Official: Britons waste energy
British people waste more energy than the inhabitants of any other major western European nation, hastening climate change and adding £2.5bn to annual fuel bills, according to research.
An ICM poll conducted in the UK, Germany, France, Spain and Italy, showed that the British seem less concerned about global warming that our European neighbours.
- 71% leave appliances on standby
- 67% boil more water than needed in kettles
- 65% leave chargers plugged in
- 63% don’t turn off lights in empty rooms
- 48% use the car for short journeys
- 44% wash clothes at 60F
- 32% leave the engine running while the car is stationary
- 32% use the tumble dryer when the washing line could be used
- 28% have the central heating on in an empty house
- 22% turn up the thermostat instead of reaching for a jumper
If you’re not one of the culprits, good for you – Humanists should care for the environment. But have you considered everything?
You might save money by changing your energy supplier, but cheap fuel is bad for the environment. The most environmentally-friendly electricity comes from Good Energy – it’s all wind-generated. Replacing all your light bulbs with low energy ones needn’t be expensive. Energy Savers Direct has bulbs from 99p each. Gas is more difficult but RSPB Energy plant trees to try to compensate for the damage caused by burning a fossil fuel. Environmentalists say that planting trees doesn’t solve the problem, because some fail. Whenever they die, they’ll release all that CO2 back into the atmosphere. You can check how to make the most of your energy through the Energy Saving Trust.
When it comes to shopping, there are many ways to reduce the negative effects we have on the environment.
- Support local producers
- Avoid food with high air miles, like out of season fruit and vegetables.
- Eat less meat and fish – only eat fish from sustainable sources or meat that’s been reared organically. A lot of animals and poultry are fed on soya protein, and soya plantations are another reason that rain forests are being destroyed in South America.
- Avoid over-packaged items
- Refuse plastic carrier bags – take your own bags
- Avoid products containing palm oil unless you’re sure it comes from sustainable plantations – the habitat of animals like the orang utan is being destroyed to plant palms for the oil that’s used in a huge range of foodstuffs, cosmetics and cleaning products.
- Only buy as much as you need – 30% to 40% of the food bought in Britain is thrown away, uneaten.
- Be thrifty with left-overs, like they were during the war – make soup!
We can reduce waste in many ways. If anyone would like some brandling worms for their enclosed compost bin, please email me – I’ve got thousands! Using disposable nappies is not environmentally-friendly. 3 billion nappies a year are thrown away in the UK and 90% end up in landfill, where they may stay for decades, even hundreds of years. If there’s a baby in the family, use real nappies. They’re cheaper in the long run. You can buy enough nappies for your baby’s nappy-wearing life for under £50. If you don’t like the idea of laundering them, there may even be a nappy laundering service in your area, but what’s the world coming to when parents won’t wash nappies?
Many won’t do anything to save the planet because it takes effort. Laziness is no excuse!