Chooseday’s Choice! ~ Artifical or locally grown Christmas trees?

Where does YOUR energy go?

Although plastic Christmas trees are reusable from year to year, real trees are the more sustainable choice. Plastic trees are made mostly of plastic and use up resources in both the manufacture and shipping. While artificial trees theoretically last forever, research shows that they are typically discarded when repeated use makes them less attractive. Discarded artificial trees are then sent to landfills, where their plastic content makes them last forever.

Live trees, on the other hand, are a renewable resource grown on tree farms, that are replanted regularly. They contribute to air quality while growing, and almost ninety percent are recycled into mulch. Live trees are usually locally grown and sold, saving both transportation costs and added air pollution.

You Choose!

Artifical or locally grown Christmas tree?

Artifical or locally grown Christmas tree?

Visit your local garden centre and buy a live Irish grown tree in a large pot. This will allow you to reuse the tree for a few years without having to plant or re-pot the tree. If you have a spacious garden the tree can be planted out after Christmas where it can be enjoyed for many years and also help the environment and reducing our carbon footprint.

Don’t forget to go to your local council’s website after Christmas for details on tree recycling and collection.

Here are some Green Christmas tips that’ll help you to save money, reduce your Christmas carbon footprint and won’t cost the Earth!

 

Chooseday’s Choice! ~ Dustbin, compost or recycle bin?

Where does YOUR energy go?

Up to 60% of the rubbish that ends up in the dustbin could be recycled. The unreleased energy contained in the average dustbin each year could power a television for 5,000 hours. On average, 16% of the money you spend on a product pays for the packaging, which ultimately ends up as rubbish and as much as 50% of waste in the average dustbin could be used to make compost. Get composting and recycling!

You Choose!

Dustbin or compost and recycle bin?

Dustbin or compost and recycle bin?

Chooseday’s Choice! ~ Does your home have insulation?

Where does YOUR energy go?

Without attic insulation your home looses up to 25% heat loss through the roof and without wall insulation it looses up to 35%  heat loss through the un-insulated walls.

By insulating your attic you can save up to 20% on your home heating bill.  If your attic insulation is currently less than 200 mm, then you should add further layers. There are a variety of suitable materials available on the market today including mineral wool, rock wool, sheeps wool, polystyrene, cellulose fibre and multi-layered foil.

The pay-back period for wall insulation is dependent on a number of factors including type, thickness and quality of existing insulation.  Wall insulation can be increased in a number of ways and the most popular ways to insulate include (a) insulated dry lining, (b) blown mineral or cellulose fibre or polystyrene beads into the cavity, or (c) rigid external insulation with render or brick finish.

Insulating the 50 sq.m. (540 sq.ft) attic space of a typical house costs around €254 and could save approximately €76 a year (up to 20% of your fuel bill) so it would pay for itself in about 3 years.

Insulating the 50 sq.m. (540 sq.ft) attic space of a typical house costs around €254 and could save approximately €76 a year (up to 20% of your fuel bill) so it would pay for itself in about 3 years. – See more at: http://www.seai.ie/Power_of_One/FAQ/Insulation/How_much_can_I_save_with_attic_insulation.html#sthash.CVMMF28t.dpuf

Before deciding what insulation to choose it is advisable to seek specialist advice.

You Choose!

 

Do you have attic and wall insulation?

Do you have attic and wall insulation?

Grants are available for energy upgrades.

Chooseday’s Choice! ~ Landfill or recycle bin?

Approximately 400,000 tonnes of paper and cardboard packaging is placed on the Irish market every year. Each family uses about six trees worth of paper every year and makes almost 20% of the weight of the average household bin. Remember, recycling one tonne of paper saves enough energy to power a computer for almost a year and also saves over eight cubic metres of landfill space.

 

You Choose!

Landfill or recycle bin?

Landfill or recycle bin?

 

 

Chooseday’s Choice! ~ Fossil fuels or solar powered heating?

Where does YOUR energy go?

Fossil fuels are derivatives of plant and animal fossils that are million of years old. These are primarily formed from the remains of the decayed plants and animals. The three fuel sources coal, natural gas and oil help to meet the energy and electricity demands of today’s world.  Fossil fuels are non-renewable energy resources. Their supply is limited so they will eventually run out. Fossil fuels do not renew themselves, while fuels such as wood can be renewed endlessly.

Pollution is a major disadvantage that is formed due to fossil fuels as they release carbon dioxide when they burn, which adds to the greenhouse effect and increases global warming.  Coal and oil release sulphor  dioxide gas when they burn, which causes breathing problems for living creatures and contributes to acid rain.

You Choose!

Chooseday's Choice

Fossil fuels or solar?

Solar Thermal: Combining solar collectors with a wood burning stove provides an ideal year-round renewable energy heating solution. A solar collector system in Ireland can produce 60% – 70% of the annual DHW requirement and up to 100% of the hot water requirement during the summertime. Solar panels are effective throughout the year as they utilize diffuse light and not just direct sunlight – this is especially true for evacuated tube collectors.

Solar energy can also be used for space heating in conjunction with low temperature applications such as under floor heating systems and high efficiency radiators. If the solar panels are correctly sized, the solar energy system can produce up to 40% of the annual heating load as well as producing 60% – 70% of the hot water load.

Using renewable sources of energy like wood and solar energy to heat our homes reduces our reliance on polluting, imported fossil fuels like oil and coal.

What is your preferred choice for heating and why?