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Let's Go Green!

NEW: Toothbrush collection

The Green Team are very excited to announce the arrival of our TOOTHBRUSH COLLECTION box. Almost anything to do with oral care can be put in the big red box in the cloakroom, including – any brand of toothpaste tube, lid and outer carton, any brand of toothbrush and the outer packaging (plastic and cardboard), and any brand of electric and battery toothbrush head.

A reminder from the Green Team that you can bring your empty crisp packets to our collection box in the cloakroom. Any brand of crisp is welcome, as well as the outer bag from multi-packs – but no popcorn, pretzel, cracker or packaging from any other snack food (even though it may seem to you that it’s made from the same material!) And please make sure the bags are completely empty of crisp crumbs.

Tell your family and friends about these collections, the sooner the boxes are full the sooner we can send them off to TERRACYCLE to be made into benches, picnic tables, watering cans and other outdoor equipment which can then make its way back to the NNLS garden.

The Jewish Chronicle gave FOUR PAGES to covering Green Shabbat, including young NNLS member Jodi Coffman's perspective on the climate crisis and a piece by one of Eco Synagogue's founders (and NNLS member), Dr Laura Miller. 

Read on for top tips from Jodi Coffman, eco warrier and student.

Top Tips

  1. Stop buying bottled water and instead buy a reusable water/coffee cup.(some places even give you money off your coffee!)

  2. Repurpose glass jars in the kitchen such as making pen pots, make-up brush holders or using them to drink from.

  3. Don’t run the tap when brushing your teeth and invest in bamboo toothbrushes which can be found on Amazon for under £10 and lasts just as long as a conventional plastic toothbrush.

  4. Make your gifting more sustainable by reusing gift bags/boxes for future use and consider giving people experiences rather than material gifts which often end up unused in a cupboard.

  5. Make your technology use more sustainable by recycling electronics or donating them to schools/other institutions.

  6. Instead of buying books, consider borrowing from your library or reading on a kindle/online. There are also online newspaper publications.

  7. Stop accepting disposable cutlery. Bring with you reusable cutlery in a plastic bag instead.

  8. Keep a canvas/reusable bag with you at all times-you never know when you’ll need it and it saves using numerous plastic ones especially when you’re grocery shopping.

  9. Consider whether you could try one more meat-free day a week.

  10. Try swapping cow’s milk to soya, almond, coconut or rice milk.

  11. Consider walking or taking public transport where possible to avoid using the car and try to share lifts with people to reduce the number of cars on the road.

  12. Unplug your electronics when you’re not using them. This not only reduces energy use, it will also save you money!

  13. When making a purchase, consider whether you really need it or whether it will sit unused in the back of a cupboard. If possible, buy items second-hand or support fashion brands that are more sustainable such as PACT and thredUP.

  14. Switch to LED lighting/CFL bulbs as they last longer, reducing the need to keep purchasing lights.

  15. Put on an extra layer of clothing instead of turning up the heating. This saves energy and money!

  16. Before switching on your lights open up the blinds and let the natural light in.

  17. Bulk buy things such as coffee in huge bags/jars to minimise packaging.

  18. In the summer, hang wet clothes outside to dry instead of using a powered dryer.

  19. Where possible, hand wash your clothes using soapy water rather than using the washing machine.

  20. Try and limit the number of baths you have and spend as little time in the shower as possible to save water. You can also buy a water-saving shower head and even a shower timer.

  21. Try and grow your own herbs/fruit and veg, even if it’s just a few pots. Or try and go to local farmer’s markets rather than buying imported food that’s travelled thousands of miles.

  22. At night, unplug your electronics and even your wifi box to save electricity.

  23. Check the back of packaging to see whether it can be recycled. Don’t just assume paper is recyclable and plastic isn’t, as a lot of the time this isn’t the case.

  24. Buy food produce at local markets as they have travelled less far and most likely used less energy intensive farming techniques.

