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Swedish Prime Minister Stefan Lofven has announced in a Statement of Government Policy that Sweden will become one of the world’s first fossil free welfare countries. Whilst they have already hit their 2020 renewable energy goals, 50% of its power is still produced from fossil fuels.

In order to facilitate changes the government is investing around 4.5 billion kronor (around £350 million), which will fund solar and wind energy projects, smart grids and support green transportation and making buildings more energy efficient.

While Sweden is taking a leading role on a global scale to implement changes for a sustainable future, what can you do at home on a more local scale?

At ACE we promote sustainable development in all the work we do, and we encourage people to share their innovative ideas around sustainability. Here are some of our top tips to reduce your fossil fuel use on a local scale:

WASTE

– Only buy what you need

– Follow the waste hierarchy, REDUCE, REUSE, RECYCLE

ENERGY

– Do not leave household appliances on standby!

– Turn down your thermostat and only heat rooms in use

WATER

– Have shorter showers instead of baths

– Use a bowl to wash up rather than leaving the tap running

– Collect rainwater using a water butt to use in your garden

SHOPPING

– Buy locally and in season

– Check out charity stores or car boot sales to buy re-usable items.

TRANSPORT

– Walk or cycle

– For longer journeys use public transport

 

Has Sweden’s pledge to ditch fossil fuels inspired you to make some changes? Why not tweet us to share some of your own ideas? Or check out our Sustainable Communities Project website for some further information.

Most people use plastic bags on a daily basis and do not think about the consequences. But from today (5th October) a new law in England will mean that large retailers will have to charge at least 5p for plastic carrier bags. This new law is part of England’s policy to reduce waste. Last year over 7.6 billion single use plastic bags were given to customers in supermarkets in England, wasting lots of plastic, which is mostly sent to landfill. Plastic bags are harmful to the environment in many ways. They take hundreds of years to degrade and each year huge masses of plastic waste ends up in our oceans.

Whilst it may come as a shock to start being charged for plastic bags, England is far behind other parts of the UK, where Scotland, Wales and N. Ireland have already had laws in place for some time. In Wales a reduction of 78.2% of bags handed out to customers has been witnessed since the charge in 2010.

At ACE we have created several campaigns to reduce plastic waste for both businesses and communities. In 2013 we launched our Live With Less Plastic campaign, which aimed to raise awareness and demonstrate the benefits of using less plastic to inspire change. Previously we have also worked with small businesses in Ealing to encourage them to convert to biodegradable packaging in partnership with London Biodegradable Packaging.

So get ready for todays launch! Why not re-use some old canvas bags or purchase a bag for life? Or try to follow our waste hierarchy when it comes to plastic bags:streaming Logan 2017 movie

Reduce – Do not buy new plastic bags in supermarkets. Try to keep old bags to hand and use your pockets for smaller items that do not need a bag.

Re-use – Reuse old bags when shopping, if you have plenty lying around your home why not re-use them as bin liners or use to carry your lunch in to work.

Recycle – Recycle your old plastic bags at recycling points or in your local supermarket.

 

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For more information about the new charge head to gov.co.uk

Why not tweet us with some of your ideas to waste less plastic or any thoughts on the new charges?

This week is WASTE LESS, LIVE MORE week created by Keep Britain Tidy. This approach brings together organisations and communities to take part in activities that are good for people as well as the environment. Head to www.wastelesslivemore.com to download your own challenge pack, with 51 ways to Waste Less and Live More.

At ACE we aim to promote the waste hierarchy (see below), with a focus on reducing, re-using and recycling.

waste-hierarchy

Why not take one of the following challenges and see if you can follow the waste hierarchy. Not only will you waste less, but you could also save money! Benefiting yourself and the environment.

 

Try Upcycling

Upcycling is a form of creative re-use and is the process of turning something old or unused into something new and usable. For example, you could turn an old cork board into a jewellery organiser or use old books as shelves! This is a great way to re-use items and a fun way to get the whole family involved.

