Going Green - Celebrate Father’s Day but don’t tread heavily on the planet

By Chris Page
Saturday, 11th June 2022, 8:02 am
There are ways to have an eco-frendly Father's Day (photo: Adobe)
There are ways to have an eco-frendly Father's Day (photo: Adobe)

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Q. How can I treat my dad on Father’s Day without treading too heavily on the planet?

A. There are so many eco-friendly ways to spoil your dad on Sunday, June 19.

There are ways to have an eco-frendly Father's Day (photo: Adobe)

As with everything, you can always make a positive choice.

It’ll make you feel good and I’m sure he’ll be touched.

Here are a few ideas:

Home-made gifts

From kids, the gift that any dad will love most is something they’ve made themselves.

They could make a ‘best dad’ rosette or a salt dough fridge magnet or a T-shirt with their hand prints on it.YouTube is full of ideas.

Another nice option is to put a list of homemade ‘coupons’ in a jam jar – like ‘I’ll tidy my room’, ‘I’ll have a film night with you’ or ‘I’ll make you breakfast in bed’.

Planet-friendly beer

The latest thing in brewing is sustainable beer.

It’s a great way for your dad to enjoy his pint without maxing out his carbon footprint.

The Purity Brewing Co uses the latest tech to keep its energy usage to a minimum.

Its used grains and yeast are fed to farm animals.

The hops are given to farmers to use as fertiliser.

The brewery’s Discovery Boxes – containing a mix of its lager, IPA and stout – cost around £32.

Turning waste into taste, Toast makes beer from leftover bread, instead of barley.

The London-based brewery uses less land and energy than its conventional counterparts.

Its gift packs cost from £25.

If your dad likes a low alcohol beer, you could order a mini keg from Small Beer, for £25.The brewery has developed a unique way of cutting its water usage and runs on renewable energy.Plastic-free shaving

Give your dad a stainless steel safety razor, which can be used for years – saving him money and helping the planet.

Only the blades will need to be changed.

You could consider the Bambaw Safety Razor or Jungle Culture’s Bamboo Safety Razor, both costing just under £20.

For a zero waste shave, you could also buy him a bar of plastic-free shaving soap, from Rugged Nature (£5) or Friendly Soap (£2.95).

Doing something fun

Most of us have got more than enough stuff – and that most likely includes your dad.

Instead of giving him yet more socks or aftershave, why not take him on a day out to somewhere meaningful, like a park he took you to as a child?

Or you could book tickets for a sporting event or the cinema.

Just spending time with him is what he’ll value most.

Celebrity spot

In a bold move, reality TV show Love Island is this year partnering with Ebay to dress its contestants in second-hand clothes – in a bid to be more sustainable. Great news!

Love Island contestants to dress in second hand clothes (photo: Adobe)

This is a huge change, as the show had a fast fashion sponsor that provided clothes and accessories for the contestants – who wear multiple outfits in each episode.

Faced with mounting criticism about such a disposable attitude to fashion, the popular programme is now promoting looking good in preloved finds.

Green swap

When washing up, swap that plastic-based sponge scourer for a natural pot scrubber.

Urge to use more eco-friendly pot scrubbers (photo: Adobe)

Loofco makes one from dried loofah, a vegetable that’s part of the cucumber family, while Ocean Saver sells a wooden dish washing brush with three exchangeable heads.

Giving lowdown on benefits of electric scooters

Sales of electric scooters – or e-scooters – have boomed in recent years.

There's a booming trade in e-scooters (photo: Adobe)

Simply standard scooters with an electrically-charged motor, they’re an increasingly common sight in towns and cities.

Soaring fuel prices and rising environmental concerns are factors in their popularity.

They offer an easy, low carbon way of zipping about.

A greener, cheaper future

As transport is the greatest source of UK emissions, we have to do something about our car habits.

What’s known as ‘micromobility’ – a range of lightweight, electric-powered vehicles, like e-scooters – could be one of the answers.

Basic e-scooters for adults cost around £300.

You can fully charge one that runs over 40 miles for 10p – working out at a quarter of a penny per mile, compared with 15p per mile for the average British car.

Legality

In truth, it’s currently still illegal to ride an e-scooter in public spaces.

If you own one, you can only ride it on private land.

If you’re caught riding it on a public pavement or road, you could be fined and receive penalty points on your driving licence. However, plans to widen their use were announced in last month’s Queen’s Speech.

It looks like e-scooters are going mainstream.

City trials

The exception to the current ban is a series of rental trials in cities, including Bristol, Liverpool, London, Manchester, Newcastle and York.

They’ve been set up to explore e-scooters’ role in a sustainable transport network. Around 20,000 e-scooters are available for hire in these urban locations. Anyone hiring one must be over 16 and in possession of a provisional driving licence.

Generally, these trials have proven to be a success. In London, for example, more than one million journeys have been taken by e-scooter since the trial’s launch last year. Milton Keynes has enjoyed the biggest uptake in e-scooters compared with anywhere else in Europe or the US.

New legislation

The lessons learned from the trials will shape the new laws, which are likely to come into force within a year.

They will create a new vehicle category for powered light transport vehicles – which could also encompass other machines, like electric-powered, two-wheeled delivery vehicles. Due to safety concerns, the legislation will include strict safety conditions – with regards to speed and, potentially, mandatory helmets and indicators.

As well as remaining banned on pavements, e-scooters could also feature an acoustic warning system – to let pedestrians know of their approach.

Fact or fiction

Paper towels better for environment than electric hand dryers. Not always!

Latest, high speed hand dryers, like Dyson’s Airblade, produce significantly less emissions than those that go into making paper towels – thanks to energy-saving tech.

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