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A Recycled Lifestyle

In today’s harsh economic climate, many of us are understandably thinking that saving money might mean compromising our green practices. Yet, by saving energy and recycling everyday products, you can save money and reduce your impact on the planet at the same time. We live in a throwaway culture. What we buy, what we use, what we keep and what we throw away are decisions we make every day that impact both the environment and our bank balance.

Attitudes are now changing. There’s a shift back to traditional values that’s spawning a new breed of ‘Recessionistas’. Energy saving gadgets and recycling of products and supplies, for home and business alike, are good for both the environment and your wallet. 

Here are our suggestions for saving energy and money with eco-friendly options for most our everyday activities.

A Day in the Life of - ‘A Recycled Lifestyle’


7am:  Your wind-up alarm clock rings. Have a shower using a water-saving showerhead and use a water diversion device to re-use the water in your garden.

Forgotten to iron that shirt? Avoid last minute ironing; by hanging clean, damp shirts in the bathroom while you shower, the steam helps get the creases out. Saving time, electricity and the environment.

7.30am:  Get dressed in sustainable fashion from People Tree – hand woven, hand made clothes using organic and recycled fabrics.

7.45am: Breakfast – Eat locally produced food or Fair-Trade cereal and organic milk from a recycled carton. Drink fair trade and organic tea or coffee from Café Direct. Only boil the amount of water you need per cup of tea or coffee.

Or get your employer to buy you breakfast when you arrive at work: Employers can buy up to six cyclists breakfast per year per employee, free of tax and NIC*.

8.15am:  Walk or cycle to work, if it’s a long commute, car share, or start saving for an electric car, or run your car on bio-fuels. Using a hybrid car can save you money when you file your taxes.

Or get your employer to buy you a bike: Save up to 50% of the cost of a new bike by using it primarily for commuting**

9am:  Last one to arrive at work makes a round of tea for everyone, saving energy and time. Use a teapot for a finer brew that's also greener than making it in the cup. Ban disposable cups. Remove the water coolers - tell people to get off their backsides and get it from the tap!

At work use recycled paper and print on both sides. Don’t throw away empty printer cartridges have them refilled by Cartridge World saving you money and benefiting the environment. Over 47 million empty printer cartridges end up in landfill in the UK each year where each cartridge can take up to 1,000 years to decompose***. You can also take advantage of the free collection and delivery service saving you time and effort.

12noon: Lunch - eat your homemade sandwich or extra tea you cooked the night before. Use your dinner break to give a discarded product a new life: log onto - the website matches people who have items they want to get rid off with those who can use them, and keeps usable items out of landfill.

Persuade your boss to agree to you finishing an hour earlier each day, helping them save money on electricity!

6pm: Collect greens from your local green grocer or vegetable patch or allotment. Eat green to save green.

7pm: Look to invest in a solar-powered cardboard cooker (winner of FT climate change challenge)

Switch off all electrical items at the wall when not using them especially the microwave. The clock will use more energy than it does to cook food over the whole year****.
Or invest in an intelli plug which is available for TV’s, DVD players and computers. Intelli plug is the world's first patented intelligent plug designed to work automatically, eliminating the need for standby and cutting down on wasted power*****.

8pm: Use energy saving light bulbs. Pre-set defaults on your computer with energy saving sleep functions.  Catch up on the day’s news with your wind-up radio and wind-up TV remote and eliminate the need for batteries.

Exchange coal power for wind powered heating and light. Review your energy sources and get a free energy savers report on your home, to find out how much you can save at

Repair your clothes and shoes rather than discarding and replacing.

9pm: Print photos from holiday on your home printer using Cartridge World refilled and remanufactured printer cartridges to save money and benefit the environment.

Note to self:  Recycle yourself – become a blood donor, registered organ donor or sign up to donate your body to medical science******

10am: Go to bed and count pounds saved (not sheep) for a peaceful nights sleep.


* Source: Leeds Cycling Action Group (

**Source: Leeds Cycling Action Group (

***, October 2008

**** Source:

***** More info at:

****** Blood donor information at Organ donor information/donate your body to medical science at

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