5 ways to fix UK’s Recycling Problem

Each year, the problems of waste removal in London keeps getting worse. Millions of homes don’t have access to proper recycling; and those that do throw everything in the trash, from old clothing to broken blenders. If you dispose of rubbish and it ends up in a sorting facility, it does not necessarily guarantee it will get recycled. You might unwittingly drop something that the local recycling service does not accept, or that package might be designed in a way that it is unrecyclable.

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Upcycling Shipping Containers: A Great Help for Our Environment

Hundreds of thousands of shipping containers are deemed no longer safe to continue to be used for transporting goods every year. These numbers have been adding up, with possibly tens of millions sitting unused in ports, storage yards and other container graveyards around the world. Sometimes a container may only be used a few times before it is discarded in favour of a brand-new model. Continue reading “Upcycling Shipping Containers: A Great Help for Our Environment”

Reuse your wedding dress to join the fight against fast fashion

The issue of fast fashion is likely something that you’ve heard of. The media have been covering a lot of it recently, and it’s clear to see why. In fact, one report revealed that around 300,000 tonnes of clothing is thrown away each year in the UK. Unfortunately, the rapid rate of fashion consumption is having a negative effect on the environment, from the increased amount of water that is being used in manufacturing to the amount of toxic chemicals that are involved with the making of garments.

In addition to buying less clothes throughout the year, there is something else that you can do to reduce your input to the issue of fast fashion. Repurposing your wedding dress is something that many of us don’t consider, but it can play its part in helping the environment. And, your wedding dress isn’t the only thing that you can reuse from your wedding day, read on to find out more: Continue reading “Reuse your wedding dress to join the fight against fast fashion”

How Paper Bags Could be part of the Solution to the War on Plastic Packaging

Recent times have witnessed the rise in popularity of paper bags to assist in the continued war on plastic products. From plastic bags to plastic straws there has been a huge decline in the popularity of plastic products. However whilst the zero-waste lifestyle is beneficial it is currently only available to those with significant disposable income. Continue reading “How Paper Bags Could be part of the Solution to the War on Plastic Packaging”

A Guide to Sorting your Rubbish before going to a UK Waste Disposal Site

The UK has recycling and rubbish disposal regulations to reduce the amount of waste that ends up in the environment. The UK produces 400 million tons of rubbish in a year. 30 million of that is from household waste. Mining, construction, quarrying, and demolition also contribute to waste. Homeowners, business, and other rubbish-generating operations have to meet waste removal standards when going to waste dispoal sites. County and private agencies conduct rubbish collection for homeowners and businesses. Continue reading “A Guide to Sorting your Rubbish before going to a UK Waste Disposal Site”

7 Eco-Friendly Gift Ideas

Trying to find the perfect gift for a special occasion or to simply show your appreciation to someone? Why not consider presents that are eco-friendly? With these gifts, you are showing your concern to the environment while encouraging the recipient to go green as well. If you have no idea what to pick, here are our top recommendations for eco-friendly gifts.

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Exciting Ways to Make Your Move More Eco-Friendly

There’s so much involved in moving house that it can be overwhelming. But if you can, you need to spare a thought for the environment. Take these steps to make your move as green as possible.


Perhaps the easiest and most accessible form of eco-friendly moving is recycling. When you’re having a clear out and getting rid of your stuff make sure you’re not just tossing it away. Instead, you need to think carefully about recycling things. Donate old clothes and toys to charity. Pop any old paperwork into the recycling bin. Try to stay as green as possible.


Image Source

Move on a Weekday

When it comes to the move itself, a great idea would be to move on a weekday. There are several advantages to this. For a start, it’s going to make it much easier, more efficient and less stressful for you. But also, you need to understand that during the week the roads will be less busy. This means less traffic and less petrol. You won’t be stuck in traffic for ages like you would be on a weekend. So this will cut down on your carbon footprint. You need to be conscious of looking after Mother Earth. And this is a great way of doing that.

