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What you can do

What action will you take to live and work more sustainably? Remember even small changes can add up to make a big impact. Make your pledge today…

There are plenty of things that we can do to lighten our individual footprint on our planet. Below we have listed lots of ways you can help to create a Green Future for North Lincolnshire.

Once you have read this information, why not make your own pledge today? Here are some suggestions:

Save energy at home

Unplug your gadget chargers when you’re not using them. If a charger feels warm when it’s plugged in but not attached to a device, it’s still using energy.

Devices like televisions, microwaves, scanners, and printers use standby power, even when off.

A single computer and monitor left on 24 hours a day will cost around £45 a year. Switching them off when not in use and enabling standby features could reduce this to less than £10 a year each and prolong the lifespan of equipment.

keyboard, game controller and headphones

Hand turning down thermostat

Be more energy efficient

Saving energy at home is a great place to start. Draughtproofing and improving insulation will make your home cosier and cheaper to heat.

Try to keep your thermostat around 19°C, and choose LED lightbulbs and appliances with high efficiency ratings to keep your electric consumption down.

Collect rainwater in your garden and use as irrigation water for your lawn or plants.

Save water when using your washing machine

  1.  Only wash full loads. Washing machines operate at maximum efficiency when the drum is full. If you tend not to fill the drum you should was less frequently or consider buying a washing machine with a smaller drum.
  2.  Use cotton wash instead of synthetic wash. To avoid creasing, synthetic wash programmes use fifty per cent more water than cotton washes.
  3.  Do not use extra rinse. If your washing programme is set to use extra rinse, this will obviously use more water than necessary. The purpose of extra rinse is to ensure the fabric softener is completely removed for the benefit of people with sensitive skin.
  4.  When you buy a new washing machine, check the water icon on the energy efficiency label.

Dials on a washing machine

Bee hotel in a garden

Bee Hotel

Honey bees are the kind that constructs hives, and they make up only 15% of the bee population. The remaining 85%, known as solitary bees, mostly wander around and reside on burrows, cracks, hollows, and holes.

By constructing a bee hotel, you provide a habitat to these bees. This allows them to breed and ensure that they don’t go extinct.

Learn how to make your own bee hotel on the RSPB website.

In the garden

Grow edible plants for your family.

Buy peat free compost and plants grown in peat free compost.

Use natural pest control not harmful herbicides/insecticides.

Leave a pile of small branches as a habitat for beetles/hedgehogs.

Edible plants being grown in a garden.

energy saving lightbulbs

Switch to low-energy light bulbs

Changing traditional light bulbs to energy-saving equivalents can make a big difference to your electricity bills.

Traditional 40W, 60W and 100W bulbs have equivalent low-energy versions, which are rated approximately 8W, 10W and 15-20W respectively. By replacing a 40W traditional bulb with an 8W low-energy one, you have immediately cut your use by 80% for that bulb.

Saving water

  • Try to fill the kettle with only what is needed, this will save water and energy.
  • Using the lid on saucepans reduces the amount of water lost through evaporation. It also helps your lovely veg cook quicker.
  • Experiment with the settings on your dishwasher, many modern machines offer ‘Eco’ or ‘Economy’ setting.

Woman making a cup of tea with a kettle of boiling water

Women buying food in shop

Make better choices when shopping

Avoid single-use and disposable items, and buy reusable products instead. Choose good-quality products that will last, use them for longer and try to repair before you replace.

Use refillable products where possible. Find out how to buy refillables such as washing-up liquid and shower gel, and which supermarkets sell packaging-free products.

Travelling to work

Walking, cycling, using public transport or car sharing will reduce emissions, improve our health and can also save you money.

Plus less air pollution means fewer cases of asthma, cancer and heart disease.

Women cycling to work

mum and daughter brushing their teeth

Turn off the water whilst brushing my teeth

According to waterwise.org – a running tap wastes over six litres per minute, meaning if adults brush their teeth the NHS recommended twice a day for two minutes – they could be wasting over 24 litres of water a day – more than is used in the average modern dishwasher cycle. Visit the Waterwise.org website for more ideas on saving water.

