Top 5 Eco-Friendly Alternatives to Plastic

There are plenty of eco-friendly substitute materials that we can implement in our daily lives to reduce the cause of plastic pollution. As more countries, global brands and companies are heading towards a sustainable and environmentally friendly approach, the demand for non-plastic alternatives is high.

Whether it’s businesses implementing fully compostable packaging or supermarkets cutting their usage of plastic bags, it’s safe to say that we are on the right track to cut down our reliance on plastic goods. To help you get started, here are some long-lasting plastic alternatives available right now.

Recycled paper and cardboard

Cardboard and paper are sustainable and recycle friendly replacements for plastic packaging. Especially when you’re shopping at your local supermarket, you can ask the staff if they have any spare cardboard boxes lying around the stockroom. Paper and cardboard are much easier to recycle, and the chances are that they are made from recycled materials in the first place. Overall, both materials break down quicker and produce less harmful pollutants than plastic.

Glass

Although glass is not biodegradable, glass is cheap and infinitely recyclable. Since many pre-packed foods like jam, sauce and fruit are generally stored in glass jars, they can be cleaned and reused to store homemade sauce, drinks and other use for arts and crafts.

Mushroom based materials

The biodegradable material called mycelium, made from a mushroom root, is a trending replacement for plastic packaging. The material is made with mushroom fibres and agricultural waste products like cotton hulls, rice hulls and wheat chaff. The final product can be used for compost or mulch, and some companies are using the material as an eco-friendly substitute for styrofoam.

Bamboo

Bamboo has naturally antibacterial properties, fast growth spurts, and it’s sustainable. Aside from its rapid growth, there is no need for farmers to use pesticides and chemical fertilisers, and the cost of production is low. Overall, these qualities make bamboo an eco-friendly replacement for more labour-intensive materials like metal and plastic.

Milk Protein / Milk Plastic

Although casein-based plastic has been around since the 80s, and with the help of advanced technology, scientists and researchers alike are revitalising the process of converting milk protein into a biodegradable material that can match the material properties of polystyrene. Many companies have developed this new, sturdier plastic for packaging. The material breaks down easier without leaving harmful chemicals, and it’s also edible!

Five Ways to Live an Eco-Friendly Lifestyle

With global warming, climate change and pollution arising, it’s more important than ever to live an eco-friendly lifestyle to help save the planet. Below are five different ways you can start to live a greener lifestyle.

Buy second hand or vintage furniture

Rather than buying new furniture, you could instead buy vintage or second-hand furniture in charity shops or auction houses. Not only will you save money by reusing furniture, but you’re also helping reduce waste overall. You can also look to purchase second-hand items online through Facebook Marketplace or Gumtree.

Let your grass grow

Letting your grass grow can help the environment in so many ways. So instead of cutting your grass every week, you can let them grow for a little bit and cut them every three to four weeks instead. This will encourage more wildlife to your garden. By making a habit of cutting your grass less, you’re saving electricity, resulting in less carbon dioxide emissions.

Use your leftover ingredients

Many of our waste comes from food waste. Most people tend to throw their leftovers in the bin, not realising they can be used for something. Instead of wasting any leftover ingredients, you could find ways to use them for another meal or turn them into something else.

User green energy suppliers

When choosing an energy supplier, you should look for suppliers who are using renewable sources of energy. If you live in the UK, there are a couple of green energy suppliers available. Companies like Good Energy or Green Energy UK are reliable suppliers.

Use baths more

A recent study shows that a shower uses more water than having a bath. So instead of having showers more often during the week, you should look to have more baths to help reduce water usage. While you’re in the bath, you can save more water by washing your hair over the tub while filling up the water.

The Importance of Recycling

There are endless benefits to recycling waste properly, from positive global impacts, creating new job opportunities, reducing landfill waste, and preventing rapid climate change and global warming.

Apart from the positive environmental effects, recycling helps create jobs in both the manufacturing and recycling industries in the UK, which is essential to the country’s job security, stability and economy. Recycling in the UK means that many businesses can rely on domestic material sources rather than imported ones.

It’s important to remember that recycling is necessary to practice for a healthier, eco-friendly and sustainable future. Here are a few reasons why recycling is essential.

Reduction to global pollution

The process of extracting raw materials to produce new materials causes endless pollution, and recycling helps to reduce the need to extract more material, meaning there’s less pollution. The more materials we recycle, we throw away less waste in landfills. A landfill filled with tons of decaying material emits harmful chemicals and pollutants, so the more we recycle, the less damage we cause to the environment.

Energy efficient

Making products from recycled materials requires less energy and footprint compared to making them from extracted raw materials. Using less energy on sourcing, labour and processing materials means we produce lower carbon emissions, therefore preventing the chances of disastrous climate change.

