Monday, 15 March 2010

I have signed up to the Leeds Climate Pledge and I received this e-mail from them this morning...

"Hello pledgers! As we said earlier this month, March is exceptionally busy so we’re emailing you twice this month. So, we’ll stop chatting and get on with the hints, tips and events to help you keep your pledges. Oh, but before we do, hello and welcome to our new pledgers! Thanks for taking the time to show that you care about climate change. Know your carbon footprint...with a new type of reader in your library You can now borrow an energy reader (or monitor, whichever you prefer) from selected libraries in Leeds. Amaze your family with how much energy and money hair straighters, games consoles, kettles and lights use up. See Environment Leeds for more. ...and light up with an energy efficient bulb Right, you already know that switching to energy efficient light bulbs will save you money and energy and cut your carbon emissions. But if you have a few old style bulbs lurking round the house, here’s a reminder of a few energy efficient bulb facts:
  • Low energy light bulbs use up to 80% less electricity but produce an equal amount of light in comparison to a traditional bulb. And they’ll save you around £40 over the lifetime of the light bulb.
  • Since the Government announced the phase out of traditional bulbs from 1 September 2009, technology has advanced to provide a much brighter, variety of light bulbs now available on the market including halogen and dimmable energy saving bulbs.
  • To ensure your bulb is an energy saving one look out for the Energy Saving Recommended logo. Remember, the wattage of the bulb tells you how much electricity it uses, not how much light it produces; a 100W traditional bulb should be replaced with a 20-23W low energy bulb.

Enjoying Leeds and the UK...things to do in the dark...

8.30pm on Saturday 27 March is WWF’s Earth Hour. Iconic buildings and landmarks around the world are plunged into darkness to show they care about climate change. Leeds City Council will be switching off lights at some of their buildings. The Earth Hour website is full of brilliant ideas to make an event night out of it – parties, games, quizzes, wildlife walks, fashions shows, plant bulbs, make and exhibit art from recycled stuff – let your creative side loose! You can sign up on the Earth Hour website to show that you’re getting involved. For the competitive amongst you, West Yorkshire is 107th out of all the UK counties in the sign up challenge.

...and things to do during the holidays.

With the Easter break just around the corner, you should be checking out Welcome to Yorkshire and Leeds Live it Love it if you’re looking for something local to do. Love off...switch off before you go It’s stating the obvious, but if you do plan to go away for a few days over the Easter break, don’t forget to switch electrical gizmos off before you go. Eating well...where to find local suppliers If you haven’t visited one of Leeds’ local markets yet, then you should! You can find local suppliers and producers like Voakes Pies – award winning pies and savouries – and veg, salad and herbs from Goosemoor Organics at Kirkgate Market. There’s plenty to tempt your tastebuds from suppliers across Yorkshire. ...keeping busy in the garden And for those of you who want your food even more local, ie in your own garden or windowsill, here’s what you should be doing in March:

  • cover up strawberries with cloches (make your own by cutting off the bottom of clear plastic bottles)
  • plant early potatoes in large pots of compost
  • sow carrots, beetroot, broad beans, salad onions, cauliflowers, cabbage, Brussels sprouts, spinach, leeks, lettuce, rocket, coriander, mixed salad and stir fry leaves, radish, turnip, peas and Swiss chard outside or under cloches

Slimming your waste collections

If you have a brown bin for garden waste, don’t forget that as of this month they’ll be collected fortnightly again.

Your feedback

If you have any other feedback, ideas or suggestions, please let us know. You can contact us at "

Unsurprisingly, schools use a huge amount of the city's electricity and gas, consume vast quantities of the city's water and produce an equally monstrous amount of the city's waste. We must all engage with this agenda by recycling, reusing and reducing the amount of rubbish we produce. The future is all about sustainable schools and how we all work together to develop approaches that tackle:

  • food and drink;
  • energy and water;
  • travel and traffic;
  • purchasing and waste;
  • buildings and grounds;
  • inclusion and participation;
  • local well-being; and
  • global citizenship.

My colleague Steve Ruse is working with pilot schools to develop a school based approach to sustainability. If any colleagues are interested you can contact Steve at


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