Ditch Disposables

Try and go the whole day or week without using disposables. Why not switch to reusable coffee cups when out and about. Or try and ‘Live with Less Plastic’ by ditching the plastic bag or swapping plastic bottles for re-usable stainless steel ones. See our website for more details about our Live with Less Plastic campaign.

Go Zero Waste

Why not try and produce no waste for a whole day?! Make a packed lunch using leftovers and avoid buying anything in packaging that cannot be recycled! Try to follow the waste hierarchy: reduce, re-use then recycle.

Go Paperless

See if you can go paperless for an entire day, or if you do need to use paper make sure to print doubled sided or re-use scraps for note taking. As a last resort recycle any paper you do need to use.

 

Hashtag #WLLM15 on twitter to spread the word about what challenges you are trying out this week or why not tweet ACE to let us know or ask for some advice on how to waste less!

 

At ACE as part of our Sustainable Communities Project we aim to promote sustainable living and provide guidance. Our free workshops cover various aspects of sustainable living, with the main purpose to highlight to communities the direct savings they can make by making simple changes.

One aspect of our project is to overcome fuel poverty. Fuel poverty, the condition of being unable to afford to keep your home adequately heated is a serious issue. It is estimated that around 2.35 million households in England in 2013 were in fuel poverty so it is our mission at ACE to help combat this.

Fuel poverty is partially driven by energy efficiency in the home so ACE have come up with some top tips to be efficient with energy:

  1. Be efficient with heating

– Turning down your thermostat by 1°C could save you up to £60 a year

– Only heat rooms in use

– Wear an extra layer to save on heating

– Check for draught points

 

  1. Be efficient with cooking

– Heat your home with cooking

– Make sure to use the right ring for the right thing!

– Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need

 

  1. Be efficient with washing

– Always wash on a full load at a lower temperature

– Hang laundry rather than tumble dry (will also reduce the amount of ironing needed)

– Do not run the tap when washing dishes

 

  1. Be efficient with appliances

– Defrost frozen food in your fridge overnight

– Use energy saving light bulbs or LEDSs.

– Switch off! Do not leave appliances on standby. You could save up to £30 a year just by remembering to turn appliances off standby mode.

 

Why not try out some of our tips and see how much you could save?

ACE has also partnered with uSwitch, a free impartial enterprise for comparing prices of energy and gas bills. Why not head over to their webpage and see how much money you could be saving?

For more information about our project please get in touch at info@ace.org.uk or on 02072506961.

Each year UK householders waste on average 7 million tonnes of food waste. Of this waste, 4.2 million tonnes is avoidable, the equivalent of 6 meals every week for the average household. This wastage is estimated to cost £470 for the average householder and £700 for a household with children according to data from WRAP.

At ACE, as part of our Sustainable Communities Project we are trying to engage and communicate with communities about living sustainably, including food waste avoidance. To achieve this we run interactive workshops to engage local communities and provide practical tips and information.

So what can I do? ACE has come up with a series of simple steps that can be carried out to reduce your food waste and save your money!

1. Planning, Planning, Planning!

-Create shopping lists to make sure you only buy what you need and plan meals ahead.
-Love your leftovers – get creative! Come up with new recipes using leftover food.

2. Portion sizes

-Perfect portion sizes, only cook what you can eat! Check the labels on pasta and rice packets for further guidance.

3. Storage

-Make the most of your freezer! The freezer can be a useful way to store food you have not eaten and reheat when you need. Be careful to check the guidelines as to how long items can be frozen . (Guidelines)
-Store foods at the correct temperature, check food labels to ensure you are storing them at the right temperature so they stay fresher for longer.
-Use date labels on food to make sure you know when it will expire.

So why not give some of these quick and easy tips a go?! Not only will you be reducing your carbon footprint by avoiding food waste but you will also be saving money!

Head to WRAP’s Love Food Hate Waste page for recipes and more information. One of our favourite recipes at ACE are these crispy fried rice cakes which can be quickly made up using everyday items from the kitchen.

Or why not get in contact with ACE to organise a workshop in your area? At info@ace.org.uk or 02072506961.