March Top Tips


1. Slash your water use.

Whether you are metered or not, it makes sense to try and use less water.  Purifying water and
 pumping water around the country uses lots of energy.  The majority of water is used in the bathroom – so:
* Turn of the tap when you brush your teeth
* Take short er showers
* Flush if you must!

Read more 


2. Easter eggz are coming – make them fair-trade!

Easter is all about celebrating new life – so remember the life of the person who made your chocolate – look for the Fairtrade logo. 

What does Fairtrade mean?



3. Light evenings are coming so get on your bike. 

Walking and cycling for short journeys is a great way to get fit, it’s also good for your pocket and the planet.  Regular cyclists have the fitness of someone 10 years younger.
* Not been on a bike for a while or scared of the traffic – try an Adult Cycling Lesson?  

February Top Tips

1. Line your curtains! 

Good curtains with thermal linings help keep you warm and cosy, reduce heat loss and therefore your energy bill.  Check out our simple guide to learn how to line your curtains.

How to line your curtains

2. Lag your pipes

If you have unlagged hot water pipes, you’ll run more hot water – that’s a waste of water and energy, and costly especially if your water is metered.  Lagging hot water pipes is a simple DIY job. 

How to lag your pipes

3. It’s Fairtrade Fortnight - 29th Feb – 13th March

What did you have for breakfast?  Coffee from Kenya, bananas from Columbia, sugar from Malawi?  Did the people who grew your food get a fair wage.  One way to be sure of this is to choose Fairtrade products.  How about adopting one new Fairtrade product this fortnight?

More about Fairtrade

More about eating sustainably.


January’s Top Tips

1. New Year’s Resolution 2016
No.1 – save money, go green, get to know my neighbours

In 2016 would you like to do an audit of household bills, get to know your neighbours and green up my life, and save around £400 in the process?

Transition Streets – is a FREE programme to help you do that – it’s fun friendly and practical, you get a manual customised to Dorset, and it can happen in your street. 

Find out more here

2. New Year’s Resolution 2016 No. 2 – Get fit.

So you want to get fit, time to take up walking and cycling for short journeys.  Did you know those who cycle regularly have the fitness of someone 10 years younger? 

* Not been on a bike for a while or scared of the traffictry an Adult Cycling Lesson? 

* Fancy a new bike paid monthly and tax free?


3. New Year’s Resolution 2016 No. 3 – Eat well.

Many start January resolved to lose weight, drink less, or eat more healthily.

Try our 7 guiding principles to sustainable and healthy, shopping, eating and cooking – good for you and the environment!

i. Choose QUALITY not QUANTITY meat and dairy.  Better but a little less.  Support and encourage farmers that consider your health, the environment, their animals and staff.

ii. Grow your own and buy the rest from local producers

iii. Buy local, seasonal, environmentally friendly food.

iv. Choose sustainable fish

v. Choose Fairtrade

vi. Cook balanced meals from scratch

vii. Go zero waste

Find out more here


December's Top Tips

1. Food swap quantity for quality.

Christmas is coming, a time for parties, celebrations and special food.  So this year treat yourself to QUALITY not QUANTITY.  Choose good quality food grown or raised locally, good for you, good for the environment and good for the local economy.   For seven things you can do about food – click here.


2. Opt for SMART travel

If you are travelling to see friends or family, book train tickets early to get cheaper tickets, and take up eco-driving to save fuel. 

Eco-driving tips.




3.Go Waste Free

Can you survive the holiday period with no waste, no waste food, no waste paper, no unwanted presents?  Probably if you plan ahead.  Check out these tips to avoid Christmas food waste. 


November’s Top Tips

1. Reduce / Avoid

According to our survey around 97% of people recycle, recycling is good – but first we need to reduce, reuse or even avoid!Give it a try on Buy Nothing Day -  27th November.


2. Fix those draughts - 15% of your heat escapes there!

These videos can show you how or come along to a FREE draughtproofing workshop on 23rd January 2016, venue to be confirmed register your interest here.


3. Take a short shower

When you take a short shower instead of a long shower or a bath, you are saving, water, energy, money and time!  That’s a WIN WIN WIN WIN SITUATION!


October's Top Tips

1. Drop the meat

1st October is World Vegetarian Day and the whole month is about raising awareness of being vegetarian.  So by all means have a day or a month off eating meat but long term check out our:

7 guiding principles to healthy sustainable shopping and eating.

