Eco-Church – Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

ECO-CHURCH

ECO-CHURCH - REDUCING YOUR CARBON FOOTPRINT

Part of our vision is to serve God in His world – and we think that stewarding the planet well is a key part of that.

 

We can all play our part by taking steps to reduce our carbon footprint (and hopefully save some money too). To find out where you and your family is on their eco-journey, we encourage you to take the Creation Care household audit.

Click on the short video on the left for a brief introduction to the Creation Care scheme and how you can use it to take the next steps to taking better care of God’s creation. 

Here are some ideas for steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and potentially save money:

Energy

  1. Turn off electrical items when not in use – Leaving your electricals on standby uses unnecessary energy – turn them off at the wall when you’ve finished using them. Also turning off lights when you leave a room could see your bill going down.
  2. Use LED light bulbs – Not only do LED light bulbs last longer than conventional bulbs, they’re far more efficient too! This means that you’ll be using less power and having to replace your light bulbs less frequently –  everyone’s a winner.  A single LED bulb (15 Watts) on for 4 hours each evening costs about 32p a month while a single icandescent lightbulb emitting the same amount of light costs about £1.30 per month.
  3. Room with two lights. Use one when possible.
  4. Turn off mobile chargers when they are not in use. They still use electricity if they are left on.
  5. Use a smart meter which will allow you to monitor your energy use.
  6. Walk or cycle rather than using a car.
  7. Use the Farmers’ Market (last Thursday of the month in Rugby) to minimise road / air miles.
  8. Try growing your own vegetables.
  9. Buy fruit and vegetables when in season.
  10. Switch to an energy supplier that only supplies renewable energy.
  11. Don’t use a tumble drier. Air dry your laundry rather tumble-drying it, particularly if the weather is warm or windy. Using a tumble dryer weekly for a family of four costs approximtely £8.64 per month. Cutting back your washing machine use by just one cycle per week will save £8.00 a year on energy.
  12. Buy an electric or hybrid car.
  13. Buy energy-efficient products – When you replace household appliances, check the energy efficiency rating of your new items. Efficient items are better for the planet and will be cheaper to run. A fridge-freezer with an A rating running continuously costs about £6.12 in electricity per month while an A++ rated fridge freezer costs around £3.10 per month.
  14. Stay warm, cut costs. Turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree C could save you as much as £80 per year!
  15. Insulate your home. Effectively insulating your home can significantly reduce the energy you lose through the roof, walls and windows. You may be able to get help with energy-saving improvements through the Affordable Warmth Obligation scheme if:
    • You claim certain benefits and live in private housing (for example if you own your own home or rent from a private landlord; or
    • You live in social housing.

    You my also be able to get help under this scheme to repair or replace your boiler or for other upgrades to your heating.

Resources

  1. Only use the dishwasher and washing machine when full.
  2. Collect rainwater from the roof of your house into a water butt to water the garden
  3. When brushing teeth don’t keep the tap running.
  4. Boil “just enough” water in the kettle.
  5. Buy soap and rinse aid in bulk.
  6. Join Freecycle and give away unwanted items to local people.
  7. eBay unwanted items.
  8. Don’t buy new clothers – mend and re-use existing ones.
  9. Eat less meat and less diary – Being careful with what you’re consuming is at the heart of being more environmentally friendly, and cutting down on the amount of meat you eat can have a huge impact.
  10. Don’t waste food – Waste not, want not. Did you know that 9.5 million tonnes of food is wasted in the UK every year? This isn’t just a huge waste of food and money, it adds to the amount of CO2 and methane being created in landfills.
  11. Recycle everything – You can recycle almost everything, from batteries to paper to crisp packets to cars. Before you throw it away, take a minute to find out if you could recycle it instead. Be careful to use the recycling bin correctly – information on recycling in Rugby is available here.

Reduce plastic

  1. Get milk from milkman in glass bottles. You can find a local milkman here.
  2. Change from using shower gel to using soap.
  3. Use “bags for life” rather than one-use plastic bags.
  4. Use alternatives to clingfilm e.g.
    1. Plastic shower cap type bowl covers from Abracsus (Regent Street, Rugby) or Lakeland.
    2. Stretch silicone washable covers in a range of sizes from Amazon (search for silcone stretch food covers).
    3. Use tinfoil for wrapping or covering food instead of clingfilm. Tinfoil can be recycled.
  5. Wash out and re-use freezer bags unless they have been used for meat.
  6. Use a non-plastic toothbrush (available from Wild & Free).
  7. Try and buy fresh food and vegetables unwrapped.
  8. Take a bottle of tap water out with you if you think you will need water rather than buying a bottle.
  9. Buy plastic-free teabags. Many teabags contain plastic and don’t decompose. Buy brands that are not made of plastic e.g. Clipper, PG Tips etc.
  10. Avoid goods wrapped in plastic.
  11. Use microwave dinner dishes for bird seed / water.

Changing the products we buy

  1. Use Ecover cleaning and laundry products (Wild & Free, Bank Street, Rugby do refills for some Ecover products).
  2. Use shaving soap and brish instead of aerosols of shaving foam.
  3. Use toilet paper from “Who gives a crap?
  4. Use “eco eggs” for clothes washing.
  5. Use “smol” for liquid tablets and fabric conditioner.

Some other ideas

  1. Make your own compost. You can buy containers (including discounted bins via Warwickshire County Council) or make your own out of old pallets. Put in vegetable and fruit peelings etc, tea bags (plastic free!), grass cuttings (but not will weed killer), cardboard (e.g. brown corrugated cardboard boxes torn up), coffee grounds etc.
  2. Make or buy a bug hotel. Here are some suggestions from the Woodland Trust.
  3. Start a wormery and use the green bin for food scraps and garden waste.
  4. Feed the birds (seeds, nuts etc) and/or join the RSPB.