Irish News

Saturday 26 July 2014

How you can make a difference

Paul Melia

Published 21/04/2014|02:30

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THE 'average' Irish citizen produces 17.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide (CO2) a year. Here are some tips to reduce the impact:

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Use public transport

The best-performing private cars in the lowest three motor tax bands produce between 0g (for electric cars) and 110g of CO2/km travelled. A full diesel train generates 25.3g per passenger per km, down to 12 grams on a DART (inset).

Drive better

Accelerating slowly and smoothly, maintaining a steady speed and avoiding sudden stops can save fuel. Keeping tyres inflated, maintaining the car and removing unnecessary weight also saves petrol. Walk or cycle if it's a short trip.

Turn down the heating

Reducing temperatures to 20C can knock 10pc off your bills, or €150 a year. An annual boiler service also reduces bills by similar amounts. Use timers and insulate your home.

Use appliances effectively

The eco-cycle is more than adequate for most washing machines and dishwashers. Only use machines when they're full, saving energy and water. Buy 'A' rated appliances.

Check your lighting

Compact fluorescent light bulbs (CFLs) – energy saving bulbs – use about two-thirds of the energy of a regular bulb.

Don't print

Avoid printing reams of paper unless necessary. Print on both sides.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

The best advice of all. Keep your bin charges down to save money and avoid needless deposits in landfill. Recycle electronic items.

Buy locally if possible

Avoiding out-of-season fruits imported from distant lands helps reduce CO2 from shipping. Don't waste food.

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