2. Share a lift – 5th – 11th October is National Liftshare week

Did you know liftsharers save up to £1,000 a year.  Emily from CLS says: “It works well for me, my lift always want to drive, so I just give her fuel money – she picks me up from the top of the road, and I never have to drive around Dorchester looking for a parking space!” 

See if you can find a liftshare match here

3. Turn your curtains into cold stoppers – 3rd October, Dorchester

In October, the clocks go back, the nights draw in and the heating goes on.  Time to make sure your curtains are keeping in the heat.  Come along to our FREE workshop – we’ll show you how to line your curtains.

Find out more



4. Read your meter and Get electricity savvy – 9th October, Dorchester

They say if you want to change something you should start by measuring it!  People who read their gas and electricity meters use around 10% less energy, that’s around £100 a year!

Come along to our FREE workshop: Getting smart with electricity – you’ll get free loan of an energy monitor. 

Find out more

Learn how to read your meters here. 


September’s Top Tips

1. Save energy in the community

5th – 20th September is Community Energy Fortnight – and we have six Dorset community owned solar PV systems to celebrate.  Have you seen them?  They are in Salway Ash, Osmington, Lychett Minster, Dorchester and Martinstown.  That’s three schools and village halls getting FREE electricity and 75 share holders enjoying tax efficient investment.

Read more

The government is reviewing the Feed In Tariff that makes such schemes feasible, so you may want to sign this petition.


West Dorset Open Eco Homes – 10th - 13th September - Hilfield friary and 19 homes open demonstrating renewable energy, energy efficiency, water conservation and a talk about how to build an eco home. 

Find out more

So what could you to save energy in the community?  If you are aged 7-24 or know someone who is, how about the BIG Ideas Challenge?

2. Zero Waste Week – Re-use

7th – 13th September is Zero Waste Week, this year they are asking us to Reuse. 

Sign up for zero waste tips.

Do email us with your great re-use tips and photos and we’ll share them.

3. Leave your car at home – 22nd September – World Car Free Day

So car owners and lovers, could you manage to leave it at home for just one day?  You’ve got plenty of time to arrange an alternative, even if it’s a lift, that’s still one less car on the road!

What’s stopping you?

* Just too lazy – people who walk or cycle regularly, save money and feel fitter.
* Don’t know the bus timetable
* Scared of the traffic

* Bike needs fixing – take it to the bike shop!


August Top Tips

1. Grow your own

Imagine the pleasure of picking your own produce that you grew yourself.  Good for your “soul”, good for your body and good for the planet.  Maybe a bit late to start this year, but how about getting an allotment or joining a community garden for some moral support?

Dorchester Commity Farm

Bridport Community Orchard

Why not go along to:

Community Orchard allotment event on 13th August 2pm - 5pm, behind St Mary's church, South Street, Bridport.

10th - 16th August is National Allotment Week

About allotments in West Dorset

2. Catch that water for your garden

Not everyone has a roof or a water butt, but your non-edible garden plants are happy drinking water used for washing people and dishes, and the edible ones can have the water from washing vegetables.  So try keeping a bucket by the kitchen sink to collect it, then water away.  

Wessex Water water saving garden

3. Travel lightly

Living in a beautiful area can lead to traffic jams and car parking challenges during August.  So how about taking the bus or the bike to the beach?  Good exercise, you can read if you’re on the bus, and free parking.

Check out Travel Dorset for latest travel information




July’s Top tips

1. Treasure every drop – catch that water!

If you have a water butt, make sure its connected up to catch the water for your garden.  You can also collect water from washing up and washing vegetables for use on your garden.

Check out this short video with water saving tips for your garden

2. Make compost at home 

Are you enjoying fresh produce from your garden?  Do make compost at home if you can, then you’ll have a free nutritious fertiliser for those salad leaves!

Check out how to compost and build your own compost bin here



3. Walk or cycle while the weather is warm 

If you are enjoying the long light and warm evenings, what better time to get on your bike.  Did you know that people who regularly cycle have the fitness of someone 10 years younger and take fewer days off sick?

Tell me more about cycling in Dorset

Time for a new bike - the government has a scheme so you get it tax free.

Have you got any Top Tips - send them in and we'll share them -

June's Top Tips

1. Get on your bike – it’s June, lots of daylight, and lots of support to encourage you onto your bike.

June 13th – 21st is Bike Week  to promote “everyday cycling by everyone” - the focus is on cycling to work – do you or can you?  Well done NHS Dorset who are promoting cycling to their staff for the whole month. 

June 8th – 28th – National Cycling Challenge – join in by cycling for at least 10 minutes and encouraging others to do the same, you could win a bike, or even a trip to New Zealand. 

