Green Tips

Green Tips

  • Plastic bags take years to break down in landfill and now cost 5p. Re-use the ones you have or better still buy long lasting cloth bags to re-use

  • Cut off the bottom 2” of a tube of toothpaste (or hand cream etc.) and use the cut off bit as a lid whilst you use the bits that wouldn’t squeeze out. Thanks to Yvonne for this bit of wisdom.
  •  If you need to do any driving, slow down a little. Not only will it help with your fuel consumption but it will help you enjoy your drive time.
  • If anyone buys living lettuce or herbs from the supermarket, you can get more for your money by replanting them in a container and they will produce another crop.  Thanks to Yvonne for this tip

  • Now is the time ( October) to plant bulbs to help bees feed in the colder months. For winter-flowering bulbs, try glory of the snow, winter aconite and snowdrops. For early spring, try crocuses, snowdrops, bluebells, iris, hyacinths and fritallaries. If you like daffodils and tulips, choose varieties with open flowers that bees can easily feed from.

  • Today's dishwashers are about 95% more energy-efficient than those bought in 1972—your old dishwasher may be costing you more in energy bills than it would take to buy a new one!

  • Unplug your telephone charger

    By unplugging your telephone charger once your battery is fully charged, you will save energy and money. 

  • Green tipCharge your mobile phone during the day, not overnight.

    Most mobile phones only take a couple of hours to charge. A plugged in charger continues to use energy even when the phone is charged so should not be plugged in longer than necessary.

  • Decide what you want before you open the fridge; when you open the fridge door up to 30 per cent of the cooled air escapes. Have it open for the minimum time possible. Save energy and money.

  • Keeping warm If you get cold in bed at night despite lots of bedding try a blanket, or better still a duvet, under your bottom sheet  - works wonders - as many a student will testify. Cheaper than an electric blanket.

  • We don’t all have showers so, provided your bathroom doesn't get too steamed up, (you want to avoid a wet slippery floor!)  try leaving your used bathwater in the bath until it is cold. Why pour all that heat down the drain when it can be keeping your bathroom warm?!

  • Green tip – Keeping warm in bed If you want to keep warm in bed this winter, it was suggested that you take someone to bed with you! Failing that, adding another quilt on top of your existing one works wonders for keeping the cold at bay.


  • Green tip – Keeping warm  Draught excluders can be really pretty and really pretty expensive but you can make your own from a hand towel rolled into a long sausage secured with a couple of elastic bands. it shouldn’t cost you anything and you won’t have to store it in the summer!  
  • If you feed the birds in your garden, they particularly benefit from food rich in oils  at this time of year such as fat balls and sunflower hearts,  Don’t forget the Big Garden Birdwatch today! (

  • Green tip – Fix that tap! A leaky tap that fills a coffee cup in 10 minutes will waste an estimated 3,000 gallons of water per year.

    Green tip – many of the foods we eat travel long distances to get to our tables.  Buying local, seasonal food reduces the carbon footprint and produces fresher food richer in nutrients.

  • Green tip - Recycling 1 ton of paper saves 7,000 gallons of water, 3 cubic yards of landfill space and 4,100 kilowatt-hours of electricity. Look for the recycling points in church and recycle using the blue bins at home.

  • Green tip – if you haven’t already done it now is a good time to put nest boxes up in your garden for hole-nesting birds. See leaflets on the Eco Church table for ideas and information.

  • Green tip – as Easter approaches, please consider buying Fairtrade Easter eggs.  Also, avoid Easter eggs with lots off excess packaging that just creates waste.  

  • Green tips – Energy efficient lighting - if you are installing new lights consider using LEDs.  They use a lot less energy than normal bulbs so are better for the environment and your pocket.

  • Green tips – Cut down on your junk mail - you’ll save trees; your time and most importantly your postie’s poor old knees!