Decide on a Location

It might not occur to you but the location is extremely important in an eco-friendly move. Why, you may ask? Well, you want to choose a location that allows you to be as eco-friendly as possible. So somewhere where you have to use minimal cars or public transport would be great. Even if it’s in the countryside you can always use a bike. Visit Taylorsestateagents.co.uk/toletoffice/biggleswade/1846/ and have a look at the properties they have. Try to pick somewhere that will allow you to be as environmentally conscious as possible.

Embrace Greener Living

You’ve got to make sure you embrace greener living when you move. And the way you can do this is by selecting the place carefully. Try to select a home that already has solar panels installed. If you can’t then make sure the home is compatible with solar panels. Then you need to get some installed immediately. You also want to choose somewhere with a decent garden space. This will allow you the opportunity to start a vegetable garden and grow your own produce. There are so many other things you can do in the garden, such as get a water tank installed.

Only Use One Van

The key to an eco-friendly move is to only use one van. This cuts down on the carbon emissions, and the amount of fuel used. It’s also a good incentive to keep your possessions to a minimum. We all know how easy it is to stockpile stuff we don’t need. This time you need to remember that you’re going to have to get it all into one vehicle. By making use of one van, it saves you having to use smaller vehicles for multiple journeys. Think about the benefit this is going to have on the environment.

When you move house, you’re going to have to take care of a lot of details. And in the stress and confusion it’s easy to forget the importance of being eco-friendly. You need to make sure you try to make the move as eco-friendly as possible. Have a look at the ideas on this post, and try to use them where you can.

How To Make Your Garden More Eco-Friendly

Do you want to make your garden more eco-friendly? If the rest of your home is eco-friendly, but your garden is not, you might be wondering about the best way to go about changing this.

When it comes to transforming your garden into a more eco-friendly place, there are lots of different ways you can go about this. The key is to create an environment that is sustainable, reduces waste and can be used for sourcing your own produce. Your garden should also be somewhere that the local wildlife can retreat to, such as bugs and grubs.

To help you create an eco-friendly garden, we have put together a few useful tips, below:

Attract good bugs

Whether you are a creepy crawly lover or not, a big part of having an eco-friendly garden is welcoming friendly bugs into it. You might not like the idea of insects being in your garden, but welcoming good bugs is important.

Did you know that while many bugs cause damage to plants and gardens, there are also some good bugs? For instance, ladybirds are good bugs because they eat harmful flies that can cause damage to plants. You can attract good bugs by growing lots of pretty flowers, like sunflowers and marigolds.

Feed the birds

In an eco-friendly garden the use of slug killer isn’t an option, so the best way to deal with pests is to get predators to eat them. In the case of slugs, snails, and other grubs, birds are the ideal predator.

To encourage birds to visit your garden and help you control the population of grubs, put up bird feeders around the garden.

Grow your own produce

A big part of making your garden eco-friendly is growing your own produce and using your garden sustainably.

If you have room, create a vegetable patch and plant a few plum trees, apple trees and pear trees around it. If space is limited, consider opting for dwarf fruit trees, instead of full-size ones. Make sure that the seeds and fruit trees you invest are organically grown. You can find these at specialist garden centres, as well as on online shops.

Create a compost area


Source for picture

While you can buy fertiliser, the best way to give your garden the nutrients it needs is through compost. Not only will composting save you money on fertiliser, but it will also ensure that your garden is getting everything it needs.

Invest in a plastic or metal tub, place it in your garden and start filling it with your table scraps and unwanted food. Pretty much any food can go into your compost heap, from rotten fruit and vegetables to tea leaves and egg shells. However, it’s a good idea to avoid putting meat, fish and bones into your compost heap as this may attract unwanted pests.

You might think that making your garden more eco-friendly is difficult, but it doesn’t have to be. All you have to do is follow this simple guide, and you can make your garden into a much more sustainable place.


