Environmentalists are kicking up a stink about dog pooh. Or actually the bags that are being used
to dispose of dog pooh.
A new Sustainable Shelford group has recently been set up. Sustainable Shelford is a village group dedicated to helping reduce the carbon footprint of the parish of Great and Little Shelford and Stapleford. Ideas suggested to do this so far include :
· Find out information about solar panels and then pass the information on so that people in the villages can make informed decisions about the best technologies currently available
· Find out ways to make use of the many apples that grow in the village
· Investigate increasing the amount of allotment space
They regularly meet to discuss these and other initiatives and aim to hold open meetings with guest speakers to get as many people from the local area interested in the group.
The group welcomes members from Little Shelford and Stapleford. You can find the website at http://www.sustainable-shelford.org.uk
They are currently trying to establish a list which will include details of recycling facilities in Little and Great Shelford. They’re hoping to find out about little extra things which people may not know about - for example, the WI take in jam jars, plant pots etc and reuse them for the Country Market.
A forum has also been set up at http://www.sustainable-shelford.org.uk/index.php/Recycling-Forum/ to allow details of items you no longer want and would like to pass onto somebody else in the local area (for free) to be advertised.
There are many ways we can all do a bit more to help the environment. Little Shelford Parish Council has published a number of tips on its website. Here are five more tips that will also help to save you money.
· Nothing is more energy efficient for cooking than your microwave. It uses two-thirds less energy than your oven.
· Your dishwasher uses less water than washing dishes by hand. Then let dishes air-dry to save even more!
· Having lots of food in your fridge keeps it from warming up too fast when the door is open. So your fridge doesn't have to work as hard to stay cool.
· When you need to use the clothes dryer, run full loads, use the moisture-sensing setting, and clean the clothes dryer lint trap after each use.
· Conserve energy by running your dishwasher only when it is fully loaded
One step many of us can take to be more environmentally friendly is being more careful with the paper we use. You can use less paper to manage your accounts and paperwork – write or print on both sides and go for recycled paper if at all possible. You can also ask for your bank to stop sending your bank statements and view and manage your money online instead. Other bills can also be provided online, and this can even lead to your bills being trimmed because of the savings involved.
You can also sign up to stop receiving wasteful junk mail with the mailing preference service. This is offered by the Royal Mail and enables you to decide which letters you wish to receive. You can find this at:
Over the last couple of years, Little Shelford Parish Council has been doing its best to encourage everyone in the village to do their bit to help the environment. Tips that have been included in this column have been collected together on the parish council website.
Now a new group is being set up to help us all be a bit greener. Called Sustainable Shelford, they are hoping to find a few village-size projects to help the planet?
There are many things we could do:
· advice sessions on solar heating, insulation,
· a village sustainability website,
· a Shelford Green Fair,
· a tour of the village with an infra-red camera to show where our houses are losing heat,
· films and talks.
Sustainable Shelford is being organised by Helen Harwood, tel. 840393 or e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org .
The inaugural meeting is on Wednesday 13 May at 7.30pm in the Memorial Hall Committee Room, in Great Shelford.
Hardly a day goes by when another tip on how we might all help to save the planet emerges. Here are five suggestions that are currently doing the rounds on the other side of the Atlantic.
· Wash clothes in cold water: Over 90 per cent of energy used by a washing machine comes from water heating. Save on your bill by washing clothes in cold water if possible , with special cold-water detergent.
· Have an energy audit done on your home and retrofit your home to make it energy efficient. Many grants are available to finance this type of project.
· Run the dishwasher and clothes washing machine only with full loads.
· Keep water in the fridge instead of running tap water and waiting for it to get cold enough to drink.
· Take your own reusable containers when ordering take-out. This saves tons of styrofoam, plastic wrap, aluminium foil and cardboard from ending up in landfills. Just let the restaurant know you'll be bringing in your own dishes, and make sure to have enough dishes!
The news that Googling may be bad for the environment has made me think twice about the number of searches I have made over the last few weeks.
