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What can we do?

A lot of the things that can make a difference are really simple to do, but we know that lots of people are not doing them. So if you are, share with friends and family to encourage others to take part and do their bit.

Make low carbon journeys

  • walk or cycle to school, the shops or to work
  • consider using public transport if possible
  • car share for regular journeys, such as to work or school
  • reduce the need to travel for business by looking at online meetings
  • join your local car club and save on insurance and running costs
  • think about making your next car an electric vehicle

Save water

  • take shorter showers
  • turn the tap off when brushing your teeth
  • make sure you have a full load in your washing machine and dishwasher
  • use a bowl for washing up
  • boil the right amount of water needed for your cup of tea

Pass-on-plastic

  • carry your own reusable cup
  • take your own cutlery to work or on a day out
  • buy your fruit and veg loose
  • use a reusable bag for your shopping

Fight against food waste

  • plan your meals at the start of each week
  • buy loose, where possible, as this is often cheaper and fresher and will also encourage you to buy only what you need
  • learn how to cook and bake new recipes using leftovers

Shop local

  • support independent businesses
  • reduce traffic on our roads
  • improve air quality
  • you will also be supporting your...
    • local economy
    • independent businesses

Save energy

  • switch off the lights – lighting costs account for around 15% of your household energy bill
  • use LED light bulbs
  • turn your thermostat down a notch – by reducing the temperature at home by 1°C, you could cut your annual energy bill by £75 and reduce your carbon emissions by 300kg.
  • cut down on draughts - draught proofing is one of the cheapest and most effective ways to save energy and money, and the materials are cheaply available from high street DIY stores for as little as £200
  • switch to renewable electricity – most energy suppliers now offer a green energy tariff.

Other things to try

  • consider reducing the amount of meat you eat regularly and buy it locally
  • plant for shade
  • check what’s happening locally and join in
  • sign up for flood alerts from the Environment Agency

What could young people do?

  • litter picks – school, local park or similar
  • design a plastic free lunch/picnic/party
  • design a campaign to get all children to have a refillable/reusable water bottle
  • get in touch with local Parish Council to see if they want help in planting wildflowers/managing the wildflower area – or find a plot and plant your own
  • walk to school/college
  • cycle to school/college
  • encourage parents/carers to set up a car share scheme for school/after school club
  • learn what can/can’t be recycled and why (ask for a Wastebuster [external link] assembly (primary) or a talk for secondary)
  • learn to make a vegetarian/vegan meal
  • create art from rubbish (although take care that it does not then become unrecyclable)
  • develop an anti-idling campaign
  • write to your Councillor/MP/Youth MP

How can I help make Darlington sustainable?