  25. Consider travel alternatives. It may be possible to get the train rather than fly.

Sustainable fashion

What is often overlooked, is the damaging effects the fashion industry has on the environment. The fashion industry accounts for 10% of global carbon dioxide emissions which was 1715 million tonnes of carbon dioxide in 2015. This heavily contributes towards the greenhouse effect and climate change however, the fashion industry is also responsible for the exploitation of water sources. 0.87% of all water consumed comes from the fashion industry, and cotton production as part of agriculture accounts for an astonishing 70% of water consumption. A single pair of jeans can use up to 17,000 litres of water to produce!

On top of this, every time clothes containing polyester or nylon are washed, tiny microfibers are shed which make their way up the food chain and are often consumed by marine animals such as fish. This can be catastrophic, significantly stunting growth and breaking down their digestive system.

Despite all this, the Western world continues to be a heavily consumer-led society with people buying more and more clothes which are worn so few times and washed far too often. 300,000 tonnes of clothes are binned annually of which 60% are sent to landfill, often in developing countries like India who get stuck with the UK’s polluting waste.

Of course the main way to reduce this would be to buy fewer clothes and I heavily encourage you to consider whether the clothes you buy are really necessary. However, if you are going to buy clothes, I would suggest buying from charity shops and making sure to pass your old clothes on instead of binning them.

There are also some sustainable fashion brands who not only seek to try to reduce the environmental effects of their clothes, but also make sure their clothes are made in ethical conditions with well-paid workers in safe conditions. Here are some good brands to consider next time you’re buying clothes: ‘mokeegenes’,’People Tree’,’Everlane’,’armedangels’,’patagonia’,’nudie jeans’ and ‘mud jeans’.

How to Reduce Plastic Waste

Every single day, 3.5 million tonnes of plastic and waste are generated in the world which is an astonishing amount. Not only does this threaten wildlife and deplete crucial resources, it is also entirely unnecessary. In honour of plastic-free July here are my top tips for living a more waste-free life. These are all surprisingly easy so I encourage you to try and adopt at least some of these ideas and start to form new waste-free habits:

1. Buy a reusable water bottle/bring your own coffee cup

For less than £10 you can buy a water bottle to refill rather than constantly buying and throwing away plastic bottles. Not only does this reduce waste, it will also save you money. Chilly's bottles are my favourite brand. A little more expensive but the bottles keep drinks cold or hot for 24 hours. Many coffee shops now charge an additional amount for their paper cups. Bringing your own cup saves money as well as waste.

2. Always keep a spare bag with you

Over the last couple of years, supermarkets have started charging for plastic bags which has been effective in reducing plastic use. Most people do try to take their own bags when they go shopping however I implore you to keep a spare bag in your pocket so you are never caught out. These foldable bags are great as they take up no room at all so there is no excuse!

3. Buy plastic free fruit and veg

If you can, buy from local markets/health stores which often don’t sell fresh fruit/veg in unnecessary plastic. However, larger supermarkets now have a wide choice of non-packaged fruit/veg and offer paper rather than plastic bags.

4. Stop buying clingfilm!

Invest in reusable beeswax food coverings which are long-lasting and work just as well as clingfilm does-without the waste! For a cheaper alternative you can buy reusable plastic coverings such as ‘Plastic Mate’ from most supermarkets.

5. Bulk buy

Items such as coffee, rice and pasta can be bought in large bags so if you are unable to visit stores which allow you to bring your own containers, this is a good alternative as you significantly cut down your plastic waste. Also consider what you can do to reuse this packaging such as by turning it into pencil pots, makeup brush pots and flower pots. You can also use old jars to store leftover food.

6. Bring your own containers/cutlery for lunch

Instead of taking the free plastic cutlery, invest in a reusable set such as this one. An increasing number of cafés/stalls will also let you bring your own reusable container instead of using their plastic containers.

7. Reduce food waste

There is plenty you can do to reduce food waste including freezing leftovers, making leftovers into soups/stews/sauces, feeding it to your pets or composting.

8. Use bar shampoo and soap

These can be bought in most supermarkets and last for months so are economical as well as environmentally friendly.

Mon, 21 October 2019 22 Tishrei 5780