Conserves our raw material source and reduces our demand for them

Constantly extracting raw materials is expensive and can cause permanent damage to the environment. In many cases, it can lead to indigenous tribes and vulnerable communities living around forest systems becoming evicted or exploited for their material sources. Recycling is a better approach instead of damaging land and nature in search of new raw materials.

Cheaper than waste disposal and collection

Recycling your waste is much cheaper than relying on waste collection. The more you recycle, the less weight and thrash you put in the bin, which is beneficial for you, but it reaps positive effects for local public services, businesses, and the recycling industry. Recycling green waste and food waste also generates valuable compost used to grow more food and crops.

Where Can I Donate and Recycle Bras?

Where Can I Donate and Recycle Bras?

Did you know that clothing contributes most to household waste? A recent study shows that each person throws away around 30kg of clothes every year. Considering the vast amount of textiles thrown in the landfills, we can see how much this contributes to pollution. With this in mind, the textile industry has become the largest producer of greenhouse gasses. We can help make the world sustainable by recycling or donating our old clothing to be reused.

Bras are one of the most worn items by women. It’s also one of the most items that are thrown regularly. Researchers have found out some interesting statistics about bras:

• On average, a British woman has nine bras, and only about a third of them are worn regularly.

• People all over the world spend about £16 billion every year buying bras.

Considering the statistics above, did you know that thousands of women who live in developing countries cannot afford a new bra. To help women in these countries, western countries like the UK and the USA have organised charities to help tackle this global problem. Today, these charities are supplying bras for those who cannot afford this type of necessity. If you would like to help out and be a part of this, below are a list of charities and organisations where you can donate your bras.

Your Smalls Appeal

Your Smalls Appeal is a UK charity that focuses on empowering girls in Gambia. They help girls and women by providing education and supplying donated menstrual kits and bras. Your Smalls Appeal believes that bras are essential for the healthy development of young girls.

The Bra Recyclers

The Bra Recyclers are an Arizona-based company that takes on bra and donations and supplies them to women who have escaped domestic violence, human trafficking, etc. They also help and work with breast cancer survivors.

The Bra Recycling Agency (BRA)

The BRA is a company that recycles bras and help raise funds for breast cancer research. You can contribute by donating unused bras or purchasing an e-kit.

Giving is Beautiful

Giving is beautiful is a special campaign for women. Through this campaign, bras are collected for recycling and are given to women in domestic violence shelters.

Free the Girls

The organisation works towards rescuing women from sex trafficking. They help women find jobs or start their businesses.

Donate Your Bra

Donate Your Bra collects used bras and supplies them to groups that support breast cancer and other related charities. It’s run by a group of people who work voluntarily to show their support for women in need.

Other ways to reuse or recycle your bra

Donate to your local charity shop

If you have any new or unused bras, you can donate them to your local charity shops. You can help charities raise funds for different causes.

Recycle old bras

If your bras are not suitable for donation or reused, you can recycle them instead. The bras must be made of absorbent material so that the fabrics can be recycled. These can then be used as a textile by-product or industrial rag. You can search online to find recycling points near you.

How to make your home more energy efficient

energy efficient

The air pollution is becoming a serious issue worldwide. To contribute to improving the air quality indoors and outdoors, homeowners can make their home more energy efficient. Below are some tips on how you can improve your energy usage.

Smart Thermostat

Smart thermostats are used for conserving both electricity and natural gas when they are not in use. For instance, smart thermostats will automatically use less energy when no one is at home. They also perform this energy saving during the night time when energy is not used. Another advantage includes being able to control your home temperature when your away from home as you can easily manage them using a computer or your mobile phone.

Seal Air Leaks

A cheap way of saving money and energy is sealing any air leaks all around your house. Air leaks can be found in various places around your home including your windows, walls, plumbing wire and doors. The leaks can be easily sealed with foam and weather stripping.

Furnace Filters

New furnace filters run more efficiently compared to an old one. When choosing a filter, make sure to pick a high-quality filter with extra pleats. It’s ideal to change the filter every three months.

Attic Insulation

Increasing your insulation in your attic can dramatically help you save energy and money in the longer run. Keeping the attic warm is the ultimate key to keeping your house warm during the winter season.

Request For Energy Audit

To find out where the wasted energy is coming from in your home, you can hire a professional energy auditor to help you identify those areas. Once they have identified the areas, you can then look to make some improvements around your home that can help you save money and energy in the longer run.

Water Saving Shower Head

Did you know that you can install a water-saving showerhead in your bathroom? These shower heads will help you cut back on the amount of water and energy that you use on a daily basis.

