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8 easy ways to go green


How green are you? <looks around at the empty jars in despair> Being green doesn't mean you have to start hugging trees and counselling your plants (though whatever turns you on). But you might want to think about how many gransnetters it takes to change an energy-saving light bulb? (Answer: all of them, if they are being good).

So why not build a compost bin, turn off the light switches and recycle those empty wine bottles? On the whole, we are pretty good about recycling and the environment, judging by the wealth of tips and anecdotes on the site. For those who are still looking to improve, here are some of them...


1. Wash out those bottles and jars

glass bottles

"I always wash out bottles, cans and jars thinking that the bin will smell nasty otherwise. The poor bin men have a rotten job anyway without me making it worse."


2. Sort your waste correctly 

"We sort our waste quite a bit: paper in one black box, cardboard and glass in a second and food in a brown bin - a small one for in the house with supplied biodegradable lining bags and a larger one to put to filled bags in and leave for collection. Then we have a large bag made from plasticised woven fabric (a bit like what builders merchants deliver sand in) for plastic pots, bottles and tins." 


3. Go crazy for composting

"My compost heaps are behind the garden fence underneath the trees. Every now and again, I wander through the back gate into the woods and turn it over with the fallen leaves. After a year, I am able to bring lovely, friable compost back into the garden. Works out perfectly." 


4. Make use of old clothing, bags and...knicker elastic


"I used to make pillow cases out of worn out bed sheets. After all, it was only the middle of the sheet that was worn - there was always enough along the sides to make pillow cases. We never bought pram or cot sheets. We made them from the sheets that had not been made into pillow cases!" 

"Old t-shirts are great for cutting into strips for garden ties. So is knicker elastic! A pair of thongs, a failed experiment in modern underwear (personal judgement: ouch, yuck), became a very strong tomato vine tie!" 


5. Reuse old plastic bags

"I use [charity volunteer bags] as liners for the pedal bin. I've not had to actually buy liners for ages."


6. Think carefully about your food choices

"If you really are a busy busy household, frozen vegs are almost as good as fresh and there is less waste. So if your veg is constantly going off, switch to frozen or tinned vegetables - that way it'll all get used and there will be no peelings." 


7. Save energy (and money!)


"I no longer use an electric kettle, but use one on my gas hob. A lot of our electricity is made from gas at about 40% efficiency, so by using the gas directly for water heating I am, relatively speaking, saving a lot of gas." 

"When I heat a kettle to make coffee for one, I keep the unused hot water in a vacuum flask."


8. Make do and mend

"The watchword was 'make do and mend'. Would the Primark generation even understand the meaning of this?"


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Images: Shutterstock