The more we reduce, reuse and recycle, the less we dispose of
Although we recycle 56% of our household rubbish in Devon, 156,000 tonnes a year still ends up being disposed of at energy recovery facilities or in landfill . Reducing our rubbish and recycling more is easier than ever. With recycling collection schemes and centres across the county, you can dispose of paper, cardboard, cans, plastics, bottles, food and garden waste in an environmentally sensitive way. Let’s keep up the good work. Find out more at Recycle Devon.
Energy-saving light bulbs – the facts are illuminating
CFLs are what you typically think of as an energy efficient light bulb. CFLs are a cost-effective option for most general lighting requirements. Replacing a traditional light bulb with a CFL will save you around £3 per year, or £50 over the lifetime of the bulb.
LEDs though more expensive to buy initially, are more efficient than CFLs and will save you more money in the long term. Replacing a halogen spotlight with an equivalent LED will save you around £4 each year, or £140 over the bulb’s lifetime.
If every household in Devon swapped two normal 60 watt bulbs for low-energy ones, we’d save over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions. Find out more by going to this information sheet on Lighting.
Expert advice for your generation – a new way forward for green energy
Using energy from sustainable sources will reduce your CO2 emissions and save you money over time. A solar hot water system, solar photovoltaic panels, ground source heat pump, or a wood chip boiler can reduce your reliance on fossil fuels. Visit our Renewable Energy page for more information.
Standby for a big turn off
DVD players, phone chargers and PCs on standby costs the average Devon household over £37 a year in wasted electricity? If we all switched off our appliances we could prevent over 50,000 tonnes of CO2 from entering the atmosphere. Find out more from this Energy Advice webpage.
Good insulation for energy conservation
Insulating your home is the most effective way of keeping it warm. Without proper insulation nearly 25% of the heat in your house will disappear through the roof and around 35% through the walls.
By installing the recommended depth of loft insulation (27cm) you could save around £150 a year on fuel bills. Cavity wall insulation could save a further £115. Together, these measures will save about a tonne of CO2 per home. Heat your home, not Devon! Find out more on our Saving Energy and Money at Home page.
Buy local – it’s miles better
Over the course of a year the food we eat in Devon has travelled over 230 million miles generating around 240,000 tonnes of CO2. Devon has some of the best food and drink in the country, which is grown and made by people who are passionate about providing quality food. Buying Devon produce (from farmers’ markets, local shops, box schemes and online) supports Devon’s economy, reduces your ‘food miles’ and means you know exactly where your food has come from. It’s fresher, it’s tastier and it’s good for Devon.
Tips for economical trips
Eco-driving isn’t just good for the environment, it’s lighter on your pocket too. The UK’s Driving Standards Agency proved that by driving smoothly, avoiding sharp acceleration and heavy braking, fuel consumption can be improved by over 8%. For the average Devon household that’s an extra 1,000 miles for free. And we could also reduce CO2 emissions by over 120,000 tonnes per year.
It pays to give your car a break
Whether it’s the daily commute, a quick visit to the shops or picking the kids up, many of us automatically reach for the car keys. But if we had just one car free day every week, we could save over £120 a year on petrol bills and around 300 kilograms of CO2 emissions as well. So why not give your car the day off? Visit Travel Devon to plan your public transport, or register with Car Share Devon to share your commute.
Lower temperature, lower bills, lower emissions
Washing clothes at 30ºC instead of normal temperatures means you use 40% less electricity, saving you over £10 a year on your electricity bill and half a tonne of CO2 over the lifetime of the machine. If every household in Devon washed at 30ºC instead of 60ºC, together we could reduce our emissions by a massive 18,000 tonnes each year. Need a new machine? Buy an A-rated energy saving recommended appliance – that could save you another half a tonne! Find out more from this What uses watt? information sheet.
The first degree for lower fuel bills
Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10% and save you around £50 per year. If every household in Devon turned their thermostat down by 1°C, we would save 75,000 tonnes of CO2 every year. Sometimes the smallest change really can make a huge difference. Want more information on heating or boilers?
Adapt your diet
Deforestation to make way for livestock, along with methane emissions from cows and fertilizer use, creates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all the world’s cars, trucks and aeroplanes. We all need to commit to reducing our meat and dairy consumption by a few meals per week and make fresh fruit and vegetables a larger part of our diet.
Try this handy food carbon calculator where you can see the impacts of eating different food and drink types. The calculator shows you the carbon equivalent as miles of driving a petrol car or days of heating your average home. It also shows water consumption, energy use and land area used. There is also a handy comparison graphic for similar foods, for example, it shows that cow’s milk creates three times as much carbon than soya milk.
Consume less stuff
Everything we purchase has a carbon footprint – fossil fuels and energy have been used to extract virgin materials, manufacture and transport every item. We need to shop less – clothes, electronics, household items – and when we do, try to buy second-hand, find products that have considered their environmental impact (such as those that use recycled materials or materials from sustainable sources) and pay a bit more if you are able to for items of a higher quality that will last longer. Ethical Consumer provides advice on purchasing a wide variety of items.