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After seemingly months of electioneering, the day of reckoning has arrived and the UK populace decides who will rule over them for the ...

Which Party would Mother Nature vote for?

Calendar Posted 7 May 2015 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

After seemingly months of electioneering, the day of reckoning has arrived and the UK populace decides who will rule over them for the next 5 years. Here at GreenBuying.co.uk we thought we'd consider what each of the main Parties are offering in relation to the environment and climate change. So we've looked at the manifestos and found the following pledges, starting with the Party who you would expect to be the most eco friendly...

The Green Party

The Greens believe that Government must prioritise action on climate change to avoid devastating hardship to our economy, society and environment.

What are they offering?

  • Take serious action on climate change by working with other countries to ensure global temperatures do not rise beyond 2 degrees.
  • Phase out fossil-fuel based energy generation and nuclear power.
  • Invest in a public programme of renewable generation, flood defences and building insulation.

How will this benefit the public?

A rapid transition to a zero-carbon sustainable economy will create millions of jobs and secure a safe climate for our children and grandchildren.

The Labour Party

They claim that a Labour Government will play a leading global role in tackling climate change.

What they are offering?

  • An ambitious adaptation programme will be produced.
  • A new infrastructure commission will prioritise investment in flood prevention.
  • The problems of air pollution will be tackled by giving local authorities the powers they need, backed up by a national framework.
  • Protect and improve wildlife habitats and green spaces, and make them an important part of our thriving tourism industry.
  • Put a stop to the government’s ineffective and cruel badger cull.
  • Improve the protection of dogs and cats, ban wild animals in circuses, defend the hunting ban and deal with wildlife crime associated with shooting.

How will this benefit the public?

Cleaner air, creating a healthier environment for generations. Protecting the natural environment, and ensuring a kinder life for animals.

The Conservative Party

The Tories have set themselves the goal of being the first generation to leave the natural environment in a better state when they leave office than when they entered office.

What they are offering?

  • Invest £3bn from the Common Agricultural Policy to enhance England's countryside
  • Put it place a new ‘blue belt’ to protect precious marine habitats.
  • Invest in clear air and water for you and your family.
  • Keep our forests in trust for the nation.
  • Meet our climate change targets, cutting carbon emissions
  • Working with other countries to ensure global temperatures do not exceed 2 degrees.
  • Tackle international wildlife trade.
  • High animal welfare standards.
  • Develop 25 year plan to restore the UK's biodiversity.

How will this benefit the public?

£3 Billion will be spent in order to enhance England’s countryside and keep the much loved, treasured greenery. We will continue to do even more to tackle our pollution and clean up our rivers and waterways, including supporting the Thames Tideway Tunnel.

The Liberal Democrats

They spearheaded the UK's push to persuade the EU to set an ambitious target of reducing carbon emissions by at least 40% by 2030. They will carry on greening electricity, getting rid of coal generation by 2025 and setting an ambitious power sector ‘decarbonisation’ target.

What they are offering?

  • Renewable energy will make up a third of our energy by 2020.
  • Cut council tax for green homes by at least £100 a year for 10 years.
  • Invest in research and development in cleaner energy.

How will this benefit the public?

Encouraging people to live a healthier, greener lifestyle.

So there you have it. Which one gets your vote? Whilst there are many important challenges ahead for the UK Government, of whatever Party, we can't think of an issue more critical than the health of our environment.

by Matt Roper | 7 May 2015

Happy Customer!

Calendar Posted 27 March 2015 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

We've had lots of great feedback from customers about our range of Children's Playground Equipment - all made from recycled plastics diverted from landfill.

Here's what one customer said today, having just received our very popular Jimmy's Tractor - so called as it was originally commissioned by Jimmy's Farm, as seen on TV:

"Just to let you know and say thank you, the tractor is brilliant." Kelly, the Cornish Birds of Prey Centre.

by M Roper | 27 March 2015

Have a wonderful Christmas!

Calendar Posted 25 December 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

On behalf of the team here at GreenBuying.co.uk, may I wish all our customers (and everyone else!) a very Happy Christmas! Remember to recycle all the excess packaging.....

All the best,

Matt Roper

Founder, GreenBuying.co.uk

by M Roper | 25 December 2014

Separate collections of waste paper, metal, plastic & glass

Calendar Posted 13 November 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

It is already a legal requirement for waste producers to treat waste in line with the waste hierarchy. Once you've considered waste reduction and re-use, you need to ensure that all recyclable materials are recycled where possible to avoid landfill.

