Category

Home

Home, Home and Garden

3 Things to Think About Before Buying An Electric Vehicle | AD

This post on the three things to think about before you buy an electric vehicle is paid-for content.

Today let’s chat electric vehicles and the three things you need to think about before you buy an electric vehicle. I’m concentrating on using electric vehicles at home – if you are looking for specific advice on electric vehicles for businesses and electric vehicle charging for business then bear in mind that your considerations might be slightly different.

The Three Things to Think About Before You Buy An Electric Vehicle

1. New or secondhand?

One of your top considerations should be whether you buy a brand new or secondhand electric vehicle.

Newer electric vehicles are likely to be able to cover an extended range before needing charging, due to ongoing battery life improvements. This will come at a cost – expect to spend more on a new electric vehicle compared to a secondhand one. Depending on where you live there may be interest-free loans or other incentives available to help towards the cost – ask the dealer and do your research locally.

Secondhand electric vehicles are not only cheaper but also more environmentally friendly. According to a study by Toyota in 2004, 28% of carbon dioxide emissions of a vehicle over its lifetime can occur during the manufacturing process and transport of the vehicle to the dealership. Buying secondhand therefore is a better choice environmentally, however, as mentioned above, the range your vehicle can cover may be reduced.

2. How far do you normally travel?

For most people, an electric vehicle is normally more than capable of covering your day to day journeys with ease, without the threat of running out of battery between charges.

If you regularly travel longer journeys – more than around 150 miles a day – you will need to work out if you are able to factor in at least a thirty-minute breaks to be able to charge up your vehicle at a rapid-charge point (where you can charge your battery by up to 80% in around 20-40 minutes) and that there are rapid-charge points convenient to your regular route. This time will be longer if you cannot access a rapid-charge point and need to use a slower charge point, or need to wait to access a charging point.

3. Where are you going to charge your electric vehicle?

For most people, being able to charge your electric vehicle at home is the preferred solution. It costs around £1000 to have an electric vehicle charging point installed in your home. However in some parts in the country grants of up to £800 are available to help towards the cost – so it pays to do your research.

If you live in a flat, or don’t have any off-street parking such as a garage or driveway, then you will need to do research into public charging stations near you. Zap, a map of UK public charging points, is useful for this.

Things to consider include how many charging points are there near your home; if charging points tend to be available at the times that you might want to charge your vehicle; if there are any parking restrictions and or costs associated with parking there to charge your vehicle; and if the charge points are rapid-charge or if they take longer to charge your vehicle.

Would you buy an electric vehicle if you could? Do you already drive one? If so, do share your experience in the comments below.

Home, Home and Garden

The Greenest Eco-Friendly Bin Bag Alternatives

So, today let’s talk eco-friendly bin bag alternatives. I know it sounds dry, but if you hang about to the end you might just find a twist in the tale…

Now, I know, I know, I appreciate bin bags are not the most glamorous of topics. It’s no plastic-free makeup or how to go plastic-free in the bathroom. However, it’s important to talk about all the little ways we use plastic in our homes. Particularly to see where plastic can be swapped for better alternatives. So let’s get down to bin bag business!

eco-friendly bin bag alternatives uk

Eco-Friendly Bin Bag Alternatives

Here are my top alternatives to bin bags for your waste destined for landfill:

1. Ditch the Bin Bag

By far the single most eco-friendly bin bag alternative is to go bag-less. Yup, completely cut out the need for a bin bag. If you can instead line the bottom of your kitchen bin with old newspaper. You can then simply tip the contents of your bin into your wheelie bin when the bin is full.

Many people worry about wet and slimy waste making a mess of your bin. However, if you are composting food waste, either in your garden or via your local council’s food waste collection, then you won’t have that problem. All the wet waste will be in your compost bin.

Voila! Cheap, cheerful and 100% sustainable!

2. There is No Other Alternative

Sorry to be the bearer of bad news, but there are no other eco-friendly alternatives to bin bags other than the no-bag method. You can go compostable*. You can go recycled plastic*. There are degradable* options. You could even use a paper bag. However, the moment that the bag goes into landfill then its purpose is lost.

You see, as I explained in this post about biodegradable plastics, and if they are good for the environment, in order for biodegradation to occur three basic resources are required – heat, light, and oxygen.

If a biodegradable or compostable material, including paper and food, ends up in a landfill site it can take decades upon decades to decompose. All the while releasing the greenhouse gas methane. This is a really interesting/horrifying article if you’re keen to learn more. Just wait until you get to the bit about the 1967 order of guacamole…!.

In short, this happens because in landfill sites waste is essentially mummified, in a complete absence of light and oxygen.  If the food that has ended up in landfills stays pristine for 50 years or more, there really is little hope for biodegradable, compostable, or paper bin bags in landfill.

3. No, Really, There is No Other Alternative

By now, maybe you’re hoping that there is another eco-friendly bin bag alternative answer that some clever bod has come up with. Sadly, this isn’t the case. I think the whole eco-friendly bin bag question highlights the fact that we can’t simply shop our way to sustainability.

What we need aren’t eco-friendly bin bag alternatives but real change away from producing so much waste. Food composting facilities need to be available to everyone. We need to buy less stuff, and when we do need to buy products they need to be ones that don’t break so quickly or can be repaired easily and affordably. We need more repair cafes. And we need to switch from using disposable products to reusable products as and when we can.

This is easier said than done. So this needs to be combined with support from the Government by taxing the hell out of producers who produce goods in unrecyclable packaging. There needs to be a crackdown on those that produce products that aren’t designed to last. Particularly manufacturers that design using planned obsolescence. And there needs to be greater governmental support for the circular economy and zero waste.

In short, we don’t need to buy a better bin bag. What we do need is to re-think our attitude to waste and all collectively work together, with greater support from the Government, to keep as many things out of landfill as possible. What do you think?