Wednesday, 12 February 2014

How to become green, and stay green

Please take a look at our latest article on Business Green - my top tips on greening your business and maintaining those changes to feel long term benefits. 

I hope there's something in here that you can take away and implement - whether it's at home or work. 


Feedback is welcome - get in touch via Twitter @GreenAchiever 

Flooding in Shrewsbury

Although the current under-water situation isn't ideal for most of the country, Shrewsbury has been comparatively lucky in terms of flooding. Here's a comparison between the situation now and past years; you'll see that (as it stands) this is nothing new. 

The Abbey in 1960
Taken from BBC
Smithfield Road, Shrewsbury 2000
Taken from BBC
Mardol, Shrewsbury in 2008 

Picture our own
Smithfield Road, 2014

Taken from ITV

Thursday, 2 January 2014

Christmas Tree Recycling

Shropshire Council and their waste contractor Veolia are launching a Christmas tree ‘amnesty’ this new year, to make sure trees don’t go to waste.
This means that for the first few weeks of January 2014 you can recycle real Christmas trees simply by putting them out for collection along with your garden waste.
All real Christmas trees collected will be ‘recycled’ (actually they get sent for composting) and turned into valuable soil improver for local farmers and gardeners. 

Top tips 

  • Make sure you put the tree out on the correct day for your garden waste collection. Check your collection timetable via
  • Make sure your tree is out on the kerbside by 7am as the collection crews start work early.
  • If you can, please try to get the tree into your garden waste bin to make it easier for the collection staff.
  • If you cannot fit your tree into the garden waste bin, you may on this occasion leave the tree next to your garden waste bin, but please take care to avoid blocking the pavement or causing a trip hazard.
  • To help the collection staff handle them and make sure that they fit into the vehicles, please cut up any extra large trees to a maximum 5 foot (1.5m) lengths.
  • Please make sure you remove any tinsel, fairy lights and other decorations first.  These are not compostable.

Monday, 16 December 2013

We all know Christmas creates waste, but what can you do about it?

You're up to your knees in wrapping paper, there are cardboard boxes strewn all over the place and that doesn't even compare to the groaning mountain of packaging, cans and bottles clogging up the kitchen. When confronted with such a deluge of discarded material, it's tempting to stick it all in a bin bag and hope it goes away. After all, where can you take those broken Christmas lights and that sad looking Christmas tree when the festivities are over? 

Looking at some statistics produced by Recycle Now, it's breathtaking that the UK used approximately 364,700 km of wrapping paper last year. This is enough to stretch around the equator 9 times.  

So what can you do with all this waste? Here are some tips to keep your Christmas eco-friendly...

Wrapping paper

The fun option: After sifting through many ideas, ranging from making next year's Christmas cards to using it to line drawers, i'm certain that you can find a use of your own for any especially lovely wrapping paper you can't let go of just yet. Here's the best list of ideas I could find, via Instructables. 

The 'get rid' option: After it's been ripped open and chewed by the dog, you may just want to get rid. It can go into your normal kerbside paper bin to be collected, however it's worth checking your council website to make sure. 

Christmas Tree

The fun option: There are some great tips and tricks from for those who have time and a garden (or friends with allotments etc). Involves putting various parts of the tree to good use. 

The 'get rid' option: Look out for flyers or a sticker on your wheelie bin telling you when and where council collection will take place. It's likely that there will be a communal area where you can drop off your tree in January. The mulch from the trees can be used in local parks and woodlands, so make sure you don't miss the pick up date. 

Broken Christmas lights 

The fun option: If they work, sell them or pass them on. Otherwise, there isn't much fun to be had with this tangled mass. 

The 'get rid' option: Look at the plug or battery pack on the lights. If it has a crossed out wheelie bin it means it can be recycled. Your best bet is to use to find your nearest bring bank or recycling centre. Also, you can search 'WEEE recycling *insert location here*' and it's likely that you will easily find somewhere to discard of your lights in an environmentally friendly way. 

Excess Bottles, Paper and Cardboard

The fun option: obviously there are various things that can be done with these common household wastes. For example you can use cardboard boxes for storage, make some liquor lamps or get even more creative with these ideas.

The 'get rid' option: Visit for fact sheets on how to recycle these items. Kerbside collection normally does the trick, however if your bins are overflowing you may want to find your local bring bank for any excess. 

Food Waste

The fun option: This is a hot topic right now, with the Love Food Hate Waste Campaign in full swing and spin offs such as The Pig Idea gaining lots of media attention. Firstly, really think about how much you need using  Secondly, think of some ways in which you plan to deal with leftovers. Aside from turkey sandwiches, here are some recipes for typical 'eyes bigger than stomach' scenarios and here is a fun advent calendar full of waste saving tips.

The 'get rid' option: Unless you have a compost bin or a dog, it can be difficult to get rid of food waste. Some councils have handed out food waste caddys for kitchens, however not all households benefit from this scheme. This means it's even more vital that planning takes place so all that delicious food is eaten or composted and not binned!

Artificial tree, duplicate gifts or old stuff that has been replaced by shiny new things? Ebay, charity shops or friends and family are your best bet for passing it on in an eco-friendly way. 

Wednesday, 11 December 2013

ISO 14001: It's not for everyone, especially SME's.

ISO 14001 makes it easy for large businesses to demonstrate their environmental credentials, however this heavyweight accreditation is not suitable for all businesses. Due to the cost of attaining ISO 14001, the various steps required to meet the criteria, and the year on year measurement of improvement, many SME's do not have the resources or finances to tackle and maintain it. 

Although it is credited with being the 'best' and most widely recognised environmental accreditation, the aforementioned SME's are missing out. Procurement teams will look for businesses to have some evidence of an Environmental Management System (EMS), and although ISO 14001 demonstrates this, many companies just want a certificate! 

That is why we provide Silver and Gold accreditation. It helps SME's to get a foot in the door and acts as a stepping stone for larger businesses approaching ISO 14001. We also make sure businesses keep moving forward by agreeing on actions for the future. To see a comparison between Silver/Gold and ISO 14001, click here

This post was inspired by an article from the Guardian 'ISO 14001: Loved by procurement, hated by SME's'.  It makes for a good read and explains the problems faced by small businesses looking to gain recognition for their environmental commitments.

If you are interested in what the Green Achiever Scheme can bring to your business, or are simply curious about environmental accreditation in general, give us a call on 01743 343 403 or e-mail 

Tuesday, 10 December 2013

Science for Environment Policy

An article, recently published by the EU, sheds light on how environmental schemes which encourage and celebrate green behaviors actually help to promote further eco-friendly behaviors. 

Businesses that pursue independent environmental accreditation not only benefit from the obvious outcomes, but also feel satisfaction by excelling in an area that many businesses neglect. 

Read  the article here: EU Science for Environment Policy

Monday, 9 December 2013

Why independent accreditation pushes businesses in the right direction...

This week, we stumbled across some information which explains very well how environmental accreditation can help businesses to become more sustainable. 

It makes for an interesting read and gives some good reasons as to why it's worth investing in your green side!

Although it focuses on multi-national corporations, green accreditation is just as worthwhile for SME's. Take a look at our website to find out more on how environmental credentials are becoming essential.