But as of 1st January 2015, the revised EU Waste Framework Directive 2008 requires that the UK government must make arrangements for the collection of waste paper, metal, plastic and glass separately where 'technically, environmentally and economically practicable' and 'appropriate to meet the necessary quality standards for the relevant recycling sectors.'

This law covers both commercial, industrial and domestic waste. The information stated below does not constitute legal advice and is no substitute for legal or other professional advice.

How does this affect your organisation as a waste producer?

We believe that as of start 2015 you will need to considering the following:

  • Keep a well-documented audit trail when deciding which collection system to use and hold regular reviews to ensure your waste management system remains compliant.
  • As a minimum, you will be expected to separate mixed dry recyclables (paper, metal, plastic, glass) from general waste prior to their collection unless space for containers, cost of collection or any other genuine barriers prevent this.
  • If it is not technically, environmentally and economically practicable (TEEP) to do this, you will need to implement the most suitable alternative solution and ensure you have evidence as to why a separate collection is not practicable. If you are already separating out the recyclable materials into a combined waste collection, you will need to consider the suitability of this, and whether your waste contractor has the capability to separate these out into separate individual waste streams. As a minimum you are likely to be required to have a separate glass collection.
  • Whether or not you separate out your waste into individual waste streams or combined, you will need to ensure that the quality of these collections is of a high standard and not contaminated with non-recyclable waste.
  • Although not a legal requirement, it is advisable to verify the end destination of these wastes, as a best practice measure, to ensure that they are sent for recycling and not landfill.

The diagram (below) is the Waste Regulations Route Map, and for general information only.

We can help you become compliant

GreenBuying.co.uk is committed to ensuring that its customers are compliant. Our UK national waste partners will review your waste practices. They can:

  • Work with you to assess the practicalities and options for implementing combined or segregated collections if you're not already doing so and implement any agreed service changes on your behalf.
  • Provide assistance to communicate with your staff and other stakeholders to ensure that materials separated are of a sufficient quality and not contaminated with non-recyclable waste.
  • Regularly check the quality of your recyclables to ensure that high standards are being consistently applied. If issues are found, they will work with you to resolve the problems and improve the quality of your recyclables.
  • Ensure you have a well-documented audit trail and regular reviews of your waste management system.

You're running out of time to ensure compliancy by 1st January 2015 so we urge swift action!! Just call 0845 217 8995 or email info@greenbuying.co.uk and we'll help you.

by M Roper | 13 November 2014

GreenBuying.co.uk Recycling Presentation at Droitwich Spa High School

Calendar Posted 12 November 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

GreenBuying.co.uk has a dual mission – first to inform, and then to provide practical help for buyers who seek to procure supplies in a way that does least harm to the environment. We do of course sell products via our webshop, but that’s not where it starts and ends. We believe that too many buyers are not considering the environmental impact of their activities, partly due to lack of knowledge, partly due to a misconception that buying “green” products necessarily cost more money. We also recognise that there are other ways in which organisations can help the environment – by encouraging recycling (using our recycling bins), by encouraging the re-use of waste materials (hence ScrapShop.co.uk – our free to use waste exchange)

That’s why, when we were recently invited to make a presentation on “The importance of Recycling” during an assembly for Year 8’s at Droitwich Spa High School in Worcestershire, we jumped at the chance! The invite came from Mrs Whitehouse, Head of Year 8, who had previously been aware of GreenBuying.co.uk as a customer. The school has previously purchased recycling bins from the website.

We spent a quarter of an hour talking to the whole of Year 8 about the impact on the environment of throwing rubbish into landfill. We gave them some amazing facts to consider - for example, did you know that the amount of rubbish thrown away by homes in the UK every day is enough to fill 190 Olympic sized swimming pools and weighs as much as 12,000 elephants!

We finished the presentation by examining ways in which the children and staff at the school can improve their recycling practices. Droitwich Spa are well advanced in their thinking about recycling but we know that many schools have yet to take the initiative and get everyone involved to reduce landfill waste.

Says Mrs Whitehouse "It was great having Matt and Hattie from GreenBuying.co.uk in school to reinforce the message of the importance of recycling in our school. The children were given interesting facts and information about recycling and also good advice about how they could do more. They were encouraged to believe that every small step adds up to make a big difference to our environment."

