Merry Christmas

21 12 2011

To all residents of Greenfields, Merry Christmas and Happy New Year.  The past few months have been a busy time around the estate; the last few houses are almost complete, additional landscaping has commenced, and the green area in Beech Drive is taking shape.

Going forward, the Committee are looking forward to working together to keep our neighbourhood a safe and enjoyable place to live. 

Save Energy & Money This Christmas

20 12 2011

Christmas is a time of particularly high energy consumption. The whole house is heated as extra family members return home for the holidays. Lights, televisions and stereos are left on and cooking appliances are used more heavily as well as the many electric gadgets that are purchased as gifts.

You can save your household money at this time of year by being careful with your energy usage. But the good news is that there are plenty of ways that you can reduce the amount of energy you use while still decorating your home with Christmas lights. Below are some tips to consider this Christmas:

  • Turn off your Christmas lights during the day and when you go to bed.
  • LED (Light Emitting Diode) lights are ideal for strings of Christmas lights because they don’t get hot, they last up to 100,000 hours when used indoors and when one burns out, it doesn’t take the whole chain with it! They use up to 90% less energy than the traditional, larger Christmas bulbs. LED lights give off less heat, making your lights safer. What more could you ask for?
  • If your Christmas lights are on, turn off some of your main lights.
  • At Christmas over a 30 day period three sets of 100 traditional fairy lights would typically cost €5.00 in electricity, similar mini-lights would cost €2.00 to run and LED Lights can cost as little as €0.60 to run (allowing for lights to be on for 8 hours per day).
  • Turn your heating down in the kitchen while cooking the Christmas dinner. Heat from the kitchen will keep surrounding areas warm.
  • Extra activity and people in the home will mean it is easier to keep warm, turn your thermostat down a degree or two.
  • Naturally made decorations such as holly and mistletoe will give your home a traditional festive feel without using any energy, and can be composted in January. Growing your own in the garden will keep you in ready supply.

Source: Environmental Services, Waterford City Council

Stop Food Waste This Christmas

19 12 2011

Did you know that 1/3 of the food that we buy ends up in the bin? This habit can cost the average household up to €1,000 per year!

Nearly all this food waste is thrown in the bin and while some is composted, some of it ends up in the local landfill. In the landfill, rotting food decomposes to make methane and other gases – these are greenhouse gases. And food waste CAN be avoided.  The first step is to learn more about what we are throwing out so that we can then do something about it. and provide information about food waste, along with handy recipes to use up ingredients and leftovers. You can even search recipes by the type of foods that you want to use.

There are a few simple things that we can all do to prevent food waste this Christmas:

  • Be aware of the types of food that you throw out. This week, make a list of what you throw out – you’ll be surprised by what you find. The main types of avoidable food waste are bread, apples, potatoes, salads, meat, fish, yoghurt, salads, spreads and dips.
  • Once you know what food you throw away, the next step is to buy better. From your checklist, you will now have a good idea of what you throw out. Use this information to change the way that you buy these particular items.
  • Create a list before you go shopping, to cut down on the risk of impulse buys and prevent you from buying those foods that you now know you throw away.
  • Be realistic about how much food you’ll actually need to serve your guests over Christmas —and don’t be afraid to be a little stingy. The Love Food Hate Waste organization has a “perfect portions” planner that can help you right-size your meal.
  • There are plenty of other things that you can do to ensure that you don’t waste food and money. This includes storage and cooking food. Through clever cooking, storage, etc you can cut back of food waste without affecting your meals.
  • Create new meals from those leftovers—again, the Love Food Hate Waste and Stop Food Waste websites have a number of useful recipes for food scraps.

Source: Environmental Services, Waterford City Council