Research by Harvard University showed that performing two Google searches from a desktop computer can generate about the same amount of carbon dioxide as boiling a kettle for a cup of tea. Google has questioned the validity of the research.
However, I am so reliant on Google for work and online shopping that I felt I had to find a few other computer-related energy saving tips to help balance out the equation.
You can reduce the time your computer stands idle before going into standby or sleep mode.
You should switch off your computer if your machine is not going to be used for an hour or more.
Only plug in your printer when you need to use it. Even on standby printers still use 10watts.
If your desktop uses a fan for cooling, allow plenty of space and fresh air around the computer.
Some people are going as far as using a new version of Google which you can find under Blackle.com. They claim that the black background only uses 59 watts compared to the 74 watts used up by a standard white Google page.
There are a few easy things you can do when you drive and look after your car to help reduce the amount of fuel you burn and so cut down on CO2 emissions. By following these driving tips you could cut your CO2 emissions by about 8 per cent.
Under inflated tyres create more resistance when your car is moving. That means your engine has to work harder, so more fuel is used and more CO2 emissions are produced. Check your tyre pressures regularly and also before long journeys. This will also help to increase the life of your tyres.
Clutter in your boot is extra weight your engine has to carry around. By removing it, you could reduce your engine's workload. This will burn less fuel and cut your CO2 emissions, so unload any items you won't need for your journey before you set out.
Staying at or within the speed limit can reduce CO2 emissions and saves money on your petrol costs. At 70mph you could be using up to 9 per cent more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15 per cent more fuel than at 50mph.
Every time you stop then start again in a traffic queue, the engine uses more fuel and therefore produces more CO2. Keep an eye on the traffic ahead and slow down early by gently lifting your foot off the accelerator while keeping the car in gear. In this way, the traffic may have started moving again by the time you approach the vehicle in front, so you can then change gear and be on your way.
I can't be the only one who feels guilty whenever I throw batteries away. Now batteries can be recycled in Great Shelford.
You can take your batteries to Lay Electrical on the High Street and place them in the box provided. (And you can also recycle your empty ink cartridges at the Cambridge Building Society shop in Woollards Lane.)
600 million batteries are sent to landfill every year in the UK This causes pollution to the land and water and the loss of the valuable metals and compounds that they contain. The average household uses 21 batteries a year, and all batteries can be recycled including both rechargeable and non-rechargeable, as well as the battery packs from electronic and electrical equipment.
The only way we can recycle them in South Cambridgeshire is by taking them to one of the main recycling centres, such as Thriplow.
The collection box at Lay Electrical is only for dry cell batteries. (Car batteries are recycled through garages and scrap metal schemes.)
What more can we do?
Use rechargeable batteries wherever possible. They will save you money!
Plug electrical equipment into the mains electricity where possible.
Try to buy appliances that use renewable energy: a wind-up radio or torch, dynamo bicycle lights or a solar powered calculator.
Write to South Cambridgeshire DC and ask about kerbside battery collection.
Further information on recycling batteries is available at the Waste & Resources Action Programme (WRAP) website .
From October South Cambridgeshire Council is collecting plastic bottles of all shapes and sizes as part of the green box recycling scheme. Plastic bottles will be collected along with your paper, cans, glass bottles and jars every other Monday.
An additional green box will be delivered to every home during September. If you have not received a green box by midday on Saturday 27 September 2008 please contact us on 08450 450 063.
Which plastic bottles can you recycle?
You can put all your plastic bottles in the green box for recycling.
Remember! If it's bottle-shaped and made from plastic you can put it in your green box for recycling.
Which plastics can't you recycle?
Unfortunately there are no cost effective recycling facilities available locally at this time for other plastics such as yoghurt pots, food trays and plastic film. Please do not place these items in the green box.
What should you do with your plastic bottles?
Little Shelford Parish Council tries to encourage local residents to do more to help the environment. Quite often, these ideas can involve saving money too.
The rising price of petrol means that we are all spending more and more money to get to work. However a new local website could help ease the pain.
