Monday, 18 August 2008

Tips of the Day (4)

Soda water - not just a mixer

Soda water is ideal for removing stains without harmful chemicals. Pour it onto a stain as soon as possible and the fizziness will bubble the staining substance to the surface, where you can blot it away. For more tips on natural cleaning, check out 'Natural Stain Remover' - usually £4.99 but order before end of August to get 15% off this and all other titles in our Shop. Just enter the code TIPAUG08 at checkout. Visit

Odd socks

Make the most of odd socks - the easiest option being to wear them odd, it doesn't really matter if they don't match! If you prefer them to match, always buy the same colour, so that all your socks are identical. Once they're past their best, use as dusters or cleaning rags. And when they're really had it, don't forget to recycle them.

Summer parties

If you're organising a party at home or in the office, try to choose fair-trade juices or get UK grown apple/pear juice. Rather than opt for the predictable snacks of crisps and dips, how about UK grown produce such as strawberries and cream - or organic cheese and wine. If you've got the time, you could even make your own lemonade or ginger beer, and snacks such as cake, biscuits, pizza or tarts.

Sit boiling

Plan ahead and try 'sit boiling' which is great for saving energy in the kitchen. Just boil your veggies, pasta or rice for a few minutes on full heat, remove from the hob but keep covered, and leave to finish cooking in the hot water. You may have to experiment a bit to get the timings right, but once you get the hang of it, you'll wonder why you didn't try it before!

Monday, 14 July 2008

FoE Day Of Action

Taking part in a national FoE day of action earlier this year (on April 5th), members posed for the press outside Christ Church, Friern Barnet. The point of the stunt was to demonstrate concern that carbon emissions from aviation might not be included in the proposed Climate Change Bill. Photos and press releases appeared in both the Barnet Times and the Enfield Independent.

Tuesday, 13 May 2008

Tips Of The Day (3)

Toughen up recycling targets

The Government intends to increase industry recycling targets for packaging, but the proposed targets are disappointing. Ask Joan Ruddock MP to get tough at

Buy organic milk

A litre of milk takes over three times as much energy to produce than a litre of organic milk. Much of this extra energy is used in the production of fertiliser. So next time you're at the shops, opt for organic.

Grey water

Running a bath, taking a shower or just running taps - they all produce 'grey water' that's fine for using in the garden, for flushing the loo and even in the washing machine. Collecting grey water is a simple energy saving thing to do. Try DIY stores to buy a diverter valve that lets you to choose between sending waste water down the drain or to a storage tank. Source: 'How Can I Stop Climate Change?', £12.99 (RRP £14.99),

U value

Look out for the U value when choosing any kind of insulation. It's a number used to describe how good a material is at insulating. Always look for the lowest U value. As a guide, the U value of a single pane of glass is 5.4, standard double glazing is 2.6 and with high quality Lo-E glass 1.8.
Source: 'How Can I Stop Climate Change?', £12.99 (RRP £14.99),

Slow down

You can improve fuel economy by 25-35 per cent by travelling at 70 mph not 90 mph. If you accelerate and brake gently, especially when starting and stopping, you'll also be able to improve fuel efficiency by up to 30 percent. Source: 'How Can I Stop Climate Change?', £12.99 (RRP £14.99),

Friday, 9 May 2008

Tips Of The Day (2)

Support a windfarm for Nottinghamshire

A new windfarm is proposed for Nottinghamshire on a former colliery site. Schemes like the proposed Stonish Hill windfarm are vital if the UK is serious about cutting its carbon dioxide emissions. Email to express your support for the proposal at

Go native

With spring on the way, now is the time to start thinking about whether to buy new plants for your garden or balcony so find out which species are local. These will encourage local wildlife, and will be better suited to local conditions, so will need less maintenance than exotic species. Visit

Shop or sell to support our campaigns

If you have any unwanted Christmas presents, books, furniture, or DVDs why not sell them on Mission Fish, Ebay's charity site, and raise money for Friends of the Earth. You can give between 10% and 100% of the final sale price from anything you sell. For more details, visit

Green up your library

Next time you visit your library, ask them to stock more green titles - if it still doesn't have a copy of 'Save Cash and Save the Planet' by Friends of the Earth, ask if they can order it in. If they organise themed displays, suggest they create a display of books on an environmental theme.

Cash for cans

Recycling aluminium cans is far better in terms of resource and energy consumption than creating new cans. Why not set up a recycling scheme at your office or local school - you can even raise money from collecting them! Find out how at

Saturday, 3 May 2008

Tips Of The Day (1)

Audit your office

Do a quick audit to see how green your office is (and could be) with Friends of the Earth Scotland's online audit tool at

Source: 'How Can I Stop Climate Change?', £12.99 (RRP £14.99),


Not sure what to do with corks? If you keep plants in pots in the house, you could put the corks in the bottom instead of the broken crockery that gardening experts suggest. Corks will encourage drainage as well as any crocks and will make the pots lighter to move around. Alternatively, corks are fine to compost - chop them up a bit to help them rot down more quickly.

Another corker

Following our recent tip about corks, Debby from Devon suggests another idea for re-using them. Make a hole in one end of a cork and put it on the end of bamboo plant supports to prevent eye injury. A lot more attractive and eco-friendly than the plastic caps you can buy.

Help find disappeared Colombian environmentalist

CENSAT Agua Viva (Friends of the Earth Colombia) need your help to secure the return of Jose Abelardo Salgado, an environmentalist who disappeared on 31 March 2008. Please send an email calling on the Vice President of Colombia, Dr. Francisco Santos Calder, to do everything in his power to ensure the swift return of Mr Salgado.


Shake and vac

Need to freshen up and remove odours from carpets or rugs but don't want to resort to chemical products? Simply sprinkle with bicarbonate of soda, leave for a couple of hours or overnight, then vacuum. For more natural cleaning solutions, visit

Monday, 3 March 2008


This blog is a resource for the members of the Barnet and Enfield branch of Friends Of The Earth, and anyone out there who is interested in what we do regarding both global and local issues. It will feature reports and previews of event that we attend, opinion pieces on environmental issues, and anything else we think might be relevant ! So stay tuned to keep in touch with green issues in and around North London. (AW)