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St John's Roslyn

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Eco-Tips Archive

   This page contains all of the Eco-Tips that have appeared on the Environment Page of the St John's Roslyn website.  The entries are in reverse chronological order, with new material added at the top of the page.  (Please note that any links to external websites in the text below were correct at the time of writing, but may not necessarily continue to exist.)

   Unplug devices or turn them off at the wall.  All battery chargers and electronic devices on standby consume electricity even when they are not in use.  A typical cell-phone charger draws 1.4 watts when it isn't doing anything.  Leaving it plugged in all year wastes enough electricity to run a 2 kW heater for six hours.

   Showering accounts for two thirds of domestic hot water use (and hot water for approximately 40% of the typical home power bill).  Ensure no taps are dripping.  Consider showering less often; we have checked the church articles, and showering isn't a sacrament.

   Richard Foster, in writing on the spiritual discipline of simplicity, suggests a test to see if our hearts are liberated from possessions, or if our things own us.  He suggests taking one of your favourite things and giving it away.  He goes so far as to say that you must be careful not to get to the point when you are about to give it away and then tell yourself, "I now realise I could give it away, and so I don't need to," as we are expert at deceiving ourselves in these matters.

   The fridge/freezer in an average home uses twice as much electricity as the stove and oven.  This is because it is on 24 hours a day.  To make sure the seal on the door is in good working order check the following: Can you see a gap around the door?  Is the freezer icing up?  Does it run longer than you would expect?  Are there any water leaks around the fridge?  Can you see cracks in the seal itself?  Having an old seal replaced will save money on your power bill.

   Challenge for the week: if you don't know the bus route and times nearest to your house, find out.  Work out when a bus goes to town, when it returns, and where from.  To take up this challenge you don't even need to get on a bus - just find out when and where.

   To reduce the emissions caused by our cars' exhaust, the best thing to do is to car-pool or use mass transit.  Fewer cars on the road means less exhaust.  And it's more fun to ride with a friend!

   Although estimates vary, up to 45% of household solid waste is compostable.  If sent to landfills, this waste generates methane and toxic leachate.  Try starting a compost even if you don't have a garden, or start one with neighbours.  If you have no space at all, try a Bokashi compost bucket.  This is an indoor composting system which creates a fine compost and also juice that can be diluted as a plant food.  For ordering details contact Jolyon or visit

The Parish of Saint John the Evangelist  -  Roslyn, Dunedin, New Zealand  -  telephone: (03) 464 0240  -  e-mail: