Environmental Tip of the Month


Up Up and away

The way we think about waste is changing.
Our everyday lives are filled with things that are destined for the rubbish heap.
Over the past few years there has been a real drive to recycle as much of our waste as possible and now more and more people are looking at ways to stop useful items from becoming waste.
Upcycling is a relatively new word for a lot of people. You see it in trendy areas and hear designers drop it into their sentences.

But what is upcycling?
Upcycling is about taking items that would normally been seen as waste and making them into something useful.
It’s different from recycling because recycling means breaking something down and reforming it into a new item, such as old tyres being used to make playground flooring or aluminium cans being melted down and turned into aluminium sheeting.
It’s different from composting because composting means taking organic materials and leaving them to break down into organic matter that can be used for gardening.

There are endless possibilities for upcycling. Marvellous things can happen when you start to upcycle.
A perfect example of this is Alfredo Moser who has created an ingenious way of lighting his house with plastic bottles. The BBC reported on Mr Moser’s creation which has had a significant positive impact not only on his life, but also on the lives of other people in his community and also further a field. Read about the plastic bottle lights here
There are lots of ideas out there for people who would like to try upcycling. From large project such as homes made from bottles, to small projects for your home.
Check out the examples below to start you off.

Homes made from plastic bottles
A guide on how to make your own greenhouse from plastic bottles
General information about upcycling
Upcycling projects


Leave the car behind. Hop on a bus

Have you considered leaving the car behind and hoping on a bus?
Taking the bus is an environmentally friendlier way to get out and about. And can be a great way to see the places you might not visit in a car.
Yes, sometimes the journey can take longer and it’s not much fun in the rain, but there are lots of positive reasons to take the bus:
  • You get to see lots of places
  • It’s the perfect opportunity to catch up on some reading
  • Travelling by bus can be a lot cheaper than travelling by car, especially if you take advantage of special deals or if you have a bus pass
  • You don’t have to worry about finding a parking place or paying for parking (or getting a parking ticket!)
  • You don’t have to drive yourself
Not sure how to get where you want to go? Visit Traveline for information and timetables for buses in your area.
Or visit your local Council’s travel section
Cheshire West & Chester
Cheshire East

Did you know, if you are severely or profoundly D/deaf, you can apply for a disabled person’s bus pass? Visit your local council office or their website for more information.
Cheshire West & Chester
Cheshire East

Here at DSN it’s not always possible for us to travel by bus, but we do encourage staff to think about how they travel to appointments and meetings and our offices are all located near to a bus stop.

Recently our Tannery Day Services attended the Cheshire Show and used the free bus service to get there!

Sue Tait Senior Practitioner of The Tannery, Day Services-
 “Everyone had a great time travelling by bus. It was a good experience for our Service Users. Before we went on the bus, we looked into times and where to catch the bus from which was a good skills building experience for everyone and the journey itself was lovely. It was a sunny day and we all enjoyed seeing places along the way. There was lots to see and that was before we’d even reached the Cheshire Show”

On your bike!

As the weather warms up and summer stretches out before us, our minds turn to sunny days and lighter evenings.
We might not always get what we hope for, but we can make the most of the sun when it comes out by getting our bikes out of the shed, giving them a dust down and getting out and about in the countryside.
Cycling is also a very environmentally friendly way to travel and gives us a way of seeing parts of the countryside that we wouldn’t be able to, sat in our cars on the motorway.
So why not check out Britain’s cycle network by visiting the Sustrans website and taking a look at the National Cycle Network maps.

You could also consider cycling to work.
Not got a bike? Why not check out the Cycle to Work scheme.
Funded by the Government’s Green Transport Initiative, the Cycle to Work scheme allows employees to purchase a bike and cycling equipment and pay for it in instalments via their wages.

Here at DSN we operate the Cycle to Work scheme which has been taken up by a few members of staff. Read more about staff who cycle in our Winter 2012 newsletter.

Wherever you go on your bike this summer, a cycling helmet and bell are essential kit. A picnic is optional :)


Bee Green

Being more environmentally friendly isn’t just about reducing our carbon footprint. It’s also about increasing our insect footprint.
There are many insects that are key to our lives. One of the most important groups is pollinating insects. These are the critters that pollinate our plants 
and ensure that we have enough food. Some of these pollinators also give us much more.
Bees are fabulous pollinators AND they produce honey, royal jelly and propolis.
Bees are key to our food supply and, although not loved by everyone, these fabulously fuzzy bumblers help us not only in our gardens, but also in the fields where our crops are grown.
So whilst reducing your carbon footprint, why not increase you bee print by encouraging bees and providing them with the things they love most!
Here at DSN we’re also encouraging pollinators. Our sensory garden at Lavender Lodge has plants and flowers that not only smell good, but are great for pollinating insects.
The gardening area at our Stepping Stones building will also soon be full of busy pollinators. The area has recently been revamped with a brand new greenhouse and Tenants will be growing a range of plants and flowers this year.
Would you like to get involved in encouraging pollinators? Don’t worry, you don’t need to have a garden. A yard, window ledge or front step is enough. Why not consider a window box, a hanging basket or some stylish pots?
You can read about ways to encourage pollinating insects on the RHS (Royal Horticultural Society) website.
Also, read about how one supermarket is taking steps to be more bee friendly.

Daylight Saving Time - British Summer Time Begins!

While we're all jumping for joy at the thought of warmer weather and longer days,
don't forget the savings you could be making on energy, when you put your clocks forward.

Make sure you:

* Adjust the clock on your central heating boiler. 
* Change the settings on your timer switches if you use them for lamps etc.
* Adjust your room thermostat and heating times as the weather warms up.
* Make the most of dry days by hanging clothes on the washing line instead of using the tumble dryer.
* Have a spring clean using green cleaners. Visit thedailygreen.com for tips on how to 'clean green'.

        Eco Driving Tips

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