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Top Tips for the Workplace

Switch off lights in empty rooms.

Forgetting to switch lights off when leaving the room costs £1.9 billion worth of electricity each year. 63% of UK consumers admit to doing this at least once a week. This is four times as much as the Germans and nearly twice as much as the French. (Source: Energy Saving Trust)

Print and photocopy on both sides of the paper

Think before you print. Every year a forest the size of Wales is used to supply the demand for paper in Britain."

Source: Change the World 9 to 5, We Are What We Do.

Watch how you drive

By driving using “eco driving” or smarter driving techniques can save you about £190.00 a year in petrol or diesel. Here are a few eco driving tips.

  1. Check your revs before changing gears – aim for around 2,500 rpm for petrol cars and 2,000 rpm for diesel cars.
  2. Think ahead and anticipate road conditions – avoiding sharp acceleration and heavy breaking. This will save fuel, wear and tear on engine and breaks, and help reduce accidents.
  3. Use air conditioning sparingly as it significantly increases fuel consumption
  4. Check your tyre pressure regularly - under-inflated tyres are dangerous and can increase fuel consumption by up to 3%.

(Source: Energy Saving Trust)

Support your local farmers and buy local food.

Research by the New Economics Foundation found that for every £1 spent at a farmers’ market or farm shop, 80 pence is re-spent in the local economy. Compare this to supermarkets, where for every £1 spent only 20 pence is re-spent locally.

Farmers’ markets are springing up all over the country and give consumers the opportunity to buy a range of products including seasonal fruit and vegetables, meats, cheeses, jams and cakes. Buying local food supports the local economy and helps to reduce food miles – the distance food has travelled from the land to your plate.

Farmers’ markets are held every 2nd and 4th Saturday in Halesowen Town Centre, and the 1st and 3rd Saturday in Stourbridge Town Centre.

Go to Big Barn to find details of local food producers in your area.

(Source: New Economics Foundation)

Buy recycled paper

Producing recycled paper also uses between 28 - 70% less energy consumption than virgin paper and uses less water. This is because most of the energy used in paper making is the pulping needed to turn wood into paper. Many products made from recycled paper are widely available including envelopes, tissues and notebooks.

Source: Change the World 9 to 5, We Are What We Do.

Ensure your central heating system is working correctly

Boilers account for about 60% of carbon dioxide emissions in a gas heated house. Installing a new high efficiency condensing boiler with the correct heating controls you could save about £270 per year on your heating bills. Heating controls will keep your home at a comfortable temperature, making it warm when you want it but switching off when you don't. They include: a programmer, a room thermostat, a combined programmable room thermostat, a cylinder thermostat and Thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs).

(Source: Energy Saving Trust)

Turn off mobile phone charges and other hand-held devices when they are fully charged.

UK households leave their chargers plugged in almost three times as often as German ones, but slightly less than the Italians. If we unplugged our chargers like the Germans do, we could save enough electricity each year to power 115,000 homes. Across the UK, mobile phone chargers left plugged in waste over £60 million and are responsible for a quarter of a million tonnes of CO2 every year. 65% of UK consumers claim to do this at least once a week!

(Source: Energy Saving Trust)

Save water as well

The UK has less available water per person than most other European countries. London is drier than Istanbul, and the South East of England has less water available per person than the Sudan and Syria. The energy used to pump, treat and heat the water for the average family produces more carbon equivalent than a return flight from London to New York.

The average Briton really consumes over 3400 litres every day! This amount includes the water we use daily in our homes, but it also includes the amount embedded in all that we consume. Here are a few tips to help you save water, and money if your property is on a water meter.

  1. Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth – a running tap wastes 6 litres of water a minute. If everyone in the UK turned the tap off when they brush their teeth we would enough water to supply the combined populations of Leeds, Birmingham, Glasgow and Sheffield for a whole day.

  2. Stop those drips– a dripping tap wastes at least 5,500 litres of water a year: that's enough water wasted to fill a paddling pool every week for the whole summer. Mending your dripping tap washer could save you over £18 a year.

  3. Don’t use your toilet as a dustbin – an unnecessary flush uses another cistern full of water. Put your face wipes, cotton wool balls in your dustbin rather than down the toilet. If everyone in the UK who currently uses their toilet as a dustbin, stopped doing this, we would save 27 million litres of water a week – that’s enough to supply the population of York or Portsmouth for one day.

(Source: Waterwise)

Be Green in the garden!

Make sure your garden is as sustainable as possible by following these simple tips.

  1. Avoid nitrogen rich fertilisers they require large amounts of fossil fuel to make and emit nitrous oxide, a greenhouse gas 300 times more powerful than CO2.

  2. Millions of tonnes of garden waste, such as grass cuttings, prunnings and leaves, are sent to landfill sites each year – in fact it equates to filling the Royal Albert Hall with grass, twigs and leaves more than 70 times over! Much of this can be composted to create a nutrient rich source of compost for your garden.

  3. Go manual - buy a push mower - swapping your petrol lawn-mower for a manual can cut emissions by 36kg of CO2 every year - and knock £18 off your annual spend.

(Source: BBC)

Recycle and reduce your waste

Recycling reduces the need for extracting (mining, quarrying and logging), refining and processing raw materials all of which create substantial air and water pollution.

As recycling saves energy it also reduces greenhouse gas emissions, which helps to tackle climate change. Current UK recycling is estimated to save more than 18 million tonnes of C02 a year – the equivalent to taking 5 million cars off the road. When we recycle, recyclable materials are reprocessed into new products, and as a result the amount of rubbish sent to landfill sites reduces. There are over 1,500 landfill sites in the UK, and in 2001, these sites produced a quarter of the UK’s emissions of methane, a powerful greenhouse gas. Here’s some tips to reduce your waste….

  1. Register with the Mailing Preference Service to stop receiving addressed advertising mail like credit card applications

  2. Contact your local Furniture Re-use Network - they distribute unwanted furniture and household goods to those in need. Or advertise your old furniture using websites like http://www.myskip.com/ or http://uk.freecycle.org/

  3. About one third of the food we buy gets thrown away and most of this could have been eaten. To find out useful tips on the storage of food, tantalising recipes and advice on portioning, visit www.lovefoodhatewaste.com

Source: Recycle Now

Contact Details

  • Name Dudley Council Plus
  • Address 259 Castle Street, Dudley, West Midlands, DY1 1LQ
  • Telephone 0300 555 2345
  • Out of Hours Telephone If you are reporting an emergency, use 0300 555 2345. If this service is closed, a recorded message will advise what you should do.
  • Opening Hours Open weekdays 8:30am to 5:00pm, Saturdays 9:00am to 12:00noon