About this guide:
Heard of food miles? No, it's not some half-baked airline company loyalty programme offering free food. It's how far the food you put into your shopping basket has had to travel to get there.
The Guardian did a study of an 'average' supermarket shopping basket which showed that the 20 items they bought – including apples, potatoes and wine – had travelled over 100,900 miles to get to the UK. Why? Demand for cheap, year-round produced means we can now buy our green beans from Kenya and our strawberries from Spain, but this convenience comes at a cost. Not only is it a major contributor to the greenhouse emissions which cause climate change, it also means a heavy dependence on a resource that is not only finite but also highly politically-charged: oil.
In buying from local shops that sell food produced relatively nearby you can play an important part in reducing the need for transport, which in turn cuts carbon emissions.
Similarly, in buying recycled goods and getting faulty items repaired where possible instead of replacing them with new ones, you can help reduce the amount of resources we use as well as the amount of UK waste going to landfill – nearly 18 million tonnes in 2005/06. According to the Environment Agency, at least two-thirds of that could have been recycled.
Our Green Directly offers a starting point for supporting shops and businesses in the local area. Click the header to find a list of shops in your area. And if you know of any shops that should be in our Green Directory but aren't, let us know!
Cycling keeps you fit, gets you out in the fresh air and helps you beat the traffic on your way to work! Local bike shops may not be able to match the cut-price deals offered by national retail chains or internet-based suppliers but they are more likely to offer a personal service to meet the specific needs of each cyclist. There's never been a better reason to get on your bike!
Bache Bros: 12-14 Stourbridge Road, Lye DY9 7DE. Tel: 01384 891174.
B D Price Cycles & Toys: High Holborn, Sedgley DY3 1SR. Tel: 01902 882034.
Fred Williams Cycles: 37 Snow Hill, Wolverhampton WV2 4AG. Tel: 01902 428407.
Great Bridge Bikes: 74 Great Bridge, Tipton DY4 7EW. Tel: 0121 557 2075.
Halesowen Cycles: 48 Hagley Road, Halesowen B63 4RH. Tel: 0121 501 3231.
Hayes Cycles: 42B Enville Road, Wall Heath DY6 0NL. Tel: 01384 279 695. Two Wheels: 113 Brettell Lane, Amblecote, Stourbridge DY8 4BS. Tel: 01384 394653.
Organic fruit and veg box delivery schemes
Box Fresh Organics, based on Rodenhurst Farm near Telford, delivers every Friday in the Dudley area. Boxes start at £9.95, including delivery. Tel: 01952 770006. Web: www.boxfreshorganics.co.uk. Goodbehere, based in Claverley, near Bridgnorth, delivers organic fruit and vegetable boxes to the western edge of Dudley borough. Tel: 01746 710909. Web: www.goodbehere.co.uk.
Ruskin Vale Organics, based in Kinver, delivers to Stourbridge, Kingswinford, Brierley Hill and Gornal. Boxes can be any size but have a delivery charge of £1.25. Tel: 01384 877413.
Clothing and Shoes
The best environmental choice is to repair, restore or adapt the clothes and shoes you already have!
Get creative and you'll not only have clothes that are unique - you might even save some money in the process. Charity shops can be great for a bargain while raising cash for a good cause. Speaking of which, don't forget to recycle your old clothes by donating them to your local charity shop.
And remember - you don't have to buy a buy a brand new dress or suit for every special occasion, there are plenty of agencies around which hire out or sell new or good quality second-hand clothes for weddings, parties and such like. You may even be able to sell your own good quality cast-offs at the same time.