5 ways to reduce your business carbon footprint

5 ways to reduce your business carbon footprint

Pollution is making our lives difficult on a daily basis. The condition of the environment is deteriorating due to pollution. It is everyones duty to take steps to reduce their carbon footprint. Many businesses are taking steps to control their greenhouse gas emissions. Businesses are becoming more efficient, making a positive impact on our environment and encouraging others to follow similar steps.  There are many ways you can reduce business carbon footprint; here are some most effective methods.

1. Recycling

Landfill costs are increasing every year. Recycling your office waste can help to cut down this cost. Government figures show that commercial and industrial waste in the UK for 2016 was 27.7 million tonnes. Although this is a reduction compared to the 32.8 million tonnes in 2012, it is still an extremely high figure that demonstrates the importance of recycling over sending this waste to landfill.

“Managing waste correctly and responsibly can help to save your business money in the long term. In addition to recycling your office waste, your business can use recycled products such as document paper, cardboard boxes and packaging supplies. Old electronic items must be recycled in line with WEEE compliance laws which can help you to avoid potential fines. You should make it a company policy to recycle as much as possible in the office” says Green Plan-It, a waste management company based in Leicester.

2. Reducing energy usage

You should make it a business policy to switch off all the lights when not in use, especially at night. You can have occupancy sensors fitted in your office so that the lights go off automatically when there is no one in the room. It is also encouraged that companies switch to green energy suppliers for operating their business. Whenever your electronic equipment like laptops, photocopiers, etc. are not in use, turn them off right away. The amount of heating must be controlled with a thermostat. Your office walls must be well insulated so that energy is not wasted. You should maintain your office equipment well so that they don’t use too much energy.  All these actions will reduce the carbon footprints in your office.

3. Travel

Whenever possible, you should skip travelling. You can use telephone or video conferencing instead to get your work done. Try to plan ahead so that you can combine multiple trips together and reduce the number of trips. For example, instead of going to a place for a meeting twice, try to resolve everything in on one business trip. Encourage your employees to use public transport and eco-friendly vehicles like bicycles for coming to work. You can offer carpooling services for your employees so that less number of vehicles are used when coming to work. Continue reading “5 ways to reduce your business carbon footprint”

Can Drum Heating Be Energy Efficient?

Can Drum Heating Be Energy Efficient?

Drum heating is a process that can be required when thick, viscous liquids need to be transferred or pumped from one container to another. It can also be used simply to stop those liquids from becoming completely solid or freezing. Examples of these liquids include fat, grease, syrups, chocolate, tar, lubricants and other related substances. What these different liquids have in common is that they are typically difficult to move at room temperature or below due to their partially solid state.

A drum heating oven is usually used to aid the process of moving or pumping such liquids because raising their temperature makes them more fluid. It might be necessary to heat the substance to room temperature or higher, depending on its individual melting point and the task required. Usually drum heaters work using either steam or electric heating elements to change the temperature of their contents.

A few benefits of drum heaters include the following:

They are generally built to accommodate multiple drums of the same specific size, so economies of scale are available.

By returning viscous liquids to a more practical liquid form, they can prevent waste materials being generated.

Liquids which are heated and able to move more freely can speed up production processes.

Precise controls are used on the ovens to ensure they only heat to the optimum temperature and the results are predictable.

For some it is questionable as to whether drum heaters can be an energy-efficient solution, due to the fact that they must be continuously used in order to maintain the temperature of a substance. However, there are a few specific arguments against that.

Certain types of high quality drum heating ovens in particular use modern technology to maximise heating performance with relatively low fuel consumption.

It is often necessary to use drum heaters only as and when required. For the rest of the time, some liquids can be stored in their natural state below their melting point with no problems. This depends on the specific liquid because not all substances will stand up to being solidified and melted multiple times without loss of quality.

Are E-Bikes Really Environmentally Friendly?

Are E-Bikes Really Environmentally Friendly?

E-bikes are quickly becoming a popular alternative to other methods of transport. Compared with some alternatives, they offer a great selection of benefits, primarily cutting down on fuel costs as well as the impact their carbon dioxide emissions have on the natural environment. However, some have argued that the overall effect of having more electric bikes around is likely to be negative on the environment and people’s health and fitness in general. Here we consider both viewpoints.

Firstly, it comes down to what an e-bike is being used as a substitute for. If you regularly drive your own car to work or throughout the rest of the day, switching to a fast ebike might be an obvious way to reduce your carbon footprint. These bikes, with manual peddling assisted by a battery-charged motor when required, can really make the difference for some people who would find it highly impractical to cycle to work purely because the journey is slightly too long or difficult. Perhaps the only thing stopping you taking your bike is that steep hill just before you get to the office? Continue reading “Are E-Bikes Really Environmentally Friendly?”