Farewell to my Sedan (or, Why Scrapping Your Car Could Help the Environment)

Well, isn’t this going to be a remarkably sad post!

Just recently certain events in my life made me think way back to days when I got married (and no, that isn’t the sad part). It was that time when I said that timeless phrase “Until death do us a part”.

Continue reading “Farewell to my Sedan (or, Why Scrapping Your Car Could Help the Environment)”

Eco-Living: Help Protect the Planet in your Own Home

Have you ever felt like you want to live your life in a more eco-conscious way, but aren’t exactly sure where to start? Well what you’ll be pleased to hear is there are easy ways you can adapt your lifestyle at home to help protect our planet.

So, from your gardens to your decor and energy consumption, read on to find out some eco-living methods you can try. When you do, you’ll soon see it’s easy being green.

Continue reading “Eco-Living: Help Protect the Planet in your Own Home”

CC image credit to GoldMoneyNews

5 Companies That Are Proud To Use Paper Bags

Paper Bags
Image courtesy of ningmilo and freedigitalphotos.net

Many companies are now using paper bags as they recognise their benefits. They are stronger, more environmentally friendly and often cheaper than using plastic carrier bags. There are many different types of businesses that use paper bags for their customers to carry their wares home. Continue reading “5 Companies That Are Proud To Use Paper Bags”

Lead A Greener Lifestyle With These Bite-Sized Ideas

I don’t know about you, but I’ve never thought much about eco-friendly my lifestyle is. That is, not until recently when I started getting concerned about how high my energy bills were! There is also the rising cost of fuel to consider too. Without petrol, I can’t drive my car.

Money is often the driving force behind people’s decisions to adjust their spending. If their costs rise, but their income doesn’t, they have to make some judgement calls in their lives. The good news is that you can lead a greener lifestyle without giving up on the things you love.

Intrigued? Keep reading to learn about some bite-size tips for leading an eco-friendly life. Here is what you need to know:


Flickr / peterblanchard

Replace your appliances and electronics

I know this might sound a bit odd, but you should think about buying new appliances and electronics! Why? Today’s modern gadgets use far less energy than the ones sitting in your home today.

When you use energy-efficient appliances and electronics, your utility bills won’t be so high. And that means you will use less energy, leading to a greener lifestyle!

Upgrade to LED lighting

Is your home full of “old-fashioned” incandescent and halogen bulbs? If so, it’s time you removed them and fitted LED lamps in their place! The thing about LEDs is that they don’t need to heat up anything to generate light.

They are electronic “diodes” that emit little heat. And, most important of all, they use a small fraction of the energy conventional bulbs need! Some of you might be thinking that LED lighting is expensive.

That might have been the case years ago. But, today, they are just as affordable as the alternatives. And they are available in a broad range of fittings, lumens and styles. One thing I love about LED lights is they come on instantly. No waiting around like you have to with CFL bulbs!

Be more eco-friendly when you do your washing

The hotter the temperature, the more energy washing machines need. Today’s detergents are capable of removing even stubborn stains at just 30 degrees Celsius! And, when your washing machine has finished, hang your clothes to dry!

Tumble dryers use an awful lot of energy. If you live in a cold and damp climate, you might not have much choice but to use a tumble dryer. But for those of you living in sunnier climes, let your clothes dry naturally.

Recycle your waste

One of the biggest bugbears that environmentalists have is the fact we send a lot of our waste to landfill sites. As you can imagine, at some point in the future we will run out of places to dump our rubbish!

Most councils in the UK run free recycling schemes for householders. You can usually recycle cardboard, paper, plastic and metal without having to leave your home! And, for bulky items, you can always take your waste products to your local recycling centre.

Remember: the more things you can recycle, the less waste you send to landfill sites!


Upcycling Tips to Decorate Your Home

There are many fabulous home décor applications for upcycling, and it doesn’t always have to be about saving the environment, or penny pinching to offset rising housing costs like home insurance.