Would YOUR school like our recycling presentation?

If your school is located within 100 miles of Cheltenham and you would like us to come and deliver our recycling presentation at an assembly, please email us at info@greenbuying.co.uk

by Hattie Burton | 12 November 2014

Join the Ice Ride this October

Calendar Posted 30 September 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

Join the Ice Ride!

Let's raise awareness of the threats to the fragile Arctic environment.

Only six days to go before the global Ice Ride to raise awareness of the threats to the fragile Arctic environment from oil exploration and climate change - which are surprisingly linked! Manchester Greenpeace and other friends and supporters will be meeting with their bikes in Albert Square, Manchester on Saturday October 4th to join millions of others around the world with the message Save the Arctic! If you've got a bike or can borrow one, put on some white or blue clothing and come along - it'll be a gentle ride around the city centre.

Click Here to find out more information.

Join in on the Twitter conversation beforehand (#IceRide)

by M. Roper | 30 September 2014

Getting ready for Recycling Week

Calendar Posted 20 May 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

Recycle Week is a celebration of everything about recycling. Now in its 11th year it is organised by WRAP under the 'Recycle Now' brand and delivered to the public by a range of partners across the country. It encourages people to recycle more things more often by thanking them for their efforts and showing what more can be done such as explaining the importance of recycling good quality materials and reducing contamination.

The theme for this year ‘Recycling at Home and Away’. It is a great opportunity to encourage people to recycle more things more often and show how it is now easier to recycle away from the home environment.

Some facts and figures...

  • Commercial and Industrial waste accounts for 23% of total waste produced in the UK so there is huge potential benefit for both the economy and the environment of increasing recycling in this area.
  • In the UK we send 700,000 tonnes of clothing to be reused or recycled every year –
  • enough to fill 459 Olympic sized swimming pools every year.
  • Did you know that 9,201,000 tonnes of food is thrown away by the hospitality sector each year and 3/4 of this food could have been eaten.
  • All steel cans are 100% recyclable. They can be recycled over and over again, into anything from cars to motorcycles to more steel cans.
  • More than 60% of householders in the UK say they have unwanted clothes and textiles stored in their homes.
  • In a whole year, an individual drinks can could be recycled eight times, saving enough energy to make 160 new cans.
  • Recycling seven steel cans saves enough energy to power a 60-watt
  • light bulb for 26 hours.

How Business & Schools can get involved

  • Cascade information about recycling services at team meetings, through the intranet, internal newsletters and e-zines, as well as verbally and by using posters.
  • Introduce the removal of individual ‘under desk’ bins and install single waste and recycling points. This increases the amount of material recycled by removing the temptation for people to ‘easily’ throw away. It is important that this is clearly communicated in advance. You are likely to see initial resistance, but people soon get used to the new system.
  • Use posters to help get the message out, including some that can be stuck on or near the recycling bins to indicate what can and cannot be recycled.
  • Encourage senior management to get involved. Their buy-in is important and it is beneficial for messages to come from them.
  • Tell staff why you are recycling and stress why it is important to put items in the right bins.
  • Tell staff how it will save money and what the environmental benefits will be.
  • Speak to cleaning staff to ensure that they recycle correctly.
  • Send round daily tips and facts to all staff.
  • Provide a new screen saver relating to Recycle Week.

In preparation for Recycling Week, please email us links to your YouTube clips showing what you're doing at your school or business to encourage recycling. We'll then add them to our YouTube TV Channel.

by M Roper | 20 May 2014

Five-a-day keeps the packaging away!

Calendar Posted 13 May 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

How many of us would like to eat more fruit and veg but just don't seem to have the time? I have certainly in the past bought fruit and veg that's ended up in the bin a few days later. Making sure i had my "five a day" just didn't seem to fit in with a busy work schedule and the school run.

But all this changed when my wife told me about 'Juicing' and it all started from there. Wednesday 14th May 2014 will be my 13th day of doing the Juice Detox. I'm following Jason Vale superjuiceme.com juicing detox plan. So far i've enjoyed a range of colourful drinks, from bright greens to brilliant reds (thanks to raw betroot juice!). And amazingly, all being well, i will have lost 1 stone on this day (just 13 days from the start of the plan!) Fingers Crossed!

