Happy Eco Wishes for 2016!

Dear Transitioners,

I hope you enjoyed the festivities though it was the warmest December on record! Signs of Spring have been spotted across the county with daffodils out at the start of December as well as Primroses, Lilacs and even honey and bumble bees! As the weather becomes more seasonally colder do keep an eye out for nature especially Hedgehogs that may have not gone in to hibernation yet! If spotted out in the day contact the Somerset Hedgehog rescue centre http://www.prickleshedgehogrescue.org.uk/information/rescue-or-leave/


Small mercy is that there's been lower energy consumption for space heating so far this winter! 
So as it was Epiphany yesterday - the traditional day to take down the Christmas decorations and take out the Christmas tree. If you have a natural one and you don't know what to do with it (unless has a root you could replant in the garden) there is a Christmas tree recycling depot being set up in Langport this Saturday 9th at the back of the carpark next to Cocklemoor where you can leave your Christmas tree. On the 16th Jan they will all be shredded by SSDC into mulch for people to take away for their gardens.
And as its the start of a new year it is also traditional to set some new years resolutions. Here are some ones you might like to do.....and pledge to go green for 2016 which will help to reduce CO2 as well as your expenditure!
Use less by turning down the thermostat by 1 degree, wash clothes at 30 degrees and dry clothes on the line instead of the tumble drier. 
Check your home is insulated and your windows and doors aren't leaking heat outside or cold air inside.
Switch off appliances at the wall switch and don't leave them on stand-by which still consumes energy - about the 1/3 of what is used when in use!
Switch to a renewable energy tariff - check out the Ethical Consumer guide to help you choose which one to switch tohttp://www.ethicalconsumer.org/buyersguides/energy/greenelectricitysuppliers.aspx  
Buy local seasonal food from local producers. Friday evening at Eli's from 5pm - 7pm is our Elderflowers food co-op where you can get your weekly shopping of veg, dried goods plus other goodies like bread, eggs and fairtrade tea & coffee.
Eat less meat and buy locally produced organically reared. Elderflowers food co-op has a monthly meat order from Pitney Farm Shop as well as a monthly fish order from local coastal fish-catcher.
Food scraps that can't be eaten can be home composted in the garden or in a home wormery. A weekly food collection with your recycle boxes from you doorstep can take all food waste which is turned into green electricity in an Anaerobic digester near Bridgwater. 
Try growing some food in your garden or in planters using your home made compost :) 
Recycling saves resources and energy processing raw materials for new products. Somerset Waste Partnership collects lots of items for recycling from your doorstep every week. Also at local recycling centres - find out more here:http://www.somersetwaste.gov.uk/
Though try and avoid unnecessary packaging like choosing products with less packaging and reuse items - think creatively! 
And of course avoid the plastic bag and use your Transition Langport or Langport Area Business Group #whereitsto re-useable shopping bag (or one of those plastic ones you have a draw-full / stashed somewhere!) 
Use less water get hippo to save water if you have an old cistern or install a dual flush. 
Get a timer for shorter showers, maybe share a bath and get a water butt for watering the garden. Don't forget to turn off the tap when brushing your teeth!
Car share to work or the shops or events with friends, family or neighbours. 
Cycle or walk when you only need to go a few miles if you can to save on polluting fuels and help keep fit.
Think about setting up a car share scheme in your local area like Co-Wheels in Frome
If you need a car think about an electric or hybrid which can be cost effective now many are coming up for second hand sales or even on a a monthly hp contract.
Use local buses and trains and support campaigns more local services - complete consultation by 11th Jan To complete the consultations visit www.somerset.gov.uk/bussubsidysurvey andwww.somerset.gov.uk/concessionaryfareconsultation respectively.
Go chemical free
Many cleaning and beauty products use toxic by-product chemicals from the fossil fuel industry. Choose chemical free, natural based products available from Langport Stores, Cobbs in Somerton or the Ecofriendly shop (order on line, collect from Westhay) http://www.ecofriendlyshop.co.uk/
Consume less & be more conscious
Make 2016 the year of being resourceful, less wasteful and reuse more. Share unwanted items with friends, family, neighbours and local charity shops.
Maybe help set up a share library of items in the community such as lawnmowers, power tools and hiking gear that aren't used very often.
Think about where you spend your money, where the products come from and if you can make more positive choices.
Love nature
Spend more time in the outdoors maybe helping to survey plant and animal species for local wildlife charities and research projects. 
Grow more trees and native species for biodiversity and flood mitigation.
Feed the birds in your garden and enjoy the benefits of helping nature. 
...........these are just some ideas and suggestion you might like to try. Share other eco-friendly tips to help us all make 2016 the greenest year ever.
And why not join in with helping Transition Langport activities and events by coming to our January Green Drinks and 1st meeting of 2016 at Eli's on Tuesday 26th at 7.30pm
or see you on Friday at our Elderflowers Food Co-op from 5pm at Eli's!
Best eco wishes,