Those serious about preserving the environment, creating healthier living spaces, living more sustainable and money wise, have found upcycling not just smart, but a lot of fun too. Not everyone has to live in a shipping container home, or forego all modern conveniences to do their part and flex their creative side. However, it has just become common sense to look for ways to upcycle, before the waste involved in sending things to be recycled.

So what are some items you can have fun with upcycling, and turning into useful and decorative objects at home?

  1. Cans & Jars

One of the most common items that get tossed in the rubbish or take up room in the recycle bin are glass jars and tin cans. Instead turn your glass jars into fun and useful items such as romantic bathroom, patio or garden lighting, desktop and kitchen utensil organizers, and even planters. Paint and punch holes in cans to make decorative hanging planters, birdfeeders, lamps, and more.

jam jar vase

  1. Upcycled Clothing

Few think of repurposing clothing, yet with the emotional ties and amazing memories they represent, upcycling just makes sense. With so many upcycling ideas for clothing there is no more pressure to cave into giving up those faded retro t-shirts or Christmas sweaters. Turn worn clothing into throw pillows, furniture covers, and even wall art by folding them over frames or putting them in your empty frames. How about turning your old festival gear or wooly sweaters into a quilt or blanket for reminiscing on cold nights?

framed t shirt

  1. Corks

Find yourself tossing out corks galore? Stop. There are many highly useful and money saving ways to upcycle your corks. Save them up and put them together as desktop protectors, hot mats for the kitchen, pin boards on the walls, safe flooring for young ones, and maybe even entry mats.

  1. Skateboards

For those that have children, and even spouses that refuse to grow up, the pile of old skateboards can stack up quickly. That can add up to a lot of awkward, but memorable scrap, yet precious trees and other resources that shouldn’t be treated frivolously. Instead of constantly tripping over old skateboards or being driven mad by the mess why not explore new ways to upcycle these fun home décor materials? Skateboards can be repurposed as unique shelves, children’s chairs and toddler’s picnic tables, step ladders, and even long lasting sports themed headboards for kids’ rooms.

skateboard shelf

Small Upcycling Projects with Big Results

Saving energy, fuel, waste, and budgets is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the big potential even small upcycling projects can add up.

Offsetting home insurance costs, being able to use more home insurance money for necessities rather than frivolities in the case of disaster, saving to go on holiday, or even finding the surplus to build a new green, completely sustainable home, with lots of fun, memorable, and educational quality moments with family and friends on the road all come as significant perks.

If this sounds like too much work – recycle, offer your items to neighbors who are into upcycling, or save in other ways such as moving your home insurance to Shield Total Insurance.

Sustainable Living – Repair don’t Replace!

We live in a decidedly throwaway culture. When household products are damaged or break, our first instinct is often the toss them out with the trash and find replacement versions. However, this approach is bad news for the environment and it can dent your finances too.

Next time one of your possessions breaks or if you notice that certain items around your home are starting to show signs of wear and tear, try taking a different stance. Rather than getting rid of the items, have a go at getting them fixed. Specialist buildings and contents repair companies like Hometech-UK offer fast and effective services that can restore items to their former selves in no time.

Whether you need to repair a scratched worktop, a damaged flood, a chipped bath or anything else, experts like this are on hand to help.

Reducing landfill

Like lots of people, you might not put much thought into what happens to your rubbish when it is taken away on lorries. However, every item that you chuck out has to end up somewhere. Most rubbish ends up in landfill. Indeed, each year the UK disposes of around 57 million tonnes of waste into landfill. It should come as no surprise then that Britain has been dubbed the ‘dustbin of Europe’.

By repairing goods in your property rather than binning them, you can do your bit to cut waste.
rubbish tip

Conserving resources

Of course, it’s not only the problem of landfill that has to be considered. Usually when people throw out household products, these items have to be replaced. In turn, this means using more of the planet’s natural resources. As the global population rises and consumer expectations increase, more and more of the Earth’s finite resources are being used up.