But it strikes me that there is a great further benefit of doing this detox, other than weight loss and "detoxification"- and that's the benefit to the planet. Imagine if huge numbers of the UK population decided that they would juice detox for just two weeks a year.. think of all the food packaging that would not be going into landfill! Think of the reduction in manufacturing processes (with all the power and carbon being generated) that is caused by the fall in processed food manufacturing. And that's before we consider the drop in NHS resources required through the fall in obesity and diseases that appear to be diminished too- that's a lot of carbon reduction!!

by M Roper | 13 May 2014

Housing Association selected as EU Eco award finalist

Calendar Posted 27 March 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

A housing association will compete against firms from across Europe to win a top environmental award after being chosen to represent the UK.

The European Commission’s EMAS (Eco Management and Audit Scheme) Awards are the most prestigious in environmental management and are presented to top performing companies and public authorities.

West Bromwich-based the Accord Group has been chosen to represent the UK in the 'Private – Large Company' category, competing against nine firms from countries such as Germany, Italy and Spain.

Each company will have to show judges how they have delivered eco-friendly innovations that have boosted environmental performance in their organisations, to be in with the chance of winning.

The Accord Group has a long standing commitment to sustainability, becoming the first housing association in the UK to achieve the EMAS and the first to open its own low carbon timber home factory in Walsall.

John Bedford, Head of Project Development at the Accord Group, said: “To be chosen to represent the UK in this award category is a fantastic achievement and one that we are very proud of.

“Over the last seven years, we have made huge efforts to reduce our carbon footprint and develop environmentally-friendly homes, such as our timber framed properties in Walsall, Wolverhampton and Redditch.

“We are looking forward to the awards and sharing ideas, best practice and our experiences of environmental management with other organisations from across Europe.”

Andrew Fletcher, Environment, Training and Systems Director at ESP, which helped Accord to put together its award submission, said: “ESP has worked with Accord for seven years or more and in that time we have seen the company continually make great strides in improving its environmental performance.

“The EMAS Awards are a great opportunity for Accord to showcase their excellent work to date and to reaffirm their commitment to being the greenest social housing provider in the UK."

The winners of the awards will be announced on 7 April 2014.

The Accord Group is one of the largest housing associations in the West Midlands and manages 11,000 homes and provides services to more than 60,000 people.

In 2011, it made history by becoming the first housing association in the country to open its own timber home manufacturing hub, LoCaL Homes in Beechdale, Walsall, which manufactures one timber home every day.

This blog was originally published by www.24dash.com

by 24dash.com | 27 March 2014

Case study: M&S Plan A strategy

Calendar Posted 3 March 2014 | Feed Icon | Calendar 0 Comments

Nowadays all companies need to demonstrate their green credentials to stay ahead of the game. One of the most high profile UK based companies who have taken sustainability to the heart of their business is Marks & Spencer plc. I have written this blog to consider the success of their 'Plan A' sustainability strategy and how it has been boosted profits as well as helped the environment.

Plan A came to fruition in 2007 as M&S struggled to built their profits after a decade of tough trading. The then CEO, Stuart Rose, had been inspired by Al Gore's ground breaking film, "An Inconvenient Truth" and Plan A was established to make M&S the world's most sustainable retailer. Extensive customer research showed that M&S customers felt that going green was important to them.

Plan A set 100 targets were drawn up, built around five key pillars in dealing with customer and suppliers - climate change, waste, natural resource, fair partnership, health and wellbeing. Initiatives to set up to significantly reduce packaging by 26%, landfill waste was cut by 28% and refridgerator emissions dropped by 60%. And food bags were reduced by an amazing two billion!

Other projects included reducing energy consumption in store and the "shwopping" scheme to encourage shoppers to donate clothing to charity. Clothes hangers and bin bags were recycled and staff were trained to become more energy efficient.

The return of investment shows how important it is for a company to keep the long term view; M&S invested £200 Million in the 5 year initiative. It took two years before the investment broke even. But by end of the third year it had made a net profit of £50 million, rising to £70 million in year 4 and £105 million in year 5.

A further 80 projects were added in 2010 and the net profit of the initiative has reached £135 million in the last financial year. M&S can now claim to be UK's first carbon neutral major retailer and has cut its greenhouse gas emissions by 22% since 2007 thanks to reducing its electricity consumption, gas leaks from refridgerators and improved fuel efficiencies. And this is over the same period of time when sales went up by 18%. M&S sends no waste to landfill and all its fish and most of its paper, packing and wood being responsibly sourced.

by M Roper | 3 March 2014