of things to get rid off before baby gets here. Thank you

majorstress Fri 21-Sep-07 14:32:53

TRAVEL: Well you could try this liftsharing site out to try to find a lift: www.liftshare.org/

? look for a job nearer to home

You can choose the car wisely when you do start driving, and resolve to drive gently to use less petrol.

OTHER: My top tip is low energy lightbulbs, now you can get some that will fit nearly any kind of light. Online is the best way to find them!

Netmums noticeboard is good for nearly new stuff.

GoodGollyMissMolly Fri 21-Sep-07 14:43:39

Thanks MS, was looking for some screw in lightbulbs but can't find any in the shops. Do you know of any online places that do them??

Will give the lift share thing a try, what a good idea.

curiouscat Fri 21-Sep-07 14:44:07

Thanks, will look up soapnuts. Definitely agree with Lio about freecycle, it's fab.

I want to add that keeping stuff out of landfill is really important for the enviroment even if it doesn't have such a direct impact on carbon use (unless you count the carbon print of items which would have been bought but weren't).

Perhaps sewage too is something to consider -groups like Surfers Against Sewage campaign for awareness that we shouldn't flush any tampons/condoms down the loo but bag them in paper bags and bin them instead. Ok so they end up in landfill but at least not choking dolphins or something. I know some on mn are keen on mooncups, haven't tried them myself.

GoodGollyMissMolly Fri 21-Sep-07 14:56:25

I've heard about those Mooncups and was really interested, but I dont know if they are for me. I might get one and give it a go (after I've had LO of course) and see how I get on with it.

curiouscat Fri 21-Sep-07 14:57:51

My sister tried mooncups. My impression is that it's ok if you're at home with plenty of time to fiddle around, but less good out and about

lailasmum Fri 21-Sep-07 15:02:44

I have been using a mooncup for ages they are great and save waste.

majorstress Fri 21-Sep-07 15:08:38

I've been happy with this firm for all sorts of wierd low energy lightbulbs, some are brighter than the old kind and I don't have to keep changing the flipping things-mine never burn out.

www.lightbulbs-direct.com/

There are even more green bulbs with a separate ballast (the white part) which lasts longer than the glass end, but I cna;t find any for sale on a brief search.

majorstress Fri 21-Sep-07 15:09:36

Mooncups are a great idea but they don't suit everyone. I keep trying with mine, but I have problems with everything at that end anyway!

majorstress Fri 21-Sep-07 15:10:49

Wasting water also wastes energy, I was surprised to learn. Get a Hippo for your loo if it is over 10 y old/not low flush.

PennyBenjamin Fri 21-Sep-07 15:12:28

Fo those looking for green electricals, this site is really good

http://www.ecoelectricals.co.uk/

GoodGollyMissMolly Fri 21-Sep-07 15:23:21

I am seriously thinking about a mooncup now, will deffo get one to try.

Hi MS, thanks for the link. I've seen the hippos, but heard that if you put a brick in the cistern that does the same thing.
Sorry if TMI but we use the 'if it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown flush it down' method. I saw about it on MN and I think the Austalians use that rhyme. Dont flush for a number one, but do flush for a number 2.

I've learnt loads off MN grin

Lio Fri 21-Sep-07 21:34:59

Hey, i am delighted that you have 'found' freecycle ggmm smile

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