All Sew: Clothing repairs and alterations. 16 Victoria Passage, Stourbridge DY8 1DP. Tel: 01384 442141. Brierley Cobbler: Shoe and watch repairs, plus key cutting. 17 Mill Street, Brierley Hill DY5 2RG. Tel: Richard Powell 07919 508905. Clothing Alterations Workshop: 27 High Street, Halesowen B63 3BB. Open Tuesdays, Thursdays and Saturdays from 9.30am - 5pm. Tel: 0121 585 0890. Dancers: Men's formalwear for hire. Central Buildings, Peckingham Street, Halesowen B63 3AR. Tel: 0121 5501237. Harris Shoe Repairs: 1A Hagley Road, Halesowen. Tel: 0121 550 9529. Key to the Sole: Shoe repairs and key cutting. Victoria Passage, Stourbridge DY8 1DP. Tel: 01384 370080. Panache Dress Agency: Buys and sells second-hand dresses and formal wear for women. 25 High Street, Cradley Heath B64 5HG. Tel: 01384 359552. Rapid Shoe Repairs: Fountain Arcade, Dudley. Rite-way Shoe Repairs: 160 Lower High Street, Stourbridge DY8 1TS. Tel: 01384 394976. Sue's Sewing Centre: 120 High Street, Wordsley DY8 5QS. Tel: 01384 291248. Total Sewing Service: Clothing repairs and alterations. 56G Market Street, Kingswinford. Tel: 01384 295960.
DIY, Gardening and Home Improvements
The home improvement sector is an enormous business which can cause serious damage by taking raw materials such as wood from unsustainable sources. As a result, recycled and reclaimed goods are generally a much better environmental option. DIY retailers encourage us to buy more than we need by selling items in packets, whereas traditional hardware stores often sell them individually and are often a good source of advice as well. If you grow your own fruit and veg, thus cutting out the need for transport and packaging altogether, you're making a lifestyle choice even more sustainable than buying local produce. The food itself is also likely to be more nutritious because it is so fresh. Architectural Salvage Bridale Architectural Antiques: Described as "treasure trove" by one Dudley FoE member. 118 Graingers Lane, Cradley Heath B64 6AH. Tel: 01384 635798.
Period Building Materials: Supplies sinks, baths, doors, beams, cast iron fireplaces. Moor Street Industrial estate, Brierley Hill. Tel: 01384 486456 or 01384 571263. Regency Antique Trading: Uses reclaimed materials for authentic period floors, windows and doors. 116 Stourbridge Road, Stourbridge DY9 7BU. Tel: 01384 868778. Web: www.regency-antiques.co.uk Gardening The Allotment Shop: All wooden tools sold are certified by the Forest Stewardship Council. 18 Park Street, Kingswinford DY6 9LX. Tel: 01384 277583. Web: www.theallotmentshop.co.uk. Dudley Mower Services: Repairs and services lawnmowers, including sharpening blades. 27 Halesowen Road, Netherton. Tel: 01384 254499. Hardware stores Cradley Heath DIY: High Street, Cradley Heath. Tel: 01384 411444.
Decormar: 11A, Enville Road, Wall Heath. Tel: 01384 274312.
Handyman Stores: 27-29, Clarence Street, Upper Gornal. Tel: 01902 88384. Pensnett Hardware: 113, High Street, Pensnett. Tel: 01384 74467.
Woodcraft DIY: 193, High Street, Lye. Tel: 01384 422026.
Insulation Smith Bros Enviro-Materials: Castle Street, Tipton DY4 8HP. Sells environmentally friendly wall, roof and floor insulation products. Tel: 0121 557 0077. Web: www.enviro-materials.co.uk. Painting & Decorating Brewers: has branches in Dudley, Brierley Hill and Stourbridge. Supplies earthBorn wall and ceiling paints which are selected from natural and, wherever possible, sustainable sources. Web: www.brewers.co.uk. Smith Bros Enviro-Materials: Sells eco-friendly paints, plaster, insulation products, decking and roof tiles. Castle Street, Tipton DY4 8HP.Tel: 0121 5570077. Web: www.enviro-materials.co.uk. Renewable energy Wood is the oldest source of renewable energy known to man. If you can access supplies, a wood-burning stove will reduce your dependence on fossil fuels as well as providing a cosy glow to your living room.
Black Country Stoves: 36, High St, Brierley Hill DY5 3A. Tel: 01384 262060.
Sometimes it doesn't make sense financially to pay for repairs when a brand new replacement costs relatively little, but a trip to Dudley Council's Civic Amenity Site in Stourbridge offers a rapid reality check on the environmental cost of our throw-away society. Skips rapidly pile up with all sorts of electrical goods, even though many could easily have been repaired if taken to one of the businesses listed here.
British Heart Foundation: 6 Castle Street, Dudley. Sells second electrical goods (and furniture). Tel: 01384 233753.
