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Reduce, Reuse and Recycle – how to move away from a ‘throwaway society’

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Reducing our household waste and reversing our current ‘throwaway society’ has been a hot topic over the  last few years. With each government enforcing new and improved rules, we appear to be making slow progress.

Households have seen an increase in the number of wheelie bins delivered to their doors by their local councils. Starting off with a small recycling bin to pop in the occasional bit of junk mail or plastic milk bottle. Homes up and down the UK now have a variety of bins for different materials, but unnecessary waste still remains a huge issue.

Supermarkets now embrace the misfits

It is only in the last 2-3 years that bigger corporations, such as supermarkets have made a move and decided to take action.

It was no secret that when buying in fruit and veg, all products went through a strict quality control. All pieces of fruit sold to supermarkets had to be a certain size and shape to make the cut, however this has resulted in a huge amount of waste. In the past, fruit and veg were being discarded simply because they were a slightly odd shape, or because they weren’t as big as supermarket buyers specified.

Supermarkets are now making more of a conscious effort to offer their consumers the option to buy these misshapen items. You may also notice more locally sourced products in the store aisles, featuring fruit and veg that have come directly from your local farmers.

Ignoring the food expiration dates can help reduce waste

All expiration dates stamped on food labels are there to give us a guide of just how fresh the products we are buying actually are.

Most expiration and ‘display by’ dates are there for the benefit of supermarkets, to ensure they are sticking to strict food safety guidelines. However many households take the expiration dates to heart and throw out a great deal of good quality food, when it could still be fresh enough to use.

For items such as fruit and veg, it’s important to use your own intuition to decide whether something is still good to eat. The life of fruit and veg also depends on how you choose to store it after you take it home, items kept refrigerated tend to last longer than those kept at room temperature.

Using the correct bins can greatly cut down unnecessary waste

A recent study by GOV.co.uk recently reported that on average, 8.5 million tonnes of waste is taken to landfill, and that is only in England. If more households took a second out of their day to separate the items they throw out, that number could be greatly reduced.

Items such as food wastage, whether that is food that has gone off or cuttings from fruit and vegetables, can be disposed of using proper food and garden waste bins, or home composting. Only a quarter of local councils will separate food waste from other waste, meaning it’s important to start at home when it comes to the correct disposal of food wastage.

It’s not only food wastage that is an issue. There is a great deal of paper and plastic waste that could be properly recycled. Recycling wheelie bins are provided by the majority of councils as a standard, and by using these bins you can help to half the amount of wastage that makes its way to your main wheelie bin.

Companies such as London’s Enviro Waste aim to drive home the importance of recycling, reusing and properly disposing of waste products. It’s not simply the amount of waste we are creating as a society, but the effect that waste has on our environment as a whole. By taking the time to properly dispose of our waste we are not only helping to vanquish the idea of a ‘throwaway society’, but also helping to make our carbon footprint that little bit smaller.

 

 

Environment

Livery Services: Mother Nature Needs You to Invest in an Eco-Friendly Fleet

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Shutterstock Photos - By tostphoto | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/tostphoto

In the United Kingdom, fleet vehicles make up most of the traffic traveling our roadways. If there’s one area of the transportation sector environmentalists should be focusing on, it’s the way we move goods, services and people around the empire.

Businesses that operate a fleet of vehicles need to realize the environmental impact of their service, and the opportunities available to help them lower their operating costs, while saving mother nature.

A green fleet is much cheaper to operate – both because of lower petrol consumption and government grants and tax benefits.

Let’s take a closer look at the things your company is unnecessarily spending money on every year due to an old, dirty fleet of polluters.

Vehicle Taxes on Polluters vs. Environmentally Friendly Fleets

If you want to operate your commercial van on public roads, you’re going to have to pay a VED, or Vehicle Excise Duty. The total fee assessed for this is based on the age of your vehicle, not how much you drive it. This is important, because an idle fleet of polluters can be just as costly as a fleet of green vehicles that produce value for your company.

Vans that were built after 1 March 2001 were taxed either £132 every six months, or £240 annually. This rate is effective per the TC39 VED tax code. There are exceptions to this rate.

For example, if your van is classified as a Euro 4 van, and was manufactured between 1 March 2003 and 31 December 2006, TC36 VED tax code applies to you. The six-month rate is £77, or £140 annually.

For older vans, manufactured prior to 1 March 2001, your tax rate is based on the size of the engine. Vans with engines less than 1549cc are charged £82.50 every six months, or £150 annually. Old vans with larger engines must pay £134.75 every six months, or £245 annually.

Euro 4 vans are the cheapest to operate from a tax perspective. Why? Because they were fitted with specialized filters that help to reduce the amount of dangerous pollutants that make it into earth’s atmosphere. You enjoy the tax savings year-after-year by operating these vehicles.

It really is economically more affordable to operate a green fleet.

