Pledge tips, information and advice
Please find below some tips, advice and ideas about things which will make some of your pledge promises easier to achieve.
We have also included some information regarding how much carbon emissions you could save if you fulfil some of the pledge promises.
Make a ‘meat-free day’ part of your weekly routine.
This can hugely benefit your health as well as the environment. There is a wealth of information, tips and advice on how to make vegetarian and vegan-friendly choices, as well as recipes, ideas and events from local groups. Check out meatfreemondays.com for more information and guidance on how to build this into your green routine.
Make charity shop donations a part of your clear-out/de-clutter routine.
If possible, you could also arrange a ‘clothes-swap party’ with your friends, to freshen up your wardrobe without having to buy new clothes. And any clothes/household fabrics that are ripped, frayed, faded and no longer fit for purpose can still be collected by some charity shops for recycling. This further reduces the amount of waste that ends up on landfill sites, which already accounts for over 24% of the UK’s annual domestic waste.
Repair and/or upcycle where possible.
There are a growing number of local community workshops that offer practical support for all your DIY needs, from sewing up ripped fabrics to bicycle maintenance and repair, mending broken toasters to gluing things back together again.
One such place is Todmorden’s very own Todmorden Makery. Officially opening on Saturday 30th October 2021. Todmorden Makery is a space for people to come together to help develop a culture of recycling through assisted repairing, upcycling, and construction projects.
The mutual support provided at community workshops such as this one help people to build confidence, learn new skills and use tools and resources that aren’t easily available or accessible. They are also a great place to meet new people and share ideas.
For further information, check out the Todmorden Makery website
A little further afield is Heptonstall’s community repair café
Repair, recycle, reuse, repeat!
Explore what places have to offer on your doorstep.
Since the pandemic, more and more people have been taking so-called ‘staycations’, enjoying trips across the beautiful and diverse landscape of Britain. Try researching local places of historical, geographical, and cultural interest. A good book to help with adopting a greener approach to travel and exploration is ‘Go Lightly -How to Travel Without Hurting the Planet’ by Nina Karnikowski.
Purchase goods without using extra plastic packaging.
There is an ever-growing movement to reduce the amount of needless packaging used for food and domestic products. A great way to contribute towards this effort is by supporting businesses who enable customers to reuse their packaging.
Here in Calderdale’s Upper Valley, we are fortunate enough to have small local businesses who provide wholefoods, household products and other goods that you can purchase through weighing out exactly how much you need and filling up your own empty containers.
You can also reduce the amount of plastic packaging you purchase through supporting your local market, where food packaging comes more frequently in the form of paper bags.
Some supermarkets are already making steps towards providing customers with the option of selecting their loose fruit and vegetables to bag them up in recyclable brown paper bags. If the store doesn’t appear to provide this option, there’s nothing to lose by kindly enquiring about it. The more people who request this option and adjust their shopping habits accordingly, the more likely it is that businesses will take on board customer demand for greener product packaging.
Seeking out and choosing this eco-friendly approach to shopping is also a great way to ensure you don’t end up buying more than you need, therefore reducing the chances of food wastage…
…which brings us on nicely to methods of minimising food wastage.
The ‘Love Food, Hate Waste’ campaign is part of WRAP (Waste and Resources Action Programme), an awareness-raising charity organisation whose aim is to inform people of how to reduce the amount of food waste they generate, thereby saving money and saving the planet. According to their website, the average family household of 4 can save over £60 per month by simply reducing their food waste, which in turn generates wider positive environmental effects. Check out the WRAP website for more information.
Getting from A to B, under your own steam.
Studies show that incorporating cycling or walking into your daily routine, be it for leisure or commuting to work, helps towards not only improving quality and longevity of life. It also is reducing carbon emissions, thereby improving biodiversity and air quality. In Calderdale, we are lucky to have a diverse landscape which caters for many preferences and abilities, such as woodlands, moorlands and canals.
Do your bit to reduce any harm inflicted on our seas, oceans and marine life.
Look out for the little blue logo on seafood product packaging that states the product has been approved by the Marine Stewardship Council. This helps you identify which seafood products meet the standard requirements for being sustainably sourced.
Be a peat-free garden champion.
Peat bogs. They may not sound like anything special, but more and more people are becoming aware of the vital properties they possess. As well as providing natural carbon storage, (storing 3.2 billion tonnes of carbon in the UK alone), they are also a great contributor towards natural flood management. They provide unique habitats for various species of wildlife, supporting biodiversity.
However, despite their importance, at least 80% of peatland habitat in the UK has been destroyed. One of the reasons for this is the exploitation of peat for agricultural purposes. By choosing to go peat-free as a gardener, you will be playing an active part in reducing the exploitation of this crucial and endangered habitat.
Using your consumer power to request peat-free compost at your local garden centre can reinforce the message to suppliers that there is a demand for this more sustainable product.
Lowering your household temperature by just 1 degree can save up to 10% on your annual heating bill, as well as lowering carbon emissions that contribute towards global warming.
Carbon footprint calculators
These are a great tool that gives you an idea of how much your day-to-day habits and lifestyle choices impact upon the environment.
The overall aim isn’t to determine how good or bad people are at being environmentally friendly, but to help people identify ways in which to live more sustainably and make greener choices. To calculate your own carbon footprint and for more information on carbon footprint calculation, a good place to visit is WWF’s online carbon footprint calculator