This originated with me sending regular emails to my close friends and family on environmental issues and changes which could ‘green’ their lifestyle. The group has unintentionally grown quickly as friends of friends ask to join. The EcoEmails don’t always give people an easy solution to a problem but try to make them aware that every decision they make has environmental and sustainability consequences. If you would like to join pls email me at

Computers April 30, 2007

Filed under: Energy — ecoemails @ 10:36 pm
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How to make your computer to save energy:

Switch your screensaver setting to “none” or “blank screen” and set your computer to enter power-saving mode after 10 minutes of inactivity.

Leaving your computer on overnight can waste enough energy to laser print 800 A4 pages – or cook 6 microwave meals.

So if you are not going to use your computer for at least 2 hours then it saves energy to turn it off and turn it back on later.

The screen however if you aren’t going to use that for 20 mins it saves energy to turn it off.

The power management features on a computer and monitor can reduce computer energy consumption by as much as 90% when in an energy saving “sleep mode.”

(Obviously all computers are slightly different… but these are on average…)



Organic Food April 24, 2007

Filed under: Food,Shopping — ecoemails @ 10:34 pm
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Organic food production causes much less environmental damage than conventional agriculture.

It prevents soil erosion, protects wildlife and supports sustainable farming and family farmers.

Organic foods contain more vitamins and minerals – and tend to taste better…

But is can be expensive and you still need to consider how much packaging is on the food – and how far it has come.

Half of all vegetables and 95 per cent of fruits eaten in Britain are from overseas.
The average meal travels more than 1,000 miles before it reaches your plate.

If you buy from farmers’ markets, you will have the satisfaction of buying directly from the producer, there’s no plastic packaging and your vegetables will last longer than the supermarket ones.

Go to and type in your post code and it will tell you where to find your nearest farmers’ market or producer… it is really cool!

Then if you hover your mouse over the shops it gives you it’s name, address, opening times and telephone number.



Bottled Water April 21, 2007

Filed under: Food,Shopping — ecoemails @ 10:31 pm
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Bottled water

We are lucky to have high-quality water coming from our taps for next to nothing in Britain.

We use 2.7 million tonnes of plastic to bottle water each year.

Only about 10 per cent of bottles are recycled; most go to landfill sites, where they take around 450 years to break down.
One litre of water weighs a kilo.
Therefore it takes huge

The amount of money spent on bottled water would be enough to give the 1.1 billion people who don’t have safe water a clean water supply.

In India water extraction by Coca Cola for Dasani bottled water has caused water shortages for over 50 villages
(this is not an isolated incident).

The bottled water market the fastest growing drinks industry in the world.

It takes about 18 gallons of water to make the plastic bottle the water is sold in.

Bottled water sells for up to 1,000 times the price of tap water (more expensive per gallon than gasoline!)

Yet research indicates that bottled water is often no healthier or safer to drink than tap water.

In UK the tap water is provided by a government utility and is tested regularly.
Bottled water is not as well regulated and studies have shown that it is not even particularly pure.

A four-year study of bottled water found that one-fifth of bottled water contained synthetic organic chemicals such as the neurotoxin xylene and the possible carcinogen and neurotoxin styrene. Much bottled water doesn’t come from a “Artesian springs” and is just tap water anyhow.

If you want to carry your water with you, get a bottle and fill it.

If your water at home tastes funny, try an activated charcoal or ceramic filter.


Plastic bags April 20, 2007

Filed under: Shopping,Waste — ecoemails @ 10:13 pm
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So first I am going to start with plastic bags.

Everyone is really good at recycling now – and it is just second nature but… plastic bags are still not picked up…
And hence usually not recycled….

1. Please recycle them (all branches of Sainsbury’s and Tesco have plastic bag recycling depots).
2. Also try to reduce the number of plastic bags that you take from shops… and reuse ones you do take.

OK none of that advice was revolutionary but here are a few facts:

Recycling plastic saves twice as much energy as burning it.
Plastics can take between 400 to 10,000 years to break down.

Recycled materials can return to the marketplace in 30 days.

Britain uses 8 billion plastic bags every year.
That’s more than 130 plastic bags each annually

Plastic bags are mainly made in China.
When they are recycled they go all the way back to China.
Then come back here again!