Why be environmentally aware?

As the Home Energy Conservation Authority (HECA) for Northern Ireland, we work alongside energy advocates and advisers – Bryson Energy, Energy Saving Trust (EST), top energy providers – Phoenix Gas, Firmus Energy, Power NI and SGN, together with NIFHA (Northern Ireland Federation of Housing Associations) and Choice Housing Association.

These energy agencies, suppliers and associations collaborate to encourage people to make their homes environmentally friendly. We promote;

  • reducing waste
  • saving energy
  • preventing pollution
  • our social responsibility

We can help our environment at home or in the workplace. Small changes can make a big difference, improving our environment for everyone.

We should use our resources wisely. We all have a responsibility to reduce, reuse and recycle waste.

Reduce, Reuse, Recycle

Reducing Waste

What are the basics of waste reduction?

Homes in Northern Ireland can create over a tonne of waste each year, the weight of a small car. Recycling is increasing, but so is our population.

Managing our waste is the best option for the environment. The most effective management of waste streams is to consider the waste pyramid –

reducinglowering our amount of waste produced

reusingused materials repeatedly

recyclingusing materials to make new products

other recoveryrecovering energy from waste

landfillsafe disposal of waste to landfill

  • keep products for longer and reuse materials
  • use less hazardous materials
  • encourage family and friends to check, clean, repair and refurbish whole items
  • consider turning waste into a new substance or product such as compost

Recycling

Do you think you could recycle more?

Put in place recycling bins to remove the temptation to throw things away. This will reduce your black bag waste and increase your recycling rates.

Encourage your colleagues, friends and family to recycle. Tell them why you are starting to recycle – it will save money and what the environmental benefits will be.

Some fast facts:

  • 80% of items are recyclable – just check the recycling labels on items.
  • It takes 70% less energy to recycle paper than to make it from raw materials.
  • The average person throws away 74kg of food waste each year – the equivalent of 1077 banana skins.
  • Recycling 1 banana skin, it can be used as a fertiliser to add nutrients to your soil.
  • A glass bottle, it will save enough energy to power a computer for 25 minutes.
  • A plastic sandwich wrapper, it will save enough energy to power a light bulb for 3 hours.

For more information on recycling, visit the Recycle Now website.

Love Food Hate Waste aims to raise awareness of the need to reduce food waste and act. It shows some easy practical everyday things you can do in the home to waste less food,

The Consequences

Strong evidence shows that methane gases from landfill sites and carbon dioxide (CO₂) emissions from transport, are leading to climate change and add to the ‘greenhouse effect’,. If this continues, we could see more flooding and coastal loss, a burden on drainage, sewage, roads, water and habitats. On top of this, rising temperatures, increased pollution and poorer air quality will cause vulnerable people discomfort, and threaten species of animals and crops.

We can lower these greenhouse gases by

  • reusing and recycling goods instead of throwing them away,
  • creating less waste means less energy will be needed to make new items, and
  • consider how we travel to work? Can you travel to work in a different way, taking advantage of the travel incentives available?

Energy saving tips: 

Transport and technology

Cycling or using public transport will save energy and reduce harmful carbon dioxide emissions. You will also save money, reduce stress, become more active and be more productive.

Fast facts:

  • 72% of journeys in Northern Ireland are made by car
  • Cycling creates no carbon dioxide emissions and gives you vital exercise.
  • Public transport is the next best choice as buses and trains produce less carbon dioxide per commuter than a car.
  • Working remotely with the help of technology can cut down the need to travel.

For energy saving tips call the Northern Ireland Energy Advice Line on 0800 1422 865.

Download HECA 2018 Report

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