Derann: 99 High Street, Dudley. Repairs televisions, videos and hi-fi equipment. Tel: 01384 233191.
Homer Brothers Electrical: 105-109 Windmill Hill, Halesowen B63 2BY. Tel: 01384 868680.
Morgan Electrics: 10 Market Street, Stourbridge DY8 1DW. Tel: 01384 443399.
MWM: 183, Stourbridge Road, Halesowen. Tel: 0121 550 2703.
Options Computers: Repairs and upgrades computers. Halesowen Road, Netherton. Tel: 01384 233116.
OWS Television Services: 83 Bridgnorth Road, Wollaston, Stourbridge. Repairs televisions, videos and DVDs. Tel: 01384 395775.
Powell & Dawson: 35 Stourbridge Road, Halesowen. Tel: 0121 550 5480.
You can promote sustainable development by the way you invest your money.
Credit Unions are financial co-operatives owned and controlled by their members. They offer savings and good value loans and, because they are local, are often more in tune with what their members want than bigger organisations. They also give responsible lending and advice to those who are unable to get access to a bank account. Their profits are returned directly to the members, not third party shareholders, and therefore remain in the community where they are based.
Castle and Crystal Credit Union: Has more than 2,000 members. Open 9.30am - 4.30pm Monday to Friday. 25 New Street, Dudley DY1 1LT. Tel: 01384 815771.
The Co-operative Bank PLC: 1-2 Dudley Street, Wolverhampton WV1 3EN. Tel: 0845 721 2212.
Rowley Mutual Savings Credit Union: Open from 7pm to 8pm every Wednesday. 13 Lancaster House, Oldbury Road, Rowley Regis B65 0QF. Tel: 0121 559 5667.
Despite the appearance of near perfection in imported supermarket fruit and veg, research has found that the further they have travelled, the more their vitamin and mineral content deteriorates.
For the freshest, tastiest produce, buy seasonal and local. To check what's in season throughout the year, see here.
John's home-killed meats: Sells free-range meat farmed in Shropshire. Central Market, High Street, Cradley Heath B64 5HP. Tel: 01384 564521. United Foods Superstore: Huge range of nuts, dried fruit and pulses plus fresh fruit, veg, and herbs. A goldmine if you're into cooking vegetarian curries. 47-51 Stafford Street, Dudley DY1 2AB. Tel: 01384 455325 Sandiacre Farm Shop & Nurseries: Located between Himley by-pass and the South Staffordshire Railway Walk, this farm shop sells locally grown vegetables. Himley Lane, Himley DY3 4LN. Tel: 01902 893542. Hyde Farm Eggs: Hyde Farm, Kinver, sell free range eggs from the door and do regular deliveries to homes in the Kingswinford and Stourton area. The farm is accessible along a bridlepath off the A458 Bridgnorth Road which joins up with the Staffordshire and Worcestershire Canal. Why not incorporate a visit into a walk/bike ride around Kinver? Tel: Martyn and Jill Wilkes: 01384 873768. FC Roberts: A traditional farm shop selling seasonal vegetables and fruit bought from local growers as well as organic free range eggs, garden ornaments and a range of pet products. Kidderminster Road (A449), Kingswinford DY6 0AA. Tel: 01384 273672. Hinksford Farm Shop: Sells local honey, free range eggs and locally grown vegetables. Hinksford Lane, near Wall Heath. Open Monday to Wednesday 9.30am - 12.00pm, Thursday 8.30am - 4.00pm, Friday and Saturday 9.00am-12.00pm. The shop is also open on Sundays, although you may need to check the opening times.
Bridee Buys & Sells: 163 High Street, Cradley Heath. Tel: 01384 413232. British Heart Foundation: 6 Castle Street, Dudley. Sells second furniture (and electrical goods). Tel: 01384 233753.
The Chair Clinic:Sells reconditioned office chairs. High Street, Wordsley DY8 5SD. Tel: 0134 480030. Web: http://www.chairclinic.co.uk/index.html
Dudley Betel Charity Shop: Sells second-hand furniture to help homeless and substance-dependent people. 55 High Street, Dudley. Tel: 01384 214300. Web: http://www.betel.co.uk/about.html.
