Climate change - what you can do
If your home isn’t energy efficient, not only will you be wasting money but you will be wasting energy as well, which damages the environment.
The burning of fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas is releasing more carbon dioxide into the atmosphere than the seas, oceans, plants and trees can absorb. Carbon dioxide is the main greenhouse gas, which contributes towards climate change.
As much as 25% of the carbon dioxide produced in the UK comes from the energy used in the home. Below you will find some handy hints and tips for doing your bit to reduce your carbon dioxide emissions which will save you some money too!
- Basingstoke Scrap Box
Scrap Box is back in Basingstoke!
The charity is now residing at Oakridge Hall for All where they are seeking donations of unwanted materials which are then used by schools, after school clubs and community groups. For more information, have a look at RCS Services/scrap box website or check out the flyers below.
- Calculate your carbon footprint
Find out how to calculate your carbon footprint and more about greener living.
Find out how your school can become an Eco School.
- Energy saving tips
Low cost tips
- Insulate your hot water cylinder with an insulating jacket.
- Insulate your hot water pipes to prevent heat loss.
- Place silver foil behind your radiators to reflect heat back into each room.
- Fit a spring flap to your letterbox and a cover to your keyhole.
- Fill gaps in your skirting boards and floorboards with beading or a sealant.
- Fill gaps around your doorframes and window frames with a PVC seal.
- If you have a chimney, make sure that it is swept regularly to prevent blockages.
- Arrange to get any dripping taps fixed.
- Tape polythene across your window frames during the winter months. This is a cheaper alternative to double-glazing but should be used as short-term solution.
No cost tips
- Set the thermostat on your hot water cylinder to 60oC.
- Turn your room thermostat down by 1oC. Every 1oC reduction could save you up to £30 each year.
- Make sure any air vents are clear from blockages.
- Turn off the light when you have left a room.
- Close internal doors behind you to prevent draughts.
- Don’t leave appliances on standby. Switch them off at the mains wherever possible.
- Don't leave mobile phone or mp3 chargers on after they have fully charged up.
- Draw your curtains at night time to stop heat escaping through the windows and open them again in the morning to allow light back into the room.
- Have a shower instead of a bath. Showers use a lot less water than a bath.
- Open the window in your bathroom to prevent condensation but close the bathroom door.
- Don’t wash your hands under a running tap; always put the plug in the basin.
- When using your kettle, only boil the amount of water you need but make sure you cover the element.
- Choose the right size pan when cooking and keep the lid on to keep the heat in and shorten the cooking time.
- Use your microwave to cook smaller food items.
- Cooking creates moisture. Open windows but close the kitchen door to prevent moisture escaping to other rooms.
- Don’t leave the fridge door open too long otherwise cold air will escape.
- Ensure warm food cools down before placing it in the fridge.
- Defrost your fridge and freezer compartments on a regular basis.
- Always use a full-load in your washing machine or an economy setting if you need to use a half-load.
- Don’t put really wet clothes into a tumble dryer; wring them out and dry them on a washing line.
- Fairtrade in Basingstoke and Deane
Basingstoke and Deane is now a Fairtrade borough with a local group which is working hard to maintain the status and promote the use of Fairtrade. The Basingstoke and Deane Fairtrade Group meets once a month and is working to increase the availability of Fairtrade products in the borough. For more information on Fairtrade products, recipes and news view the Fairtrade Foundation website.
This work is supported by Basingstoke and Deane Borough Council. If you would like to get involved or come along to a meeting to see what it is all about, please send us a message.
- Hitting the cold spots
Hampshire County Council with its partners, are running the Hitting the Cold Spots campaign, funded by Hampshire County Council Adult Services and Public Health Departments, which can help and advise you on ways to keep warm and healthy this winter. For further information, visit Hampshire County Council's webpage hitting the cold spots.
- Low carbon loans
We offer Low Carbon Loans to help homeowners and community groups to benefit from low interest finance to make energy saving improvements to their home or community centre. Visit our webpage on Low Carbon loans for more information on the loans.
- Low energy light bulbs
Low energy light bulbs can save you around 25% of the electricity compared to an ordinary light bulb and will last you 12 times as long.
Can I recycle low energy light bulbs?
Low energy light bulbs can be recycled at:
- the Household Waste Recycling Centre.
- Recolight banks at recycling sites at J Sainsburys Supermarket, Tadley and Tesco in Chineham.
What do I do if a bulb is broken?
If a bulb gets broken please follow these guidelines:
- make sure the room is well ventilated for 15 minutes
- avoid inhaling dust from the broken bulb
- wear rubber gloves, sweep up broken material with a dustpan and brush and wipe the floor with a damp cloth
- place the bulb in a sealed bag and take it to your local Household Waste Recycling Centre
- do not place in your normal household waste bin.
Are low energy saving light bulbs more polluting than ordinary ones?
Low energy light bulbs do contain a small amount of mercury. The Lighting Industry Federation has reported that the extra quantity of mercury emissions from burning fossil fuels in power stations to power ordinary light bulbs is three times the amount contained in equivalent low energy light bulbs. Mercury from a low energy light bulb can be collected and recycled, but mercury from power stations is released into the environment.
Is there a health risk associated with low energy light bulbs?
The UK Department for the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs (Defra) has advised that no amount of mercury is good for you, but the very small amount contained in a single modern low energy light bulb is unlikely to cause any harm, even if the lamp should be broken. See notes above for safe disposal.
- Renewable energy
There are a number of government schemes which provide financial benefits for generating your own electricity or heat. See the links below for information on the range of measures, how to choose the best for you and the financial incentives available.
It is always worth checking with the planning department to establish if you need permission to install renewable technologies. For more details, please visit our 'Do I need planning permission' webpage.
- Utility companies
Your energy supplier may be offering discounts towards the cost of installing cavity wall insulation and loft insulation, contact your own energy provider to find out what they're offering. For up to date information on which supplier is offering the best deal, please ring the Energy Saving Trust Advice Centre on 0800 512 012 .
Contact the team
Climate Change team
If you have an enquiry about climate change or sustainability, send a message to the Climate Change Team