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

Radiators April 29, 2008

Filed under: Energy — ecoemails @ 6:51 pm
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Tin foil behind radiators that are against outside walls helps conserve energy.
The foil reflects heat back into the room.
You can use normal kitchen foil or buy special foil from a DIY shop.
Place the foil behind the radiator with the shiny side facing outwards and the dull side attached to the wall.
tinfoilYou can use double-sided sticky pads to attach the foil or certain types of wallpaper paste will also work.
If you want to watch a video on how to put it up here is an idiot’s guide:

Shelves above your radiators also deflects heat into your rooms.
The shelf should be slightly above the radiator.

Also avoid putting furniture in front of radiators.


Insulation April 28, 2008

Filed under: Energy — ecoemails @ 6:47 pm
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f you buy or rent a house ask to look at the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) (which tells you how insulated and energy efficient your house is).

Things you can do to improve home insulation:

1. Look In Your Loft


For most homes, this can be a DIY job.

2.  Check Your Walls
in2In most houses built between 1920 and 1980 the external walls are made in two layers, with a cavity in between.

Filling the gap is effective but expensive (around £500 for an average home)

3. Floors: Mind The Gaps

in3Lifting the floorboards and laying insulating material, supported by netting, between the joists.

Use a cheap tube sealant, such as silicon, you can fill any gaps between the floorboards and skirting boards to stop draughts.
Excluders on the bottoms of doors and across letterboxes.


Dove April 25, 2008

Filed under: Protest,Shopping — ecoemails @ 6:38 pm
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Ok if you have a couple of spare mins:

First watch this video by Dove (1min 18 sec)
Then this video by Greenpeace (1 min 27sec)

If you don’t have time to watch the videos
The basic message is that the Indonesian rain forest is being cut down and replaced with palm oil plantations.
Palm oil is used in billions of products… one of which is Dove.


Trying to boycott palm oil is pretty impossible… but pushing Unilever to commit to ‘sustainable’ palm oil (or less destructive) would be a good thing…


I sent an email to Dove saying: “Since watching the greenpeace video I will no longer use Dove products… please stop using Palm Oil so I can return to your moisturizer and shower cream!”. If you wanted to send a similar email their email address is:


Bog Roll April 17, 2008

Filed under: Shopping — ecoemails @ 6:36 pm
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One tonne of loo roll made from recycled paper rather than virgin material
30,000 litres of water
3,000 kWH electricity (enough for an average 3 bed house for one year)

95 % of the air pollutantsbogroll
When buying loo roll look for recycled and ideally Chlorine free as they can use horrible chemicals to bleach the paper… which is not great for the environment and to rub on your sensitive areas!
The whiter the paper the more chemicals… worst for you and env.

Alternatively if not recycled check that it has this logo which means that it comes from sustainable forests.



Electronics April 15, 2008

Filed under: Shopping,Waste — ecoemails @ 6:29 pm
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Electronic waste is growing….


It is now shipped abroad (often illegally) to be disassembled by people working with little protection against the toxic substances in items such as mercury.


How many electronics do we need?


Can products be fixed rather than replaced?
Buying higher quality items might be cheaper in the long run as they last longer or have longer warranties.

Then recycle it

If at working you can do it throw companies like ICER:
or REI:
or Computer Aid:

If the product has this symbol it means you can’t thow it in the bin under the WEEE directive.

weeeBut you can return your electronic good to the manufacturer free of charge.
(WEEE directive 2002/96/EC on waste electrical and electronic equipment)
If you do throw your electronic equipment in to the rubbish it may end up in a landfill which means the heavy metals would get in to water-ways and soil or in an incinerator where the PCB form dioxins (which are carcinogenic).


Batteries April 10, 2008

Filed under: Waste — ecoemails @ 6:25 pm
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On average a household uses 21 batteries a year

A mixed selection of household batteries on a white background.
All of which can be recycled…
If you throw your batteries in your normal rubbish they will either go to landfill or incineration… as they contain hazardous metals (lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc, manganese and lithium) this can result in these chemicals being released in to soil, water ways or the atmosphere.

Rechargeable batteries are better as they reduce the quantity but they also contain heavy metals. You can check packaging to look for batteries with less mercury and heavy metals.

If you want to recycle your batteries go to:

Type in your postcode and it will tell you if your recycling collection takes batteries and if not where the nearest place to your house you can recycle them.