Friday 17 April 2009

Surprise Easter Egg

OK so I was taken by surprise as Heather bought me a fabulous Easter Egg which included a dozen liquor filled chocolates but it did have its down side?

Outside box of cardboard which can be recycled great. Inner lining of plastic holding the egg and chocolates in place not good. Further cellophane insert tray to separate chocolates from egg not good. Another black cellophane tray holding the chocolates not good. Finally the chocolates were wrapped in foil which made them look attractive but again is heading for the landfill so not good.

Now I am not being ungrateful ( I didn't buy Heather one either) but as I keep saying packaging is a major issue for most families trying to reduce waste and when you looked at practically all the eggs on display this year the amount of packaging involved is enormous.

Please manufacturers I know its a tough time right now but I do think you could do a lot worse than to package your products in an envionmentally friendly way as well as being attractive to the customer?

Monday 6 April 2009

Greener Driving saves £'s

Many of my colleagues are aware that I changed my main car in September last year from my mid life crisis sports coupe to a more sensible and fuel efficient diesel engined SUV. Now before everyone gets on at me for buying a large vehicle I do have two grown ups as well as Heather and myself to think about when purchasing a vehicle. Even the sports coupe was bought with that in mind as it could easily handle four adults and a weeks shopping (or my golf clubs).

Anyway back to the diesel. Cheaper road fund licence saving me £80 per year. More expensive fuel but double the fuel consumption figures from the coupe which averaged 19MPG to the much more respectable 40MPG that I am currently doing in the diesel. Average saving per month an incredible £100+. Added to that are the lower CO2 emisions and with much cleaner technology in a modern diesel (lower servicing costs) all adds up to a more environmentally friendly drive which, coupled with a much softer driving style, and cruise control for all types of driving (stick it at 30MPH and you cannot break the speeed limits) means I am much happier with my current contribution to the environmental impact that I make.

Now I know this is not the end as I am still awaiting a good looking vehicle with fuel cell technology that will really revolutionise the environmental impact that we all make to the planet and I am just hoping that Honda have that particular type of vehicle available for when I next change my car.

Wednesday 1 April 2009

Success at Last (but not in Yorkshire)

Tesco is to encourage customers to discard unwanted and excessive packaging near the tills, in an experiment along the lines of a similar "take-back" scheme in Germany. The supermarket chain has already cut back on what it regards as "wasteful" packaging, such as bulky dog food bags and unnecessary plastic wrapping on food. A regional trial will now try to find out which kinds of packaging consumers are prepared to do without.
Common customer gripes include the amount of plastic, cardboard and foil used with Easter eggs, the superfluous boxes accompanying toothpaste, and the trays and plastic film that "protect" fruit.
The trial runs initially for six weeks from today, at Tesco stores in Guildford, Surrey, and Ilminster, Somerset. The company stressed that the arrangements were temporary to get consumer feedback. The scheme allows customers to leave excess packaging for recycling.
Alasdair James, Tesco's head of energy, waste and recycling, recently visited Germany. He said: "We know our customers expect us to help them recycle easily and we have also committed ourselves to cutting our own waste. This unique pilot helps us do both. Packaging left by customers at the store will tell us a lot about areas we may need to look at again, as well as where we have got it right."
A large proportion of retail packaging ends up in landfill space where it takes a long time to decompose, and even then the waste can give off harmful gases and toxins which pollute the air and water.

Monday 30 March 2009

So What next?

I have tried to keep everyone up to date with my Cleaner Greener blog on a monthly basis and I am starting to increase my posts as we try to turn our hand at reducing the Hudson family carbon footprint.

Since starting my Cleaner Greener blog last October I have taken you through the pitfalls of nearly missing the collection of the bins to telling you about my family’s difficulty dealing with excess supermarket packaging.

In the coming weeks I am planning on reducing this family’s carbon footprint. Everyone can get involved with us by doing the simple things like turning TVs and computers off standby and with the warmer weather arriving, turning the central heating down just one or two degrees. “I have many exciting ideas floating about for my upcoming posts so keep checking in to see what I have in store.

Easter is going to be interesting - from attempting to buy an Easter egg with as little packaging as possible to trying to reduce our carbon footprint by driving my car in a much more fuel efficient way. I am really eager to tell you all about the little changes, such as remembering to turn the lights off in the office or at home that can make a huge difference and collectively as citizens we can all tackle climate change and mounting energy costs.