Time for a new bike?  How about 25% off a bike plus accessories? You need the Cycle to Work scheme

2. Love your clothes - 22nd – 28th June is Recycle Week

The average UK household has clothes worth £4,000 in the wardrobe, and a third of those haven’t been used in the last year.  So how about seeing if you can give them some new life instead of buying new?  For lots of tips on caring for your clothes, altering them, and turning them into something new check here

3. Midsummer is here – a good time to “wrap up your home”

While its great enjoying long light evenings and warmer weather, if you are intending to insulate your home, now is a good time to do it.  Insulation companies will be less busy and you’ll have it warm and cosy ready for when you turn on the heating in a few months’ time. 

Find out more


Are you trying these Top Tips - please let us know how you get on.  Send us a story, a photo, a poem, a film, a rap - and we'll share it.


May's Top Tips

1. Make Compost - 4th - 11th May is International Home Composting Week

Did you know it’s International Home Composting Week – that’s 4th – 11th May 2015.  What better time to make a start!  Not only is compost good for your garden, it can be a hotbed of biological activity, your very own mini-beast centre.

International Compost Week – Tips, activities and competitions

Dorset Waste Partnership – How to compost, where to get a compost bin, how to build your own compost heap or wormerie.

2. Walk to work week – 11th – 15th May 2015

There’s plenty of daylight now, and if walking to work is an option, what better way to get fit and save money.  

For Walk to Work Week resources including chance to win an I pad click here






3. Treasure every drop – Saving water in the garden

Did you know that rainwater is better for your garden than tap water. 

Lots of tips on how to save water in this video from Wessex Water.


April’s Top Tips

1. Go Flexitarian this Spring.

Why not take a small step towards a more sustainable diet this spring and try going flexitarian? Going flexitarian is easy. It just means eating less and choosing better quality meat. And with reports saying we eat 70% more protein than we need to, losing a few meat meals a week and improving the quality of the meat we do eat, will be great for the waistline and the wallet! The Eating Better Alliance has some great top tips on eating better meat this Easter.

Tell me more

2. Switch it off!

UK households are estimated to spend £1.7 billion per year powering lights and appliances that are not in use, up to £80 per household.  Make sure you turn off and avoid stand-by when possible.  

Check this article to see how much different cost to run.


3. Recycle one more thing?

Dorset Waste Partnership is rolling out a new improved kerbside collection scheme across West Dorset.  Whether or not its reached you yet, how about finding one more thing you can recycle?

Recycle ink cartridges, electrical items, tetrapacks at mini recycling centres.

4. Join Co-cars – the Pay as you go Car Club

Do you want to drive a car without owning one?  Co-cars has dedicated cars in Dorchester, you can have the freedom of driving without the cost of owning a car.  They look after it, you drive it.  Available 24/7.

Read more here

Have you got what it takes to be part of  the Co-Cars Team? 

Co-cars  are growing and need more team members in Dorset to help make this happen We need a Car- care Support worker, who makes sure our new cars are always ready for use and welcoming to members, and a Development Worker, a key contact for growing membership and realising the potential of new car locations to serve our members.

Call now for a chat on 0345 345 2544

Co-Cars team

March Top Tips

1.    Pete says #IDoDorset wear more layers instead of turning up the heating.  Will you?

We are celebrating what people in Dorset are already doing to be environmentally friendly.  Join us for the chance to win a meal for two. 

Say I do and win a meal for two

2.    Be SMART with your heating.

Understanding and managing your heating keeps you warm and comfortable and saves between £75 and £150 on the average household bill.

Understanding your heating controls.

3.    Spring has sprung get growing!

In just a few months’ time you could be eating home-grown lettuce.

What to grow now.






4.    Audit your water use.

Average water use in our area is 140 litres per person per day, 22nd March 2015 is World Water Day, one in ten still don’t have access to clean water, and many have to carry water to their homes.  So let’s treat our water well!

Find out how much water you use.


5.    Walk and cycle for short journeys!

British Summer Time is almost here, so how about cycling or walking more.  Regular cyclists have fewer days of sick, and are generally healthier and fitter.  If you fancy it but are a bit wobbly or worried about traffic, consider taking up Travel Dorset’s Adult Cycling Lessons.

NHS – Benefits of cycling.

Adult cycling offer. 