Camshare has been set up to provide a matching travel-to-work service. The site can match you up with potential partners as a driver or passenger. The site at camshare.Com is free to use and it may just help you share the costs of fuel and parking. The website claims that there members cans ave on average £790 every year. It would appear to be a win-win situation if you can find someone to share a lift with.
How every single household in little Shelford can save money.
A recent survey by the Energy Saving Trust (EST) showed that seven in every ten people leave appliances like TVs, mobile phone chargers and computers on standby.
If we all switched appliances off at the plug after using them, we could on average save £37 a year according to the EST.
I must admit that I find it hard to remember to switch off at the plug every night. But now a new device has been invented which will help protect the environment – and save us all money too.
The Standby Saver resembles a traditional extension cable which you plug all your devices that normally revert to standby. So when you switch off your TV with your remote control, the power will be cut to every other device plugged into that saver too. It has 6 sockets, two of which are flexible so that DVD recorders and other essential appliances with a timer can be left on.
This British invention was seen first on BBC’s Dragons' Den. Standby Saver cuts 100% of the standby power used by TVs, Hi-Fis, VCRs and DVDs. It cuts 100% of the power to PCs and printers and speakers.
Standby Saver is available in two versions: one for use with Infra red remote controlled electrical appliances, the second for use with USB port products. The Infra red version (green colour box) can be operated using any appliance that is controlled with an IR remote control e.g. TV, DVD, VCR stereo and games console. The USB version (blue colour box) can be operated with any device that has a USB port e.g. PC, laptop, printer and speakers.
The Standby Savers cost just over £20. They are likely to pay for themselves in less than a year.
There is a great new website which will help us to calculate Little Shelford's carbon footprint.
The site called Cut Your Carbon has been sponsored by the East of England Development Agency. You can find it at: http://www.cutyourcarbon.org.uk/
The site includes lots of energy saving tips. I have registered the village on the site so that we can jointly see what impact we are having on the environment and what we might do about it.
South Cambridgeshire District Council has announced that they are soon going to start collecting plastic as well as paper, bottles and cans in the fortnightly recycling collection. More information and advice about what can be recycled when we have it.
Little Shelford Parish Council is encouraging everyone in the village to think about how they might reduce their own personal impact on the environment.
When you are redecorating or having alterations done think about what energy saving measures could be incorporated. It is always cheaper to do them this way and it applies both to big jobs like a new kitchen or loft extension and to re-decorating the front room.
Look for high-performance double or triple glazed windows and doors
Dry-line external walls
Make sure all new lighting will take low energy bulbs
If you are having the electrician in upgrade light fittings to take low energy light-bulbs
Choose a wood-burning stove rather than an open fire
Kitchen and bathroom extracts should have heat recovery
If you are lifting the ground floor coverings, insulate underneath
Remember to seal the gaps around anything in the external walls - pipes, cat-flap etc.
Don't forget to look for FSC timber, natural fibres for floor coverings and organic, low-solvent paints.
Little Shelford is using its position as a community leader to encourage more people in the village to help the environment. One area where I am sure we could all do more is when we drive our cars. Here are driving some tips from the Energy Saving Trust website.
1. Check your revs - change up before 2,500rpm (petrol) and 2,000rpm (diesel).
2. Use air conditioning sparingly as it significantly increases fuel consumption.
3. Drive away immediately when starting from cold - idling to heat the engine wastes fuel and causes rapid engine wear.
4. Accessories such as roof racks, bike carriers, and roof boxes significantly affect your car's aerodynamics and reduce fuel efficiency, so remember to remove them when not in use.
5. Avoid short journeys - a cold engine uses almost twice as much fuel and catalytic converters can take five miles to become effective.
6. Check your tyre pressure regularly - under-inflated tyres are dangerous and can increase fuel consumption by up to 3%.
7. If you're stuck in a jam, switch the engine off if you expect to be there for more than a minute or two. Cutting the engine will save fuel and reduce emissions.
Little Shelford Parish Council has been using its position as a community leader to encourage local residents to think more about protecting the environment.
Some towns and villages across England are now asking local people to avoid using plastic bags from the supermarket. Girton has become the village in the county aiming to become a plastic bag free zone.
