Galway families urged to go green in 2014

The Environmental Protection Agency is urging everyone in Galway to go ‘Green in 2014’. Over the festive season households will produce more than 65,000 tonnes of used packaging, that is the same weight as 65,000 small family cars! The EPA wants to remind Galway households to start the New Year afresh and ‘Reduce, Reuse and Recycle’ with a visit to your local recycling centre.

Jonathan Derham from the EPA says The New Year presents the perfect opportunity to re-think our attitude towards recycling.

“We can all contribute to a greener future by keeping some useful waste prevention ideas in mind. Galway residents can all save money and cut down on the pressure placed on our environment in 2014 by making recycling their New Years Resolution. Always remember - by not generating waste, we eliminate the need to handle, transport, treat and dispose of it.”

Green New Year’s Ideas for people in Galway that won’t cost the earth:

— The average Galway family throws out €700 worth of food each year and this has a negative effect on every family’s pocket and the environment. The EPA’s StopFoodWaste.ie Programme recommends checking what items you already have in stock before going shopping as well as thinking back to last year and identifying which items remained unused at the end of the season either because they were unpopular or purchased in too large a quantity.

— While doing your gift and grocery shopping try to buy produce locally, this supports small suppliers and your local community, while minimising your carbon footprint.

— During the festive season households produce more than 65,000 tonnes of used packaging. That is the same weight as 65,000 small family cars! To reduce these figures you should recycle used wrapping paper and other packaging, and by doing so you will support jobs too.

— We all love our now indispensable gadgets. If you receive new electronic gizmos this season, please bring any old ones for free to your local authority recycling Centre. Same goes for batteries which can also be left at shops where they are sold. These products are jam packed with high value metals which can be reused again and again – but only if you recycle them.

— The smell of a Christmas tree is an essential part of the festive season in many homes and real trees are good for the environment as they are biodegradable, recyclable and help to remove carbon from the atmosphere while they are growing. Check with Galway County Council in the New Year for details of local Christmas tree recycling facilities.

— Finally, it was great to have a warm, cosy house at Christmas so keep curtains closed and doors shut; this keeps heat in, and saves energy and money. Furthermore, with lots of people in the house over the festive season, turn down the thermostat by 1 degree C, this saves money too and reduces your carbon footprint too.

— Start the New Year with a walk in your community and countryside. It is not only healthy, but it is good to remind ourselves what we are all trying to protect and enhance.

Galway County Council can direct you to your nearest recycling facilities, or check out http://www.repak.ie/recycling_facilities.php for a list of bring banks and recycling centres.

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