  • Green tips – Draught excluders can be really pretty and really pretty expensive but you can make your own from a hand towel rolled into a long sausage secured with a couple of elastic bands. it shouldn’t cost you anything and you won’t have to store it in the summer!  

  • Green tips – Electric mowers. Electric mowers emit far fewer pollutants than petrol-powered machines, are much quieter, and are often easier to push than their gas-guzzling counterparts. For the fitter members of the congregation, a hand pushed mower is even more eco-friendly!

  • Green tips – Only buy what you need - One of the small things in helping out the environment, and perhaps the easiest is to buy only things that you really need. This will really cut down on the natural resources needed to make new products. When you are out shopping, ask yourself whether it's a want or a need before you head for the cashier.

  • Green Tip – if your local environment is important to you, read the statements of local councillors in the run up to the local elections to find out what they are proposing to do about environmental issues.

  • Green Tip – nettles in the garden can be really beneficial to wildlife.  They also make an excellent nitrogen-rich plant food.  Fill a bucket with nettles and then pour water onto it.  Let it stand for a couple of weeks and dilute the resulting liquid to feed plants in pots and borders.

  • Green Tip – Make sure you don’t have draughty windows. Improperly sealed or caulked windows can account for up to 25% of total heat loss from a house.

  • Green TipSave paper – as well as using recycled paper, old envelopes can be reused and paper can be saved by printing on both sides (like the Yellow Pages!)

  • Green TipDry your washing outside – I know the recent weather has made this difficult but drying your washing outside will save on money on energy bills and help protect the environment 

  • Green Tip – Why not try this light and tasty quick aubergine curry?

    Ingredients: 2 medium onions (chopped), 2 aubergines (sliced), 700g tomatoes chopped (or 2 tins), garlic, mild curry powder, garam masala, fresh ginger, fresh coriander, natural yoghurt.

    Method: Cook the onions and aubergines in 6 tbsp vegetable oil. When they are softened add 2 cloves of garlic, thinly sliced and 1 tbsp of finely chopped or grated fresh ginger. Stir in 2 tbsp of mild curry powder and fry briefly.  Add the tomatoes and cook for about 15-20 minutes or until the curry has thickened.  Season with salt, pepper and a tablespoon of garam masala.  Finally, add fresh coriander and serve with rice or naan and a splash of yoghurt. Recipe courtesy of Nigel Slater!

  • Green Tip – Christian Aid – Speak Up!

    Between the 8th and 16th of October 2016 Christian Aid are promoting ‘Speak Up’, a week of action to raise awareness of climate change issues.  Take a look at their website to find out how you can get involved and put the dates in your diary!


    Green Tip - 13th October – Ethical Money Marketplace – Thursday, 6.30 – 9.00pm, at St Andrew’s Psalter Lane Church, 31 Psalter Lane, Sheffield S11 8YL

    Come along to this drop-in community event to talk to representatives, sign-up for services, gather and compare information: Community and ethical investment * independent financial advisers * building societies * banks * energy companies * internet service providers * ethical retail.  At 7.00pm Josie Wexler from Ethical Consumer will present a short talk on Carbon Free Investing, followed by refreshments. The Ethical Money Marketplace is specifically focused on positive action for a low carbon sustainable future: things you can actually do and choices you can make. The event is organised by the Divestment Campaign of Sheffield Climate Alliance and the Sheffield Methodist Justice & Peace Mission Action Group

  • Green tips – Tyre Pressure

    Check the air pressure in your tyres. Cooler temperatures lower tyre pressure and that, in turn, lowers fuel efficiency. So check your tyres and make sure that they are properly inflated.

  • Green tips – Use your garage in winter

    If you have a garage, park the car in it. As the weather gets colder, using a garage will alleviate the need to warm up the car before driving … and will save fuel.

  • Green tips – Wrap up warm as the nights draw in

    Bring out all those warm sweaters, socks, slippers and blankets so that when the temperature falls you’ll be ready to wrap up instead of raising the thermostat.