Midlands Furniture Clearance: Stourbridge Road, Lye.
Salvation Army Charity Shop, 193 High Street, Dudley DY1 1QE sells a range of second-hand furniture. The shop offers a free collection service for unwanted furniture. Tel: 01384 252985 St Thomas's Network, Beechwood Road, Kates Hill, Dudley, offers a free collection service for unwanted furniture which is sold to people who are mainly on benefits. Tel: 01384 237993. Wear & Tear Reupholstery: 160 High Street, Quarry Bank. Repairs furniture and recovers three-piece suites. Tel: 01384 569851 / 07836 593073. Strip & Polish: Unit 24, Lye Valley Industrial Estate, Stourbridge. Furniture repair and restoration. Tel: 01384 891777. Yesterday's Furniture: High Street, Wordsley.
Ruskin Glass Centre Situated in Stourbridge’s historic glass quarter, the Ruskin Glass Centre houses a range of skilled craftspeople, including photographers, printers and publishers and of course some of the leading British studio glass companies. Visitors can view the whole array of glassmaking processes including blowing, cutting, kiln work, stained glass and lampwork. Redhouse Glass Centre also offers a specialist glass repair service. Web: www.ruskin-mill.org.uk. Dawn Crystal Family-run business specialising in hand-cut and engraved crystal as well as a glass repair service, 3 High Street, Amblecote DY8 4BX. Tel: 01384 397524. Web: http://www.dawncrystal.co.uk/.
Stourbridge Farmers’ Market: Held on the third Saturday of the month at the top of Lower High Street and Coventry Street, Stourbridge Farmer’s Market boasts a mouthwatering range of organic and locally produced meats, cheeses, bread and cakes.
Pubs, restaurants and theatre
"Think globally, drink locally" is the message from Friends of the Earth. There are some fantastic pubs around the Dudley borough, and by drinking locally, we can reduce the distance beer travels by road, sea and air and support our local economy at the same time. Bathams, based in Brierley Hill and Holdens, based in Woodsetton, are famous for their real ales. For details about their pubs, visit http://www.holdensbrewery.co.uk/ and http://www.bathams.co.uk/.
The Crooked House, Crooked House Lane, Dudley DY3 4DA. Tel: 01384 238583. Web: www.thecrooked-house.co.uk.
Dudley’s ‘Leaning Tower of Pisa’. Built upon ancient limestone mines on 1765, the pub has since suffered dramatic subsidence resulting in floors, windows and doorways tilting at hilariously odd angles. Thanks to an optical illusion beer bottles can really be seen to roll ‘uphill’ on tables – and that’s before you’ve even made it to the (crooked) bar.
The Fountain Inn, Temple Street, Lower Gornal, is well-known locally for the wide range of real ales it sells. Tel: 01384 242777 The Old Bulls Head, 1 Temple Street, Lower Gornal DY3 2NU. Brews its own range of real ale. Tel: 01384 231616.
The Olde Swan (Ma Pardoes), 89 Halesowen Road, Netherton DY2 9PY. Brews it's own range of real ale. Tel: 01384 253075.The Windsor Castle Inn at Lye Cross, Lye DY9 7DG. Brews its own range of real ale. Tel: 01384 897809. Web: http://www.windsorcastlebrewery.com/.
Looking for somewhere distinctive to eat out? Try Lye High Street which has a wealth of different Asian restaurants, including some that allow you to bring your own drinks with you.
Support local talent and enjoy shows and plays that are near to home and cost far less than city centre performances. Visit the 'What's on' section of Dudley Council's web site www.dudley.gov.uk for forthcoming events.
Printer cartridge refills
Cartridge World: Refills most printer cartridges apart from Epson. 68 Wellington Road, Dudley. Tel: 01384 456999. Ink Gloss: Refills HP, Lexmark, Canon, Samsung and Brother ink cartridges. 73 High Street, Stourbridge DY8 1DX. Tel: 01384 393388.
Idwal's Books: High Street, Lye. Tel: 01384 377334. Web: http://www.amazon.co.uk/shops/rachel64 John Sparry: Enville Road, Wall Heath.
Winemaking and brewing
Harris Home Brew: 42-43 Zoar Street, Lower Gornal DY3 2PA. Tel: 01384 253073.