The Impact Of Coronavirus On The Environment

Coronavirus has changed the world over the last few months, with the effects of the pandemic being felt in all different industries and walks of life. However, if there are any positives to be taken from the pandemic then the impact on the environment is definitely one of them. There has been a dramatic reduction of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, a drop that has not been matched before despite the wars, recessions, and previous pandemics that we have seen over the last century.


Carbon emissions for 2020 will be an estimated 2-3 billion tonnes less than expected. To put that into perspective, that is roughly the energy demands of India for a year. World War 2 saw carbon emissions drop by around 800 million tonnes, whereas the financial crash in 2008 saw just a 450 million tonne reduction. Admittedly our carbon emissions as a planet have increased since then, but as a percentage drop, it is still a much larger reduction than any we have seen before.


The reason for this is the lockdown. With people working from home and being asked to stay indoors there was much less traffic on the roads and less pollution from trains and buses. Planes have been all but grounded for the last few months as holidays became implausible. Bike shops have been inundated with work as people look to get on two wheels to get around rather than four.


Whilst all these changes are having a positive impact on the environment for now, as things return to normal it becomes increasingly clear that this may just be a blip. Carbon emissions following the 2008 recession actually increased by 6% after the initial drop, and experts think we are likely to see this same trend continue if nothing is made of the dramatic improvements to our environment that lockdown has caused. 


Whilst what happens with carbon emissions following Coronavirus is yet to be seen, it seems obvious that unless policies and technologies are implemented which both demand and enable the reduction of carbon emissions we can generally expect things to go back to the levels we experienced pre-lockdown.


We should all be aware however that environmental improvements are not completely out of our hands. As individuals, we have the ability to reduce our personal carbon footprint by doing things like recycling, avoiding unnecessary plane journeys, and walking or cycling for the smaller trips we make in our day to day lives rather than opting for cars and public transport.


Businesses should also try and make a similar promise. As a company, Shiply is and has always been committed to reducing the carbon footprint of the logistics and delivery industry in general, and our methodology remains the same. By putting customers in contact with drivers who are ‘going there anyway’ we reduce the amount of unnecessary, empty, or part-full vehicles on the roads whilst also reducing delivery prices for our customers by up to 75%.


Whilst there is still a way to go in the fight against climate change and environmental damage, there is still a lot we can do as individuals and as business entities. As always, if you want cheap quotes to deliver your items (and want to help the environment whilst doing it), visit our website and get started today!


Stat Source: BBC

Coronavirus Statement from Shiply

We are now all feeling the impact of COVID-19 and here at Shiply we just wanted to assure our customers, the transport providers and our employees that your safety and wellbeing is, and always will be, our top priority. We have created this short guide to answer some of your most frequent questions about our service during this time.

Is it still safe to carry out and receive deliveries?

Following the Government’s recent announcements, the service we provide has been classed as essential and advice from Public Health England is that deliveries are still safe as the virus cannot survive for long on non-metallic surfaces. For these reasons we have made the decision to stay open as usual in this trying period.

We know that many people rely on our services both to find work and to have their items moved around the country. We feel that with the right precautions taken we can still help facilitate safe transport and delivery around the UK at a time when many need it more than ever.

You can read the official Government guidance page here.

How can risk be minimised when carrying out and receiving deliveries?

Whilst the virus itself cannot be carried by the items being delivered, there are still precautions and measures to consider when carrying out or receiving a delivery:

Request ‘no contact’ where possible. Whilst we acknowledge that many items delivered through our site are not possible to deliver with no contact, we do ask that if the goods are small enough to allow for this that you and the delivery driver arrange this through our messaging system.

Wash your hands before and after the delivery. You should be washing your hands before and after carrying out a delivery. If the item does require two people to move it, try and keep your distance as much as possible.

Do not carry out or receive any deliveries if you are a risk. If you or anyone you live with is displaying symptoms or has been in direct contact with someone who has Coronavirus then you must not carry out deliveries until your two-week isolation period is over. You should also not receive deliveries unless they are ABSOLUTELY essential (e.g. food and water). This is when we are most at risk of spreading and you should be minimising all forms of physical contact if you are self-isolating.

You can read the full NHS advice guidelines (including advice on how to properly wash your hands after deliveries) here.

What are Shiply doing to help?

We have been following the advice of the Government and as such our entire office has been working from home since 16/3/2020. You can rest assured however that we are all hard at work keeping the service running and support lines will still be operating from 9am-6pm Monday to Friday should you have any queries or concerns. Details to contact us can be found at https://www.shiply.com/contact.

We are also taking part in the ‘Help NHS Heroes’ scheme and are waiving fees on these deliveries for NHS purposes so that food and supplies can be delivered to those helping in the hospitals who need it most.

Please note that we are following all Government advice and guidelines closely and will update this page as soon as any new developments occur.

Stay safe, from all of us here at Shiply.