  • Green tips – The problem with palm oil

    Avoid buying food products with palm oil in them.  Palm oil is the major cause of deforestation in Asia as forests are burned to provide room for plantations.  Impacts of this are loss of habitat for many species including the iconic Orangutan and the destruction of peatlands which help to slow the rate of climate change by acting as carbon sinks.

  • Green tips – Calculate your impact on the environment

    Use the following web address to check out how green you are

  • Green tips - Cover pans when cooking: A simple tip this week but relevant as we all get ready for the Christmas dinner. Whenever you cook on the hob, always try to cover the pans – this reduces the amount of energy that escapes from open pans, plus the amount of time it takes to heat up food and boil water.

    Green tips – For the festive season

    Cards - E-cards are increasingly popular for good reason. They cut your carbon footprint, save trees and save money. Or just send one card to friends at Church.

    Wrapping – use the pages of old magazines to wrap your presents giving them interest and colour while saving money and the environment

    Xmas trees - To make sure your tree is UK grown, buy from a retailer registered with the British Christmas Tree Growers Association. If you want a tree that is certified organic, check to see that it has been approved by the Soil Association.  Or carry on using that artificial tree!

    Green tips – For the festive season

    Candles Paraffin candles are made from petroleum residue and are no good for your health or for the environment. Candles made from soy, beeswax or natural vegetable-based wax are more eco-friendly because they biodegrade and are smoke-free.

    Defrost your freezer before Christmas It will work more efficiently and create more space to store leftover food, so that it doesn't go to waste

  • Green tips – On New Year’s Day, why not make a few resolutions to lead a greener lifestyle

    Be good to your vehicle, and it will be good to you. Inflate your tyres once a month or as necessary. Replace the air filter and tune up your engine regularly. A new air filter can get you 10 percent more miles per gallon, and a tune-up can boost miles per gallon from 4 percent to 40 percent.

    If you’re not in a hurry, driving between 50-60 miles per hour on the motorway can save money on fuel bills by increasing the number of miles per gallon.

    Install heat reflectors: These are thin sheets that fit behind radiators, to reflect heat away from the wall and into the room, thereby maximizing each radiator’s energy efficiency.

  • As well as using recycled paper, you can set your printer to print on both sides of the page.  Also, why not try saving paper that has only been printed on one side so that it can be used again on the other side.

  • As Fair Trade fortnight approaches, think about the food you buy.  Wherever possible, buy fairly traded goods.  Also buy food grown in the UK, buy locally produced, seasonal food, from local shops, markets and farms.  Avoid buying food from oppressive regimes as peaceful resistance of this sort can have positive results.
  • Green tips – thinking of food – food waste

The UK wastes massive amounts of food each year and this has a big impact on our planet where ever more intensive food productions methods are used.

So shop wisely - plan your meals and use a shopping list, avoid impulse buys and offers to encourage you to buy more than you need of perishable items.  And get creative with your cooking to use up leftovers in the fridge!

 Observe an Eco-Sabbath

For one day, afternoon or hour a week, don't buy anything, don't use machines, don't switch on anything electric, don't cook, don't answer your phone and, in general, don't use any resources.

Organic slug control

ï‚·Orange halves – these deter cats and attract slugs. You then just dispose of the slugs once they’ve been caught (chickens love them!).

ï‚·Coffee spray – make a weak coffee solution with ground coffee and water, then lightly coat your plants. You might only need to do this near the base of the plants.

ï‚·Physical barriers – scatter crushed egg shells, sawdust or wood shavings around plants at risk. You also might want to try hot chilli powder!

Green tips – Avoid bottled water

Bottled water is inefficient, expensive, and produces large amounts of plastic waste. Instead, use a refillable water bottle and tap water; if you like you could use a water filter to cleanse the tap water and chill the water in the fridge. As the Mother Nature Network ( point out, the very concept of bottled water is failed due to our ready access to perfectly healthy tap water.

