Ten Things You Can Do

If you're worried about the state of our planet, here are ten inexpensive or money-saving steps to take. See also Reducing Your Impact by Dorking Solar Group, Your Choice for the Planet by Dorking Climate Emergency and Mole Valley District Council's information on Going Green

1. Eat less meat and dairy. There are lots of excellent vegetarian and vegan cookbooks on the market.

2. Insulate yourself and your house in winter by stopping draughts and wearing more clothes - a hat is particularly warming - or keep a blanket and even a hot water bottle in your sitting room. Then turn the central heating thermostat down a degree and see if you can manage. Action Surrey has information on energy-saving measures and available grants.

3. Grow some of your own food - allotments and gardens are great but if you don't have either you can still grow herbs on your windowsill.

4. Eat locally produced, unprocessed food in season - organic if you can afford it. Places to buy local produce include: Bookham's Country Market in the Barn Hall on a Friday morning; Cobham Farmers' Market on the fourth Saturday of the month; Dorking's Food Float in St Martin's Walk on a Friday and Dorking High Street on a Saturday; Epsom Farmers' Market on the first Sunday of the month; and Village Greens farm shop at Denbies. Hylands Service Station on the A246 offers a selection of refills of dry and liquid goods. There are also refill sections and other environmentally-friendly products on sale in Greenwise in Fetcham and Ashtead.

5. Don't buy new unless you have to - repair, re-use, borrow, buy second-hand from charity shops, dress agencies or online sites such as E-bay or Gumtree. Join Freecycle to give away and obtain free second-hand goods or look for local Freebay groups on Facebook. Dorking has a repair cafe on the first Saturday of the month: see the Dorking Repair Cafe Facebook page for more details. Watch this space for 2024 as there are plans to start up a repair cafe in the Fetcham and Bookham area. Sign up to Streetbank to share things with your neighbours.

6. If you can't repair or reuse, then give away, sell or recycle everything you can. Give away or sell on the sites mentioned above, or look for specialist sites online. Charities vary in what they'll accept so ask in your local shops.  Visit the Surrey Environment Partnership website - download the app to find out what you can recycle at the kerbside, community recycling centres and elsewhere. Mole Valley District Council has information on your recycling collection and Surrey County Council has information on waste reduction and recycling sites. You can also find out about local recycling collections such as Terracycle using a search tool on the Bookham Residents' Association.

7. Travel by foot, bike or public transport whenever possible. If you don't drive much then consider joining a local car club such as Enterprise Car Club rather than owning your own car. Surrey County Council provides information on local transport options, including bus timetables. 

8. Take a bag with you when shopping so you don't need a plastic bag.

9. Shower rather than bath and if you have a power shower set a timer for two minutes. Sutton & East Surrey Water has information on water-saving advice and gadgets.

10. Switch off appliances at the socket if they don't need to be left on - many can use quite a bit of electricity if left on standby.