Shiply’s Favourite Driving Films

With the Coronavirus meaning we are not out and about as much at the moment, we thought we would update our list of favourite driving films for all of you to enjoy. For added fun, try getting your friends to watch at the same time so you can discuss them too and treat it like a virtual film club!

If you are a lover of all things car related then you need to check these films out:

The Fast and the Furious

Shiply blog image

This is a classic movie and has something in it for everyone. A great (looking) cast, fantastic fast cars and loads of high-speed racing. There are now 8 movies in total, plus one spin-off , and we definitely recommend watching them all. We hear a movie marathon coming on. 

The Fast and the Furious is available to rent on Youtube.

Baby Driver

baby driver poster

Baby Driver roared onto our screens in 2017 and has solidifed itself as a thrilling heist film featuring one of the greatest getaway driving scenes in film history. Helmed by Edgar Wright and with a medley of A-listers and the soundtrack to boot, Baby Driver is definitely not one to miss if you enjoy high-octane action.

Baby Driver is available to rent on Youtube.

Drive

Shiply blog image

This is not only great for driving fans but also Ryan Gosling fans. This is an action packed movie and a great example of when a book to film adaptation works. The classic cars in this movie won’t disappoint any car lover and, without giving too much away, the chase scene is enthralling and will leave you on the edge of your seat.

Drive is available to rent on Youtube.

The Transporter

Shiply blog image

Jason Statham is simply fantastic in these movies. Just like The Fast and the Furious, Transporter has been made into a series of movies and there are now 4 in total, all equally as good as each other! He is an expert driver who gets paid to transport cargo, but of course the road is far from smooth.

The Transporter is available to rent on Youtube.

Cars

Shiply blog image

This cute little movie is perfect for the whole family. This is basically The Fast and the Furious, but in animation style and Pixar have got it spot on if you ask us. It is a charming colourful movie.  There is also a sequel for those that loved the first as much as we did!

Cars is available to rent on Yotube.

The Italian Job

Shiply blog image

A car classic. This flashy film won’t fail to impress it is packed with action, drama, romance and classic cars. There is also a recent remake of it but we definitely recommend the original.  “PUT YOUR FOOT DOWN!” and get this movie on. 

The Italian Job is available to rent on Youtube.

Dude, where’s my car?

Shiply blog image

Ok, this one is just for fun. If you just want some lighthearted teenage humour, then this is the one to watch. It’s silly from start to finish and Ashton Kutcher and Seann William Scott are comedy gold. 

Dude, where’s my car? is available to rent on Youtube.

We hope these recommendations can provide some entertainment whilst we are all practicing social-distancing, so happy watching from all of us at Shiply!

Why Second-Hand Furniture Is The Future

Heart shaped bench
Source: Google Images

Buying new furniture is exciting. It often means you have moved into a new space and need to decorate, giving you a chance to redesign your surroundings and the feeling of a fresh start. For a large majority of the population, it also means that you get to go to Ikea and eat as many meatballs as physically possible in one afternoon.

Whilst it is undeniably tempting to go and get yourself an entirely new setup, it is also a fact that buying brand new furniture every time you need something for your home or office has an impact on the environment due to the energy and materials used to make them. There are a number of really good second-hand furniture options for sale both in-store and online, and often you’ll find that they can give your space a much more unique feel. 

Ikea storefront
Source: Google Images

The one strong selling point of Ikea is that they seem to always have exactly the thing you need, whereas buying second-hand makes it harder to find what you want. However, this is not an excuse to not try. Think about how much time you spend looking online for the best deal on whatever your next purchase is, or if you are someone who buys second-hand clothes, think about how much time you spend trying to find the perfect jacket. This is time that you could spend looking for that perfect piece of furniture for your new place.

second-hand furniture
Source: Google Images

All you need to do is make a quick Google search for your local second-hand store and take a look, or if you don’t feel like leaving your seat you can browse sites like eBay, Gumtree, Etsy and Freecycle just to name a few. If you do find something online, you can use Shiply as an eco-friendly shipping option as the drivers are typically filling their vans on journeys they are already making (and it’s also up to 75% cheaper than standard rates!).

Even Ikea themselves are now testing schemes where you can hand in old furniture so that they can find it a new home. With all the emphasis on social responsibility at the moment it feels like the times are changing on fast flatpack furniture, so next time you need a new sofa, think about the environment and take a look at second-hand options before going straight to the meatballs!

A Roundup Of Weird And Wonderful Valentine’s Deliveries On Shiply

Ah, Valentine’s day! Whether you are married, in a relationship or simply pining over someone, February 14th provides the perfect opportunity to show a display of affection for those who choose to celebrate it.

Originally the date was supposed to represent the celebration of Saint Valentinus who, depending on who you ask, either provided an illegal marriage service to soldiers or cured a small girl’s blindness (or both, what a man).