By restoring household items instead of replacing them, you can help to lower pressures on these resources.

Lowering global warming

By lowering demand for new household goods, you can also help to do your bit to reduce global warming. It usually takes far less energy to repair items than it does to replace them. In turn, this helps to drive down emissions of greenhouse gases like CO2 that are contributing to an increase in global temperatures.

Boost your budget
As well as having a clean conscience about the environment, repairing household products rather than replacing them can boost your finances. It is cheaper to fix worktops, floors, bathroom suites and other items than it is to buy brand new versions.



It seems these days we have a bin of every colour of the rainbow for various recyclable goods. Perhaps that’s a slight exaggeration, but it seems we could be heading for a Red for Monday, Orange for Tuesday, Yellow for Wednesday etc situation. It doesn’t surprise me, then, that so many people are put off recycling because it actually does take a bit of effort to get your head around it all. Hopefully, and I am fully aware of how much I’m blowing my own trumpet here, this article may help…

recycling bins

HELP! What Can I Actually Recycle These Days?

So we are all aware that numerous products that we own are recyclable. From the can of your favourite soda to your usual paper napkins, these products can easily be recycled by reprocessing them. Take for instance the can of soda; the rubbish collectors usually sort the trash according to the type from polythene, organic paper to metals. These products are then taken to recycling factories where they are re-processed and then reused.

Almost everything we own, from the wearable to electronic gadgets, all these products are indeed recyclable. How is that possible?

Well, here are some of the most obvious things that you own that are actually recyclable:

a)      Batteries– indeed batteries can be recycled. Whether it’s the rechargeable or single-use ones, once the power juice is at a very low level, these items are usually shipped to the manufacturer or your local recycling firm who will re-use every component of the batteries. So don’t let your good old car battery lie around your garage doing nothing.

b)      Cardboard boxes– have you recently moved to a new home and you still have the cardboard boxes? Well, unless you are planning to move to a new home very soon, and soon I mean by end month, you can donate them to the local shelter homes or a religious centre that takes care the homeless. These cardboard boxes would be of great help to those who are homeless.

big box

c)      Clothes– we all have those favourite outfits that we don’t want to let go. It’s time to move on my friend, donate those items to the homeless through your local community program or religious initiative. These outfits would go a long way in helping those who lack essential basic clothing to wear.

Yes, Steven, it can be recycled #excited
Yes, Steven, it can be recycled #excited

d)      Old mobile phones and tablets– you might be having one or several in your bedroom drawers or closets. Most of these gadgets are fully functional and can be made useful. The only defect that these mobile phones and other electronic gadgets are guilty of is a worn out housing. For just less than a pound, you can buy a new housing for the mobile phone. With a few DIY tips on YouTube, you can safely change the old housing and fix the new one. I can guarantee that the phone will look brand new just as you bought it. With the refabricated phone, you can opt to use it as an alternative for another mobile service provider or sell it on eBay and earn some quick cash.

Other, lesser-known items which you can recycle include:

e)      Oil/grease – if you have lots of it and not in use, you can opt to sell or donate to a construction company especially those who use timber. Oil or grease is a good repellent of termites and prevents mould from growing.

f)       Shoes – we are guilty as charged when it comes to owning a pair or pairs of shoes which we no longer use. If you have outgrown them, you can opt to donate them to the local shelter programs, if they have some value you can trade them at your local thrift shop or flea market for an item in exchange.

g)      Ink toner/ cartridges

h)      DVDs/ CDs

i)        Foam packs

j)        your old Tooth brush!

Confusing bins and green fatigue turning people off recycling

Recycling rates are expected to fall this year for the first time in a decade, according to a leading rubbish collector.

The proliferation of bins that households are forced to use together with “green fatigue” and falls in the use of glass and paper, the two most recyclable types of rubbish, are all contributing to a stalling of the recycling rate, according to analysis by SITA UK, which collects waste from 12 million homes.