On average, we each receive 290 plastic bags every year from our supermarkets. Most of them end up in landfill sites. Plastic bags are made of polyethylene - more commonly known as polythene. They are reported to take up to 500 years to decompose.
Can you cut back on your bag usage and invest in an environmentally-friendly re-useable carrier instead?
Carrying one large canvas bag is much easier than trying to transport seven small plastic ones.
Little Shelford Parish Council is encouraging local residents to think about what they might do to help the environment.
How many of us drive on short journies when we could cycle or even walk? I am sure we have all jumped into the car to pop down to the Co-op in Great Shelford or driven to school on a cold day.
Did you know that our cars release over a tonne of CO2 each year for every man, woman and child.
Every journey under 3 miles that you decide not to use the car for will save about 2 kg of carbon dioxide according to the climate change group CRED. If you walk or cycle instead, you will help the environment and improve your health too.
When you are using your car, keep your distance and minimise the amount of breaking and accelerating you have to do. This is a much more efficient way of making your car do more miles to every litre you pay for. In fact it can save you about 13% of your fuel costs.
Little Shelford Parish Council is trying to encourage people in the village to do their bit to help the environment. We have discovered lots of new tips on the Cred site run by the University of East Anglia in Norwich.
A mobile phone charger left plugged in when not charging will be responsible for between 35 to 70kg of carbon dioxide over the year. Always unplug the mobile phone charger when not in use. If you feel it, the warmth of the plug is caused by the constant consumption of electricity.
Televisions, videos, DVD's, cordless phones, mobile phone chargers and computers all waste energy if you leave them plugged in when you are not using them. A staggering amount of the Nation's electricity bills is spent on stand by and appliances left plugged in when not used. By switching off at the plug when not required you could save up to 8% off your electricity bill.
You can find more tips on http://www.cred-uk.org/.
More and more people in Little Shelford are doing their bit to help the environment. How does the parish council know this? Because around 100 people visited our energy saving stall at the Little Shelford Feast on Saturday September 15th. And more than 50 people signed up with the Energy Saving Trust to try to save around 20 per cent of their own energy consumption. The incentive of a free energy saving bulb probably helped!
Enquiries on the day included everything from where you can now find the best range of energy saving bulbs (Amazon.Co.Uk was mentioned by the Trust) to how you can go about installing a mini wind turbine. Tips available on the day ranged from turning down your heating thermostat by one degree to doing the family washing at 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees where possible.
You can find out more about the Trust, and its commitment campaign at
Little Shelford Parish Council has published a number of handy hints and advice over the last few months about what we can do to help the environment.
We are going one step further in September. We are hosting an energy saving stall at the Little Shelford Feast on Saturday September 15th at the Wale Recreation ground.
An expert will be on hand from the Energy Saving Trust to offer environmental suggestions and answer questions. He will also be giving away some energy saving bulbs. District councillor Charlie Nightingale, who holds responsibilities for environmental issues at South Cambridgeshire Council, will also be there too.
This is the report presented to the Parish Council in November 2006 about what the council, as community leaders, could do to help local people do more to protect the environment.
While many people see climate change as an important issue, we can't scare people into doing something about climate change if they don't know that their actions can make a difference. On its own, fear just creates apathy and people avoid the issue.
It's often unhelpful to put all the blame on the individual and to criticise behaviour that people consider normal in their home or family. Instead, make it clear everyone has a role to play in acting together. We also need to make behaviour that reduces the threat of climate change seem positive or desirable.
What Little Shelford residents can do to help the environment
· Use energy efficient light-bulbs. Low energy light bulbs can make big savings. If you replace one normal 100 watt lightbulb with an energy-saving one and you can save up to £10 a year. They cost £5-£15, but should last up to eight times as long.
· Switch lights off in empty rooms
· Close windows when the heating is on
· Slightly turn down thermostat (minimum 18°C) . Turn thermostat down by 1% - this can save around 10% of your fuel buills and save on average £40 a year.