And finally

Tell us how you get on, share your stories, we want to use them to inspire others.  Write a song, do a dance, take a picture, to capture your Top Tips.  All contributions gratefully received,  Email:

February Top Tips

1. Lag hot water pipes

Have a look at the pipes that lead to your hot taps, are they lagged?  If not you’ll have to run them for longer before the water gets hot, you’ll lose heat and therefore money.  Pipe lagging is cheap to buy and easy to install.

This video shows you what to do.

2. Fix those draughts and line those curtains

Draught proofing and curtain lining are simple DIY measures that will make your home feel more comfortable.  What’s more Transition Town Bridport are hosting two free workshops to show you how to do it yourself.  If you are already an expert, we are looking for someone to train others, could it be you?

FREE Draught-proofing workshop 28th Feb

FREE Thermal cutrain workshop 7th March

Could you train others in draught proofing or curtain lining?

3. Fix those drips 

As well as being very annoying dripping taps waste water and if you are on a meter can cost around £20/ year.  They are easy to fix.

This video shows you what to do.

4. Lent Carbon Fast

Lent starts this year on 18th February, while many give up chocolate for lent, you may want to try this challenge to cut your carbon.  Whether or not you observe lent for religious reasons – there are lots of great challenges here, and we’d love to hear how you get on!  How about writing an article about it that we can share here to inspire others.

Lent carbon fast

5. Chose one more Fairtrade item

Fairtrade fortnight starts this year on 23rd February, maybe its new to you, or maybe you are a Fairtrade home already, but perhaps you could do just one more thing for Fairtrade.

Fairtrade Fortnight


January Top Tips

So its the start of 2015 – and with all those good intentions here are our Top Tips for the month.

1. Read your electricity and gas meters every week. 

Why?  Because those who do use 5-10% less energy per year, saving around £60 per year.  
You can do this by checking the meter, and keeping a written record or by using an energy monitor, such as that pictured.  These monitors give you a real time display of how much you are using, for instance mine currently says 185W – (one fridge / freezer, two lightbulbs, internet router, laptop, and printer on stand-by).

Monitors can be purchased for around £30 at stores like Maplin, or are available to borrow at Bridport Library, or for those taking part in Transition Together groups.  It's also worth contacting your energy supplier as they sometimes give them to customers.

2. Water meters - if you don’t already have one consider getting one, if you do try reading it! 

The general rule of thumb is that if there are fewer people in your house than bedrooms a meter will save you money.  If you already have a meter, try reading it, monthly is probably enough especially if the meter is outside.  Once you know how much you are using you’ll get inspired to use less saving you money. 

Find out if you will benefit from being on a meter.
Get water saving tips
Get free water saving devices

3. Cook healthy food from scratch!

-  It’s that time of year where many resolve to eat healthy food, and get fit.  So how about making that healthy food local and seasonal – that way you’ll be supporting the local economy and reducing food miles while you get healthy.  If you don’t know what is in season, check out the Eat the Seasons website, if you live in Bridport take a look at our Food Future Bridport site.  

Eat the seasons
Food future Bridport

4. Transport – join a car club. 

Running a car is expensive, costing around £2,000 a year, before you even drive anywhere.  Car clubs allow you to book online, collect the car from a central location, and pay for the miles you actually drive.  Co-cars already have clubs in Blandford Forum, Dorchester and Weymouth, and are looking to expand.  Something for you?

More about Co-cars



5. Waste Less Spend Better with Transition Together

Transition Together is a practical action plan that supports groups of friends, colleagues, or neighbours work together through a practical manual customised for Dorset, that will help you green your home, cut your carbon footprint, and save money on bills.  We will put you in touch with existing groups or help you to form your own.

Find out more here

These are just a few ideas to get you started please send us your top tips, and we'll share them here.


Emily 07507 321954  /


December Top Tips

* Transport

Going by train – it may be crowded so book ahead to reserve your seats and get cheap tickets.  Lots of money saving tips for booking train journeys are available on the Money Saving Expert website here.

Driving – By adopting eco-driving techniques you can save around 15% on your fuel costs.  Avoid excessive braking and acceleration and make sure your tyres are at the right pressure.  Find out more about eco-driving here.

One way to drive efficiently is to ensure your tyre pressure is correct.  In our survey last year one in three people said they always drove efficiently, so we asked you when you last checked your tyre pressure and found that almost two-thirds of respondents had done so in the last month.

* Food

Traditionally the holiday season is a time of excess, so chose quality not quantity this year.  Try treating yourself to good quality local sustainable food, and don’t stock the fridge and freezer so full there is no room for leftovers.

* Get wise with your presents!

