Walk, Cycling and use Transportation – you must drive make your next car a green one. Until fuel cell vehicles hit the market, dual fuel hybrids (electricity and petrol) are the answer. The £17,000 Honda Insight gives 60-80 miles to the gallon and emits over 50% fewer hydrocarbons and nitrous oxide than a conventional equivalent. Info: 0845 200 8000; www.honda.co.uk. The government is offering a £1,000 grant for the first 200 buyers.
Recycle – the UK recycles only 9% of domestic waste, compared with Switzerland’s 50% plus. Contact your local council about collections or recycling banks. Waste Watch is a font of information on waste reduction, reuse and recycling. See their website, www.wastewatch.org.uk, or call Wasteline (0870 243 0136). Community Recycling Network’s website (www.crn.org.uk) lists regional recycling schemes.
Buy wood Products with the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) trademark – almost half the world’s original forests have been destroyed, with huge swathes continuing to be chopped down daily. The FSC mark guarantees that wood has come from a responsibly managed forest. B&Q and Homebase stock FSC-certified good
Eco Friendly Funds
Top funds include Murray Johnstone’s Ethical World fund, Norwich Union’s six Sustainable Future funds, Jupiter’s Ecology fund and Merrill Lynch’s New Energy Technology Trust. Best rates and advice from an ethical independent financial adviser. Ethical Investors Group (tel: 01451 850777) are the largest, give half their profits to charities, and offer a free guide to ethical finance. Get a green mortgage or savings account with the Ecology Building Society (tel: 01535 635933) or Triodos Bank (tel: 01179 739339).
Change electricity supplier to Unit[e]
the only UK company that provides 100% renewable energy to the domestic market. For more info from Unit[e], tel: 0845 601 1410; www.unit-e.co.uk.
Convert your car to LPG, liquid petroleum gas
(or ‘autogas’), and benefit from another government grant of 75% of the conversion cost. LPG is half the price of petrol and toxic emissions are significantly reduced. More info from LPG Association (tel: 01425 461612, www.lpga.co.uk, click on Autogas). Further details about grants from the Energy Saving Trust 0845 602 1425,