The Bigger Picture
Everything we do, and every decision we make as individuals, affects the world around us, and impacts upon every living thing on this planet.
The flights we take, the cars we drive, the clothes we wear, the energy and water we use, the food we eat, the products we buy, and the waste we create, all carry an enormous carbon footprint, that resonates far and wide, and with very little effort, each of us is capable of drastically reducing that carbon footprint, and in doing so, we can collectively improve the environment for all.
Ultimately, each of us must take personal responsibility for our choices and operate in a more eco-friendly way.
The debate regarding the causes of climate change and global warming rages on. What we do know, is, whatever the cause, it’s real and its effects are now being felt worldwide.
Weather affects all life on earth. Floods, tsunamis, hurricanes, and melting icecaps are now having a catastrophic impact worldwide and most experts predict that this is just the beginning.
Gradually, governments, businesses and individuals around the world are beginning to adapt to, or consider, a cleaner, greener way of living.
SIMPLE TIPS FOR GOING GREEN
Doing any of these things will help our environment, many will save you money and some will improve your health.
1. Switch to a lower emission or hybrid car
2. Regularly maintain vehicles; cleaner cars create less air pollution.
3. Adhere to speed limits to conserve fuel when driving and slow down at night to avoid killing wildlife and domestic pets.
4. Car share, cycle or walk whenever possible. Make lists, so one journey does all.
5. Grow your own food. Take on an allotment, start a veggie patch, grow an herb garden or grow food in containers, pots and window boxes.
6. Start a compost heap for garden, vegetable and green kitchen waste.
7. Use bath/grey water to water plants and collect rainwater for watering the garden.
8. Use log burner and chiminea ash as plant/garden fertilizer. Avoid coal ash as it can kill plants.
9. Plant a tree.
10. Start a community garden.
11. Don’t litter, protect beaches and forests.
12. Create a wildlife garden and grow native wildflowers for the pollinators.
13. Don’t pick wildflowers.
14. Go vegan or vegetarian, or refrain from eating meat one day a week.
15. Cut down on processed foods.
16. Buy cruelty free beauty products and eco-friendly, natural household cleaning products. Avoid harsh chemicals.
17. Recycle glass, cans, cardboard and paper.
18. Before disposing of toys, bric-a-brac, household items, clothing or furniture consider donating to a charitable organization or a charity shop.
19. Go vintage; consider buying secondhand furniture, clothing, soft furnishings etc.
20. Repair, don’t replace.
21. Avoid plastic bags. Billions are used each year. They are not biodegradable and are making their way into the oceans and are washing up on shores and being eaten by wildlife, often resulting in their deaths. Buy a re-usable bag or a bag for life.
22. Avoid excess packaging in shops and supermarkets.
23. Read the news online and cancel newspaper subscriptions.
24. Pay bills online; cancel paper bank statements.
25. Email documents as opposed to printing them. If you must print, use both sides.
26. Reuse scrap paper for lists and for children to doodle on.
27. Use energy saving light bulbs wherever possible. Even changing one makes a huge difference.
28. Turn off computers, TV’S and all electrical appliances at night.
29. Use economy settings on dishwashers, run on a full load.
30. Set the washing machine at a cooler temperature and run with a full load.
31. Use a clothesline whenever possible, clothes last longer and maintain their colour.
32. Adjust the thermostat to one degree higher in summer, one degree lower in winter.
33. Turn off lights when not in the room. Use natural light whenever possible.
34. Use rechargeable batteries.
35. Recycle mobile phones and batteries. Toxic substances are released into the environment when these items are buried in landfills.
36. Use matches instead of disposable lighters, they end up in landfills. Choose cardboard as they are made from recycled paper as opposed to wooden ones which are made from trees.
37. Shower rather than taking a bath. Take shorter showers.
38. Brush teeth without constantly running the tap.
39. Don’t let water run while washing dishes.
40. Use waterless car washes.
41. Repair leaking pipes.
42. Use cloth or environmentally friendly nappies.
43. Buy local products, food, vegetables and cut flowers.
44. Buy free range, fair trade and ethically sourced products and food.
45. Choose eco-friendly home accessories made from recycled/environmentally friendly materials.
46. Buy a long-lasting, reusable water bottle.
47. Avoid paper napkins. Use cloth.
48. Don’t use one-use items such as disposable lighters, razors, plastic ware etc.
49. Unsubscribe to or cancel as much junk mail as possible.
50. Use green pet products, there are now a wealth of renewable, biodegradable products available, from bedding, toys, collars, leads, poop bags to shampoo, to name but a few.
51. Insulate homes.
GREEN POLICIES AT THE RESCUE
Freshfields strives to be as environmentally friendly as it possibly can, and we are constantly striving to improve our practice, so are continually exploring alternative products and new ways of doing things.
We have an established wildlife garden, commonly known as “The Graveyard" as many animals have been buried there throughout the history of the shelter. When Breda, our head gardener first began working there eight years ago, it was overgrown with Bramble, Nettles and Elderberry. After clearing the area, a path was built around the site. The primary focus was on creating a wildlife friendly garden by introducing species of flowers, shrubs and trees that pollinators thrive on. Buddleia, Sedum, Globe Thistle, Salvia, Cerenthe, Verbana, Borrage, Honeysuckle and Field Scabies, along with Rowan, Blackthorn, Snow Berry, Pyracanthus , strawberries and raspberries are now attracting thrushes, Blackbirds and fieldfares with their autumn berries. A variety of food along with water is put out each day to sate the demanding appetites of the bluetits, sparrows, great tits, chaffinch, robin, goldfinch, greenfinch, nuthatch and woodpecker that bring the garden to life. We also have owls and bats visiting at night. Future plans include the creation of a bog garden and a pond, along with water plants to attract more diverse species. We would love to have a committed group of volunteer gardeners working in the wildlife garden and helping to maintain other borders and pots around the rescue. In the event of interest, please contact the rescue.
Donations of bird food, ie, sunflower hearts/seeds, mealworm or niger seed are always welcome, along with compost and plants.
Our animal waste is incinerated rather than burnt, which reduces harmful airborne gases and pollutants. Any remaining ash is scattered around the wildlife garden, acting as a fertilizer for the plants.
Horse manure and straw are kept in a midden which is then spread across our fields.
We accept a wide range of products, including furniture which is recycled/sold in our charity shops.
Biodegradable poop bags are used when our dogs are out walking.
Pet food cans, cardboard, and unused paper are recycled.
Donated clothing, curtains and fabrics that we cannot use at the rescue, or cannot sell in our charity shops are collected and recycled by a local business.
We always enjoy working in partnership with other organizations, creating positive outcomes for our mutual benefit. For the second year running, we have been offered free grazing for our ponies on Coronation Meadow, an area of rough land belonging to and managed by the North Wales Wildlife Trust. Not only does it help us by providing the right food for the ponies, but the way in which our equines graze has a beneficial effect on the environment. It encourages wildlife and plants to flourish.