If you are giving gifts at Christmas, chose carefully in order to avoid creating clutter for your friends.  How about giving an “experience”, a meal out, theatre tickets instead of a “thing”?  And be creative with wrapping paper and gift tags – single use items!  How about wrapping with magazine pages?

Green up the festive season tips from Transition Town Bridport


November Top Tips 

• Reduce your indoor energy use.  There are lots of ways to do this send us your ideas.  Here are some to get you started:

  • Line your curtains and draught proof your doors and windows.  Transition Town Bridport just ran two free workshops to show you how.  You can read about them here, if you missed them book now for the next ones!
    • Thermal Curtain lining workshp
    • Draught-proofing workshop

• Turn off anything that isn't in use

•  Make sure your washing machines (food or clothes) are full before you do a wash!

• Turn down the heating, but don't get too cold, below 16°C is really not good for your health, and 18° is recommeded by the World Health Organisation.

• Cook healthy food from scratch - check out Eat the seasons for ideas.

• Reduce your indoor water use.  So put plugs in, wash your vegetables in a bowl, turn taps off, have a short shower.  If you are really keen on saving water, you could stand in a bowl when you shower and use it to flush the loo, but please DON'T fall over in the process!


October Top Tips

• East less meat and dairy and choose sustainable fish, find out why here.

• When you turn the heating on – check that your central heating controls are in order, or even turn the thermostat down by 1°C to save 10% on your heating bill.  Find out how to read your meter here.


• Travel – join a car club or check out carshare Dorset to see if you can share a lift.  Did you know the average commute is 15km, shairng this with just one other person could save £500 a year.  Find out how much you can save here

September Top Tips

The 1st – 7th September was Zero Waste Week – here are some tips to reduce your waste:

• Recylce tetra paks and ink cartridges at your local recycling centre

• Left over fish and chips can be kept in the fridge and re-heated in the oven 

• Use old packaging for picking up dog poo

• Grow your own food to avoid food packaging

• Buy less stuff!

Car Free Day – 22nd September was World Car Free Day

We asked people to pledge to leave their cars at home on world car free day.  If you are looking for a car free way to work check the travel planning information here.

Monitor your energy use – did you know those who read their energy meters recently use 5 – 10% less fuel, you can do this by reading your meter or by using a whole house energy monitor.   Find out how to read your energy meter here. 

August Top Tips!

This month we asked for your top tips on growing your own, minimising outdoor water use, and travelling wisely.  Unfortunatly no-one sent us any top tips, so here are some from Emily, our Greener Choices Co-ordinator.

Grow your own

"I've had a very unsuccesful gardening year, I don't have green fingers and nothing really germinated, so I cheated.  I bought "lliving salad" from the supermarket, and planted it out.  I've tried planting the whole lot before eating any as in the picture here, and eating first and then planting.  Both ways have produced lettuce for harvest".

Minimise outdoor water use

"I'm on a water meter so have an extra incentive not to "water" the garden.  During July when it was very dry, I kept a bucket in the kitchen and poured all sorts into it, then it went on the garden.  So these herbs and lettuces were watered with: wahsing up water, vegetable washing water, tea and coffee! They seem to be doing well"!

Travel wisely

“Well this month so far I’ve worked from home for 5 days, got a lift for two days, and driven alone for one!”  Next month we are going to ask you to leave your car at home on 22nd Sept 2014, World Car Free Day!  

"Waste Lament – the shopper" - by Sally Collings of Bridport 

Butter mountain, milk lake, apples going cheap

 Three for two, currant buns piled up in a heap.

Push the trolley up the aisle, filling it in haste

By end of week the packets rot and so much goes to waste. 

BOGOF  the label says Buy One Get One Free.

Bags of salad, packs of ham, Yes please, I’ll take three.

Ready meals with E numbers and pasta sauce like glue.

Leave it there to fester till the mould is turning blue.

So then you buy another pack of mixed-veg, neatly diced.

Or special fruit prepared in Spain and packaged, ready sliced.

You think the fridge is empty so you fetch another load. 

And on the label written large in special retail code
Is information, clear and bold “Throw Me Out Today”

You turn away and leave it there for the shop to throw away.

Sally Collings, June 2014
Love Food Hate Waste

Your July Top Tips!

If you came along to Bridport Food Festival, you may have contributed one of these tips for living a green lifestyle. We upoloaded them all to a Google Map.  

Our favourites:

• Using kitchen roll inners to grow parsnips

• Walking to the shops

• Using egg boxes to aerate the compost

• Turning off the tap while brushing your teeth

• Making your own electricity with solar PV






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