Monday, 1 November 2010

What eco products make the best Christmas gifts?

Christmas time, mistletoe and wine - plus loads of great ideas for eco gifts from Go Eco Store. We've written a short article to help inspire you make the right choice for your loved one this festive season. Read it here.

Tuesday, 6 April 2010

Using recycled products

Over the past 30/40 years our society has become quite wasteful, with a throwaway type of attitude, meaning everything that gets put in the bin increases the mass of landfill waste. However, in recent years the level of recycling carried out in the UK has gradually increased, with around 40% of households now recycling our own waste. There are many streams of waste, ranging from the fortnightly collections of wheelie bins full of cardboard & plastic bottles to glass bottle banks to composting.
But how does recycling help? By collecting all these materials, it means there is less waste going to landfill and items are being reused as opposed to using up valuable new resources. Virgin plastic is generated from oil which is a finite resource and will not last forever, so by collecting plastic bottles this provides a stream of materials that would otherwise slowly decompose over many years in the ground. The other aspect of using recycled products means lower energy consumption as it is generally more efficient to reuse items than create them from new. This in turn reduces the usage of fossil fuels and emissions of carbon dioxide, helping combat climate change effects.
So by purchasing recycled products we can all “close the loop” on the recycling of products, encouraging an eco lifestyle. The range and quality of recycled products has increased dramatically, below are some examples with full details:

· Recycled Glasses – these are made from used wine & beer bottles and are converted into tumblers & goblets with minimal energy usage. They are enhanced with various designs or are made from world wide renowned beers like Grolsch & Carlsberg, making a great talking point!

· Recycled Gifts – a range of clocks, thermometers, coasters & placemats manufactured from a slate like material which is created from vending machine coffee cups collected through the Save-a-Cup scheme operating in UK offices.

· Recycled Cardboard Playhouses – every wondered why your recycled cardboard goes? Here is a range of play houses for children created from recycled cardboard, creating a wide range of designs all of which can be decorated as well.

· Recycled Puppet Craft Kits – a cute range of puppet craft kits made from recycled card, suitable for children from 36 month’s which they will enjoy creating and then playing with.

Recycling of products is worthwhile but in order to really reap the benefits we have to purchase recycled products in order to close the loop.

Recycling is key to reducing the global carbon footprint so as consumers we have to close the loop and purchase recycled products.

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Monday, 1 June 2009

Reduce landfill by using a kitchen compost bin

There is a lot of media attention regarding the issues over plastic bags and landfill waste but if you consider how much waste we all generate its no surprise. All of our household rubbish ends up in landfill sites and can take many years to degrade, but how healthy is it for the planet with many man made materials like plastic? The use of plastic increases the amount of time for waste to degrade, encasing it and protecting it.

Recycling of items like cardboard and plastic for further use is reducing the amount that is sent to landfill but we need to then utilise these materials to close the recycling loop. There is a greater awareness of recycling and the benefits, with the majority of households now involved in the process. However, we can also “recycle” our food waste, reducing the amount going into landfill via a compost bin or putting cooked items out for the birds in the garden.

The use of a kitchen compost bin is an easy way of collecting fruit & vegetable waste, including many other items like hair and tea leaves that are suitable for composting. There are kitchen compost bins available that have odour filters and also biodegradable bins that can go straight into the garden compost bin. Once the waste has degraded into compost over a year, this is then “recycled” into the earth providing essential nutrients for the soil. Using the compost in our own gardens encourages organic gardening with great tasting fresh fruit and vegetables. Growing your own produce is extremely satisfying and better for your health if you don’t use fertiliser’s or chemicals.

Help reduce landfill waste by using a kitchen compost bin …..

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Monday, 20 April 2009

Saving Electricity by using LED bulbs

Go Eco Store show how you can save electricity by using LED light bulbs

We consider the technology changes in home lighting and how we can all help reduce energy consumption by adopting an Eco lifestyle.

Every household consumes a considerable amount of energy by using light bulbs throughout the home and this can amount to over £200 per annum in a typical 3 bedroom house. In today’s social environment of ever changing fashion there has been a move towards light fitments having multiply bulbs which may be aesthetically pleasing but has high energy consumption.

If you consider the cost of using one 60W bulb in a lounge compared to say a three 40W candle fitment, based on 6 hours a day usage the cost is £11.18pa compared to £22.35pa. Then think about a typical kitchen which normally has a couple of spotlight fitments which may amount to say 6 bulbs at 50W and with 6 hours usage a day this will cost circa £56 pa. Multiply these costs up by the number of rooms and it’s easy to see how the cost soon increases. Then there are the replacement costs of the bulbs, where typically a halogen spotlight or traditional bulb will last for 1,000 hours, meaning replacing at least once per year.

As householders we all want to reduce our outgoings and there is a way to reduce lighting costs, by using low energy bulbs. The advances in technology have meant that the range available has changed in the past few years from the long ugly compact fluorescent (CFL) to the attractive light emitting diode (LED) bulbs.

The CFL bulbs are widely available in DIY stores and many local council's give them away free to encourage households to move towards low energy bulbs but the design isn’t the most pleasing to the eye. Typically a CFL bulb that emits the equivalent light of a 60W normal bayonet cap (BC) will be rated at 20W and last for 8,000 hours, but it’s about 16cms in length with long looping tubes. If you then consider the cost of running this bulb, it amounts to £3.72pa if used for 6 hours per day and can be purchased at a cost of circa £2. Another associated problem with CFL’s is the slow warm up time before getting to full light which can be as much as 5 minutes, however technology is improving this. There are now improvements in the design where you can buy micro & mini CFL’s that use 10W of energy and are less than 10cms in length, making them more attractive to look at and consuming only £1.86pa of electricity.

Further advances in technology has now resulted in light bulbs being made from LED’s in a variety of format’s, encompassing GU10, Edison Screw spotlights and BC Candles. The real advantage of these is that they use minimal electricity, as low as 1W in some cases but the light output is not quite as high as normal bulbs at the moment and are ideally suited for general lighting in kitchens, hallways & stairs. If you take a typical 3W GU10 LED bulb, which emits light equivalent to 35W, using the example above of two light fitments containing 3 x 50W Halogen GU10 bulbs then the annual energy consumption amounts to just £3.30pa. As you can see this is a substantial saving and they can be purchased at a cost of £15 each. Therein lies the problem with
LED light bulbs at the moment as the price is prohibitive to most people when compared to a typical halogen bulb of £1.50. However, the life of these bulbs is circa 40,000 hours, meaning they probably only need replacing once every 30 years! Further development means that candle bulbs can now be replaced with LED ones, which only consume 1.7W’s of energy compared to 40W. Again comparing the example above this means the energy usage would amount to just £1.13pa.