Let's Be Green

Electricity

  • If possible do not leave any appliance on standby.
  • Switch off lights in unoccupied areas, machines, computers and other appliances at night time and when not in use.
  • Energy efficient light bulbs are more expensive than standard bulbs. But will last up to 10 times longer, conserving significant energy. They are most effective when used for lights that are left switched on for long durations.
  • Install a solar water heater - Malta has plenty of sunshine throughout the year and thus an electric water heater is rarely needed.
  • Use energy efficient appliances. Unfortunately old washing machines and refrigerators are not environmentally friendly.

Heating

  • With heating, use your common sense. Make sure that timer switches are correctly set, that thermostats are correctly positioned and set, radiators are not obstructed and windows are kept closed.
  • Heavy curtains keep out draughts, particularly with a thick lining, that reach the floor or window sill and have a number of folds.
  • Use airconditioners only when absolutely needed and on a reasonable temperature. It doesn't make sense covering up with a blanket while the airconditioner is on.

Water

  • A tap that drips once every second can waste up to 4 litres of water per day. If the drips are breaking into a stream wastage is about 90 litres per day.
  • Turning off tap when cleaning your teeth conserves water. Leaving it running can waste up to 4,000 litres per year.
  • Taking a shower rather than a bath significantly reduces water usage.
  • Think about how much cleaner and bleach is flushed down the loo - the chemicals do affect the watercourse. Change to cleaning products that are environmentally friendly.
  • The average washing machine uses 95 litres water per cycle. Using a full load uses less energy, water and costs less overall than washing half loads. The same can be applied to dish washers.
  • Flushing the loo can use around 15 litres of water. Placing a brick in the cistern can lead to considerable savings.
  • Water wells should be used when available.

Recycling

  • Apply 3R's rules to your waste before disposing of it: Reduce, Re-Use, Recycle.
  • Recycling saves energy - recycled aluminium cans saves 95% energy required to extract natural resources and make a new one.
  • Recycling helps conserve the environment - e.g. reduces the need to mine raw materials limiting the impacts of mineral extraction on landscape.
  • Try not to make a special trip for recycling! Perhaps you could visit recycling sites when visiting local shops. Or else wait for Tuesdays when the grey bags are collected from your door step.
  • Batteries should be properly disposed off.
  • Switch off your car if stuck in a traffic jam for more than 1 minute, and while stopping for an errand such as buying the newspaper.
  • Use the services provided by local councils and Wasteserv Malta for the disposal of bulky refuse visit one of the amenity sites around the island.
  • Use lunchboxes for school or work, instead of plastic or paper bags.
  • Do not print unless strictly necessary.

Cooking

  • Only heat the amount of water you need.
  • Use boiled water immediately rather than leaving it a while and then re-boiling.
  • Put well-fitting lids on pans.
  • Keep heat on base of sauce pan, do not let flames lick the sides of the pan.

Transport

  • Consider using public transport, walking, or cycling for your journey if it is practical to do so. Malta is so small so this is easy to practice.
  • Turn off car engines if in a traffic jam or stationary for more than 2 minutes.
  • Keep the car engine properly tuned - this saves fuel and decreases emissions, through ensuring maximum efficiency.
  • Ensure tyres are correctly inflated.
  • Don't drive too fast - exhaust emissions rise dramatically in cars traveling over 65 km per hour.
  • Car share if possible and only undertake necessary journeys.
  • If possible use bio-diesel.

Shopping

  • Plan your shopping, as much surplus food is thrown away - do you really need everything you buy?
  • Avoid buying products which are over-packaged.
  • Reduce unwanted junk mail.
  • Take your own re-usable bag with you to the supermarket.
  • Try to use returnable or reusable containers.
  • Avoid disposable goods where not necessary e.g. disposable razors.
  • Can it be repaired? Think before you bin!
  • Donate rather than dump e.x. through jumble sales or charity shops.