Petrol Costs – Another Reason to Think Green to Save Green

The cost of petrol is heavily impacted by our environment. When Britain is thrashed by stormy weather due to global warming, or oil production is impacted by environmental disasters, the cost of filling up skyrockets.

At the time of this writing, petrol is £1.16 per liter, and diesel is £1.18 per liter. There are forecasts from reliable agencies that see the price continuing to rise in the near future, passing price points not seen since 2014.

Regardless of the speculative nature of future fuel prices, the fact remains that vehicles that use less fuel save their operators money every time the wheels turn.

As an alternative, many companies are heavily investigating and testing all-electric and hybrid alternatives for a greener, more economical fleet. As an example, the Nissan Leaf is one of the most popular all-electric vehicles – and it’s a fantastic choice for transporting people or smaller cargo payloads to residential destinations.  The total cost to charge a Nissan Leaf, using current electrical vehicle charging technology, is just £3.64 to go from empty to full charge.

That’s a HUGE savings over filling a petrol tank. And with the prevalence of fast-charge locations, it’s possible to go from zero to empty in just 30 minutes.

In conclusion, there are many ways to save on fleet operation costs. And by investing in a more efficient fleet, you’ll be doing your part to save the environment. Both tax incentives and lower operating costs make green fleets a no-brainier for serious fleet operators throughout the United Kingdom.

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Environment

5 Eco-friendly Appliance Maintenance Tips

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Eco-friendly Appliance
Shutterstock Photos - By Punyhong | https://www.shutterstock.com/g/punyhong

Modern day society is becoming ever more conscious about the effects of human consumption on the environment & the planet.

As a collective, more people are considering taking action to positively counteract their environmental footprint. This is accomplished by cutting down on water consumption, recycling and switching from plastic to more sustainable materials. Although most people forget about the additional things that can be done at home to improve your individual eco footprint.

Appliances, for example, can be overlooked when it comes to helping the environment, despite the fact they are items which are found in every household, and if they are not maintained effectively they can be detrimental to the environment. The longer an appliance is used, the less of an impact it has on the environment, so it is essential for you to keep them well maintained.

If you’re considering becoming more eco-conscious, here are 5 handy appliance maintenance tips to help you.

Don’t Forget to Disconnect From Power First

General maintenance of all your appliances start with disconnecting them from power; microwaves, washing machines and ovens all use residual energy when plugged in, so it’s essential to unplug them.

Disconnecting the plugs can help keep them in their best condition, as it ensures no electrical current is running through them whilst they are supposed to be out of use. Additionally, this can help you save on energy bills. By doing this you are minimising your energy footprint.

Here we break down 4 tips to keep the most popular household appliances maintained.

Eco-Friendly Oven Maintenance

Ovens generally require very little maintenance, although it is essential to stay on top of cleaning.

A simple task to make sure you don’t have any issues in the future is to check the oven door has a tight seal. To do this ensure the oven is cold, open the oven door and use your hands to locate the rubber seal. You can now feel for any tears or breaks. If any have occurred simply replace the seal. More oven tips can be read here.

Eco-Friendly Refrigerator Maintenance

When keeping a fridge in good condition, don’t forget about exterior maintenance. Refrigerator coils, although an external fixture, can cause damage when overlooked.

Refrigerator coils can be found either at the front or rear of a fridge (check you user manual if you are unsure of its location). These tend to accumulate various sources of dust and dirt over a substantial time-period, which clog refrigerator coils, causing the refrigerator to have to work twice as hard to stay cool. An easy tip to solve this is to periodically use a vacuum to get rid of any loose dirt.

Eco-Friendly Washing Machine Maintenance

Most people tend to remember the basics tasks for maintaining a washing machine, such as not to overload the machine, not to slam the door and to ensure the washing machine is on a solid and level platform.

In addition, it is necessary to routinely do a maintenance wash for your washing machine. This means running an empty wash on the highest temperature setting and letting it complete a full wash to erase any build up and residue. You should repeat this task at least once a month.

Try to schedule this task around your bulk wash load times to save on water consumption.

This will help keep your washing machine in peak working condition.

Eco-Friendly Dishwasher Maintenance Tips

Dishwasher maintenance can be simple if implemented after every wash cycle.

To keep your best dishwasher hygiene standards, scrape away excess food whilst making sure to keep the filter at the bottom of the cavity empty between cycles. This simple task can be highly effective at preventing food build up from occurring in your dishwasher.

If you need additional tips or tasks you, can reference your manufacturer’s guidebook to check for a full breakdown. You can also head to Service Force’s extensive database of repair and maintenance manuals – including extensive troubleshooting guides for all of the critical appliance maintenance procedures.

In conclusion, you can save both money and energy by keeping your appliances in peak condition. The steps outlined in this guide will help us all preserve the environment and reduce industrial waste from discarded appliances.

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