Government officials have already warned that current recycling rates are “insufficient” to meet a European Union target that half of household waste be recycled by 2020.

Figures from the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs showed that the recycling rate in England rose by only 0.2 percentage points from 43 per cent in 2011-12 to 43.2 per cent in 2012-13. SITA UK believes the rate will drop by at least 2 per cent this year.

It said its collection information showed the rate was already falling in urban areas, particularly in London.

Confusing bins and green fatigue turning people off recycling

The company said this could be down to “green fatigue” and that councils needed to make recycling easier. It suggested introducing mixed-bin recycling rather than making people separate out their own rubbish. David Palmer-Jones, the company’s chief executive, said: “Rates of overall recycling, especially in high-density urban areas, are undoubtedly higher when councils and their contractors run a mixed collection service.”

The Campaign for Real Recycling has opposed mixed-bin recycling, arguing that such waste cannot be properly sorted and ends up in landfill. It claims waste companies prefer it because it allows them to keep using the same trucks.

Other reasons for the forecast decline include local authority budget cuts, as councils divert stretched resources away from recycling to education and roads.

A Defra spokesman said it was working to ensure that it met the EU’s 50 per cent target.

More than three million families are paying a “garden tax” to have their lawn clippings taken away by the council, according to the Daily Mail. One in three councils in England and Wales charges residents to collect garden waste.

The levy, which can cost up to £120 a year, is not imposed by authorities in Scotland or Northern Ireland, which have retained free collections. The newspaper’s analysis of official data collected by Wrap, the government’s waste quango, revealed that 3.12 million homes had to pay for garden waste to be collected by their councils in 2012-13.

Recycle your old phone for easy cash

If you were one of the millions of people to buy a new iPhone yesterday, don’t throw away your old smartphone just yet.

The first step is to find a trustworthy company. There are several big names out there, including Asda, Tesco, Mazuma Mobile, CeX and Music Magpie. Moneysavingexpert.com has a comparison tool that lets you check which company offers the best deals.

Most of the major networks also have their own recycling programmes. For example, Three is currently offering a £50 bonus when you buy a new contract phone from it and recycle your old mobile through mazumamobile.com.

There are also several options if you want the proceeds to go to a good cause. These include the Multiple Sclerosis Society, which treats all the money from recycling as a donation, Guide Dogs UK, which receives £3.50 for each recyclable mobile donated and Envirofone, which aims to be as green as possible when recycling the phone.

Recycle your old phone for easy cash

Once you’ve got a quote that you’re happy with, the company will usually send over a Freepost envelope, so all you need to do is post it back. If you want to play it safe, you can always send the phone in by recorded delivery. Generally, recycling companies don’t want the charger as well, but it’s a good idea to double check.

Don’t forget to make a back-up of any data you want. Most phones have a “factory reset” option that will erase all data on the phone, and you should make sure there is no personal information left on the phone before you send it in. Also take out the SIM card.

Once the phone reaches the recycling company, it will check the device to see what sort of condition it’s in and to verify that it is not stolen. Expect the quote to be reduced if there is damage to any of the components, or if there are visible scratches and other cosmetic damage. You can ask for the phone to be returned if the new offer isn’t good enough — this is often done free of charge but not always, so do check before you send your phone away.

If you accept the offer, you will be paid by bank transfer, cheque, or in vouchers, depending on the option you chose when getting a quote. Although cash is always an alluring option, you usually receive a larger amount if you choose vouchers for retailers such as Argos or Amazon, so it is worth considering. Most companies will dispatch cheques and vouchers or make a bank transfer on the same day you accept their final offer.

Mr Anker points out that you can usually get more for your phone if you sell it yourself on sites such as eBay.

“Mobile recycling companies are making some cash out of the phone so if you’re prepared to do the leg work yourself you can usually get a better price,” he says.