Line-dry laundry: Tumble drying clothes uses large amounts of electricity, so use a washing line or drying rack to dry your laundry more naturally.

Green Tips – Share car journeys wherever possible

If you have to travel by car, investigate the possibilities for carpooling with friends and neighbours, sharing journeys for work and leisure, thus reducing the number of cars on the roads.

Green Tips – Beeing friendly to Bees!

  1. Plant native species in your garden which will attract bees and other beneficial insects.
  2. Mow the lawn less often to let clover and other flowering weeds grow. These will provide a nutritious habitat for bees and other pollinators. Avoid products that are meant to kill these beneficial plants.

Green tips - Recipe - Vegetarian Hokkien Mee

Ingredients (serves 2)

1tsp rapeseed oil; 2 garlic cloves, finely chopped; Chunk fresh root ginger, peeled and grated; 2 mini sweet shallots, finely chopped; 1 red chilli, deseeded and finely chopped, plus 1 thinly sliced into rings to garnish (optional);

3 dried Chinese mushrooms, soaked in warm water for 20 min, then drained and finely diced (stalks discarded); 100g Quorn mince; 1tsp dark soy sauce; 100ml hot low-salt vegetable stock; 1tbsp low-salt light soy sauce; Drizzle toasted sesame oil; 200g dried egg noodles, cooked; 100g fresh beansprouts, blanched in boiling water for 10 sec, then rinsed in cold water and drained; A few spring onions or chives, sliced on the diagonal, to garnish



Heat a wok over a high heat and add the rapeseed oil. Add the garlic, ginger, shallots and chopped chilli and explode the flavours in the wok for a few sec. Add the diced Chinese mushrooms and the Quorn mince and season with the dark soy sauce to enrich the colour. Add the vegetable stock and light soy sauce and leave to cook for about 10 min until the sauce has reduced.


Meanwhile, drizzle some toasted sesame oil over the cooked egg noodles. Divide the noodles between 2 bowls, then top with the mushrooms and mince. Garnish with the beansprouts, sliced chillies, if using, and sliced spring onions or chives. Serve immediately. (from Ching He Huang)

Green tips – Free recycling of electrical items & plant pots!

Currys on Chesterfield Road offer the following service.

Let’s recycle for free - Want to skip that trip to the dump? Then bring your old electricals to store and let our expert service partner, Team Knowhow, recycle them for free. They accept everything from computers to toasters, and floor cleaners to TVs.

Also, there are a number of plant pots in the plastic store in the church garden that are free to a good home, perhaps in preparation for the Eco day next year.

Green tips – avoid buying plastic plant pots

Re-use kitchen plastic like yoghurt pots, takeaway containers – perfect for seedlings. Afterwards you can recycle them in the council system; diverting plastic from landfill is well worthwhile.

Green tips – Eco talk – an environmentally friendly phone tariff

Eco talk is a phone tariff supported by Ecotricity which uses the profits from the tariff to buy land which is then dedicated to habitat for bees and butterflies.  It is a rolling monthly contract with no tie in – why not give it a try?

Don’t forget that we now have Brown Bins for: glass; cans; tins and plastic bottles.

The Blue Bin is now for: paper and cardboard.

Why not reuse your old Blue Box as home storage or maybe even make a decorative planter.

Green tips: Tips to save energy and money:

1) Turn the thermostat down                          6) Dry on the line for free

2) Switch off lights and appliances                   7) Always look for the best deal

3) Microwaves cook food quickly and cheaply    8) Try out an Energy Monitor

4) Save water, save money                             9) Don’t use portable heaters

5) Lower the washing temperature                  10) Keep the heat in

Green tips: Keep the heat in

Now it is much colder close the curtains before it gets dark to keep the heat in. Don’t drape them over the radiators as this sends the heat out of the windows. Close internal doors to keep the heat in the rooms you are in. Consider putting on an extra layer of clothing before turning up the heating.


Page last updated: Sunday 4th November 2018 5:59 PM
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