Be energy efficient with your fridge and freezer

Don’t leave the door open longer than necessary. Defrost frozen food in your fridge. Frozen food will act like an ice pack to help cool the fridge, reducing the amount of electricity the fridge needs to use to keep cool.

For optimum energy efficiency, aim to keep your fridge and freezer at least three quarters full. You could fill them with bottles of water to take up space. But don’t overfill – fridges and freezers work by circulating air around the compartments. If they’re too full, air won’t be able to circulate, and the appliance will use more energy to keep cold.

Food inside refrigerator

volunteers developing community garden

Volunteer your time

  • Join thousands of people and communities across the UK connecting to nature on their doorsteps and contributing to its protection. Join The Conservation Trust volunteers.  Connecting people and green spaces to deliver lasting outcomes for both.
  • Volunteering for health and wellbeing:
    • Green Gym – Outdoor Exercise That Makes A Difference With TCV
  • Churchyards:
  • Nextdoor Nature in Lincolnshire:
    • Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust is supporting communities, that have little connection to nature in their neighbourhoods, to make small changes to their backyards, streets, parks and pockets of open space that encourage wildlife to move back in. Collectively these will provide more wild spaces that benefit nature and help to improve residents’ health and wellbeing.

Nextdoor Nature is a National Lottery Heritage Fund project run by the Wildlife Trusts nationally and delivered by local Wildlife Trusts. Contact: sfysh@lincstrust.co.uk 

Volunteer with Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust

  • Lincolnshire Wildlife Trust – Volunteers of all ages contribute to the Trust’s work bringing a range of skills, interests, time and enthusiasm. There is a range of voluntary opportunities, from surveying wildflowers to putting up fencing, assisting in a visitor centre or helping children enjoy a minibeast hunt.You don’t need to be an expert! We have opportunities at all levels and necessary training can be provided.

Volunteers painting a bird hide

two adults picking litter from road side

Litter Pickers

Local people, community groups, charities, clubs, businesses and town and parish councils in North Lincolnshire are being called on to join the growing army of Litter Heroes who have had enough of other people’s rubbish and want to help take action against it.

If you would like to get involved in the big clean up, email neighbourhoodservices@northlincs.gov.uk or call 01724 297000. The council can offer support including providing litter picking equipment and removing the rubbish you collect.

To join the Litter Heroes register at www.keepbritaintidy.org. This will ensure that all clean-ups in North Lincolnshire are recognised and are shown on the map along with others taking place up and down the country. You will also be able to download a guide and get advice and tips.

Share your litter picks using the hashtag #OneGreenFuture #BigBagChallenge

Reduce, reuse or recycle

Ways to reduce, reuse or recycle your household waste in North Lincolnshire. What you can put in your bins and boxes, and what happens to your recycling. Check our dedicated recycling pages for more information.

person holding a box of rubbish to be recycled

Fruit and vegetables with no packaging in a basket

Shopping

Picking products with less plastic packaging, like loose fruit and vegetables, is a great way to help tackle climate change by reducing plastic waste.

We throw away around 290,000 tonnes of plastic bags and wrapping every year in the UK. This material makes up nearly a quarter of consumer packaging, yet only 6% is recycled. Putting plastic bags and wrappings in your red bin contaminates the waste and costs us every month – take your bags and wrappings to your local supermarket and store for recycling. Find your nearest location on the recyclenow website.

Wasting food feeds climate change

It’s time for action – small changes to save your food from the bin make a huge difference to our planet. Lots of hints and tips on the Love Food Hate Waste website.

Walking

There are many walks to be found within North Lincolnshire. You can be sure to find a walk to suit any ability or age. What makes walking in North Lincolnshire so special is you never know what you might stumble across. Walks in North Lincolnshire take in the mysterious and breath-taking; from historic airfields to a 12th Century Abbey.

View the list of Walking the Way to Health walks on the Walking in North Lincolnshire web page.  Additional information is also available on the Visit North Lincolnshire website.

Group of walkers walking down a path in the sunshine

Family outside riding bikes

Cycling

Cycling can make you feel good about life – whether you want to improve your fitness, help to improve the environment or have a little fun with your family, cycling is the ideal activity. Visit our Cycling in North Lincolnshire webpage for more information.