At Smart Move Sheffield, we care about, and try to reduce the impact we have on the environment. Small changes to the way we function can make a difference to energy, resources and biodiversity, and we are committed to helping in any way we can.
Energy Usage in the Home (and the office environment too!)
The energy that we use during our day to day lives all adds up. Leaving one appliance on standby doesn’t sound like much, but the UK has a population of over 64 million people. If every person left one appliance on standby that’s 64,000,000 appliances and a lot of energy! On average, a UK home could save £30 a year just by turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.
Energy Efficient Lighting
Did you know lighting equates to 17.5% of global power consumption? Not only will a compact fluorescent bulb last for longer than a tungsten filament bulb (around 10 times longer) but it will also use 80% less energy. The best part is that saving 80% of your lighting energy will also save you money too.
Washing Clothes at Lower Temperatures
Better technology for washing machines and better detergents now mean that washing at 30°C is just as good at cleaning your clothes at higher temperatures, and even helps them last longer. In fact, the I Prefer 30 campaign has found that if the average temperature that everyone in Europe washed their clothes at dropped by only 3°C, this would equate to an equivalent saving of the emissions produced by more than 127,000 cars.
Microbeads in Cosmetics
The UK Government has now agreed that it will ban the use of microbeads in cosmetics sold in the UK. Microbeads are small plastic beads of less than 1mm wide which do not degrade and cannot be filtered out in water treatment plants. This means that millions end up in the sea every day which are then consumed by aquatic creatures and seabirds, clogging their stomachs. Until microbeads are banned, you can find a list of companies who do not use them here.
The CO2 emissions from transport methods in the UK are expected to rise by 35% between 1990 and 2030, and 13% of transport emissions are from cars. To try and reduce the amount of carbon dioxide emissions we are causing, it is clear we need to consider some more sustainable modes of transport such as walking or cycling. If you have a bike, why not check out the Cycle Hut. They provide free bike checks and cost effective repairs if you need them. For more information about cycling around the University, including cycle parking spots, take a look at EFM’s page here.
What are Smart Move Sheffield Doing?
We’ve focused on some things that you can do in your own lives, but we’re towing the line too. We have achieved Gold in the NUS University of Sheffield Green Impact Scheme for two years running and have now achieved an Excellence Award. The scheme focuses on improving the impact a department has on the environment and encourages a behaviour change, for instance:
- We turn lights off when they are not required
- We print items double sided
- We use 100% recycled paper for printing
- Electronic items are turned off when not in use
- We volunteer a day of our own time every year for a local environmental charity (for the past two years this has been the Sheffield Wildlife Trust).
We also run the NUS Green Impact Student Homes (GISH) accreditation standard which encourages private sector landlords to make the properties they rent out ‘greener’. As part of this initiative they encourage their tenants to make positive behaviour changes, such as encouraging them to shop locally or wash their clothes at 30°C. Further information about GISH can be found here.