· Recycle your newspapers, cardboard, tins and bottles. Did you know 80% of the contents of your bin can be recycled?
· Around 33% of the heat lost in your home is through the walls, so insulating them can be the most cost-effective way to save energy in the home
· Reduce heat loss by closing curtains at dusk
· Only heat water which you will actually use
· Let clothes dry naturally
· Cook with lids on pans
· If you can, use flat-bottomed pans on electric hobs
· Keep your fridge/freezer at the right temperature (2-3° C for a fridge & -15° C for a freezer)
· Allow air to circulate behind your fridge and clean 'fuzz' off the piping at the back
· Defrost your freezer regularly
· Run the washing machine with full loads
· Use low temperature washes whenever possible
· Don't leave your TV, video or dvd on stand-by. Switch it off at the plug. The average household wastes £37 each year by leaving appliances on standby
· Stop draughts and heat escaping by filling gaps under skirting boards with beading or mastic sealant.
· Choose the products with the least packaging, for example fruit and vegetables that you chose yourself rather than the ones packaged in polystyrene trays and plastic wrapping
· Contact the mail preference service http://www.mpsonline.org.uk/ to stop 95% of the junk mail you receive
· Reuse plastic carrier bags when visiting supermarkets
· Compost at home - reduces the amount of rubbish you put in the bin - garden waste, kitchen waste
· Grow vegetables on an allotment- this will help reduce the carbon taken to transport your veg to the local shop
· For a report on how much energy can be saved in your own home, fill out the Energy Saving Trust's onlinehome energy check. Alternatively, you can obtain a paper version by calling your local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre(EEAC) on 0800 512 012.
· Use park-and-ride or other public transport rather than drive into Cambridge
· Drivers can neutralise their Carbon Dioxide emissions through targetneutral, a non-profit making partnership. An average car drives 10,000 miles a year and generates four tonnes of CO2. Neutralising this amount of carbon emissions will cost around £20 a year http://www.targetneutral.com/
o Publicise what individuals can do to make a difference through the parish magazine and village notice boards
o We could have a campaign to publicise the use of allotments and encourage people to grow their own vegetables, reducing the air miles that are flown
o We could have a policy not to drive to council meetings (possibly for those of us who live in Little Shelford)
o We could ensure that we only use recycled paper. Or we could even have "paperless " meetings, with papers being available on laptop computers
o We could introduce a plastic recycling bin into Little Shelford - but where would we put it? Visit http://www.recoup.org/ for more details on different types of plastic, where you can recycle them and how to buy recycled plastic products
o Should we have a council position on wind turbines and solar panels? Friends of the Earth say that wind turbines only produce enough energy to power a hairdryer (Observer November 12th
o We could hold a Little Shelford energy efficiency day http://www.est.org.uk/uploads/documents/cafe/cafe%20case%20study%207.pdf
o Cornwall County Council was among the first local authorities in the UK to trial a new way of powering streetlights with the installation of two solar powered lights in the village of Cubert.Should we explore this for Little Shelford?
What Little Shelford Parish Council can do to help the environment
The Nottingham Declaration
Your local authority has a crucial role to play in responding to this challenge.
You can show your commitment to this important issue by signing The Nottingham Declaration on climate change
By signing, you pledge to actively tackle climate change in your area and work with others to reduce emissions country-wide.
Individual communities can also benefit significantly. Energy use can be cut and overall environmental performance can be improved leading to significant cost savings.
Citizens and property can also be protected from threats posed by a changing climate such as flooding.
Has your local authority signed up?
So far, over 160 local authorities have already signed the declaration, but it's vital that all local authorities commit themselves to the process.
If your local authority is yet to sign, register them today and we'll send you a declaration information pack. It shows you how to develop a sustainable energy strategy in your area.
Alternatively phone the Energy Saving Trust's information service for local authorities on 0870 241 2089 email us.
Energy Saving Trust - www.est.com
Globalactionplan.org.uk - environmental charity
Carboncalculator.com - see how green you are
Where to buy green electricity http://www.greenelectricity.org/
Links to Great Shelford pages on our sister site, Greatshelford.info