It’s not entirely clear how the modern romantic notion of Valentine’s day came about (I think Chaucer had something to do with it), but it generally involves buying chocolates, flowers and cards and having them delivered to that special someone. As a shipping platform we have seen some lovely, strange and downright unfortunate Valentine’s day deliveries posted on our site, and we thought we would share them.

In one case, a user requested a staggering 50kg delivery of ‘love letters’ from Halton to France, a delivery which made a lot more sense once we saw the picture:

love letters sign

We also had another hopeless romantic from Yorkshire who, as a typical declaration of affection, sent a massive plastic heart along with matching stools to his lover in Aberdeen. If that doesn’t win them over, I don’t know what will…

There have been some users who, whilst we appreciate the romantic gesture, clearly haven’t read our terms and conditions. This includes one man in Wales who attempted to use Shiply to reunite him with his loved one in Southampton, with the delivery description simply stating ‘My Wife’… maybe just buy her a train ticket next time!

Another posted for her ‘boyfriend and his dog’ to be taken from Cornwall to Edinburgh a staggering four times in the run up to the big day – is there anyone out there who can play Cupid and help reunite this poor couple?

Unfortunately, our platform also sees the nasty side of Valentine’s day with an influx of less than romantic posts. These can range from the depressingly pragmatic ‘Ex-wife’s things’ going from Slough to High Wycombe, to the unnecessarily insulting ‘2 sofas, boxes of clothes, general stuff (ex boyfriend’s junk)’ going from Stamford to Peterborough, at least it sounds like things ended amicably…

Finally we have my personal favourite, a post seeking a van driver to make multiple bouquet deliveries throughout London on February 14th. Whilst this is most likely a flower shop looking to use our platform to hire a delivery driver for the day, I much prefer imagining a Casanova type who sends out so many roses that the most economical option is to hire his own personal delivery driver!

Whatever it is you need shipping this Valentine’s day, you can be sure to get quotes up to 75% cheaper than standard couriers if you post on Shiply.

Happy Valentine’s day!

11 Tips For ‘Cut Your Energy Costs Day’ 2020

Another year, another set of New Years Resolutions! Whether it’s cutting out the cigarettes, joining a gym or going vegetarian it is always nice to invest time into bettering yourself, but what if there was another resolution which could not only help your wallet out but help the environment too?

Every year on January 10th the nation celebrates ‘cut your energy costs day’ (there’s a day for everything, I know…) and in light of this we are going to share our top tips on how to save money and reduce excessive energy waste at the same time. Whilst some may require an initial investment, they will ultimately bring down the cost of your energy bill.

Let’s start with the easy ones:

Check that you are getting the best deal with your energy supplier

The first thing you should do when looking into reducing your energy bills is check whether you are getting the best price in the first place. There are plenty of sites out there which are able to compare deals and work out the best one for you, and you will often find that switching suppliers can reward you with a lesser bill as prices get more and more competitive for new customers. 

If becoming more eco-friendly is your primary concern then there are companies out there who offer 100% green electricity. Often it can be just as cheap as standard suppliers, and your current supplier may even offer an alternative ‘green’ energy tariff, which could save you switching.

Another quick tip is to make sure that you aren’t being sent bills in the mail – not only is this a massive waste of paper in our digital-first age but suppliers often charge extra for paper bills!

Turn off appliances when not in use

You are probably (definitely) familiar with this one, but this isn’t just about turning the lights off when you leave a room. Appliances left in standby mode can still use energy, and although it is a minimal amount, having numerous devices on standby mode constantly can quickly add up. Further, even phone and laptop chargers can use minimal amounts of energy when left plugged in and so the best option is to simply turn the switch off at the socket to eliminate any risk of energy waste.

Consider getting energy-saving lightbulbs

Whilst turning lights off when a room is unoccupied is a sure-fire way to save on your energy bill and help out the environment, you can actually take a further step and save energy even when the lights are turned on. Energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lightbulbs are widely available in stores for just a few pounds and are a much more economical option than standard lightbulbs due to the fact that they last longer and do not lose energy as heat. One more thing to consider is whether you are using a lightbulb relative to the size of the room.

Absolutely do not use portable heaters

This is just a quick one, but if your heating is not sufficient then it is far more economical in the long term to look at getting this fixed. Whilst portable heaters are a quick solution they are incredibly costly in terms of the amount of energy they use and your bill will quickly rack up.

Monitor heat in individual rooms

Keeping an eye on your heating is always recommended, making sure it is only switched on when it’s needed and ensuring it’s not set at an unnecessarily high level (always put a jumper on and see how you feel before resorting to bumping the heating up). However, if you want to go that extra mile to reduce your energy wastage you should check the individual levels set on radiators in each room and make sure they aren’t turned up high when they don’t need to be.

Invest in a smart meter

If you’re into your tech then buying a smart meter is a great excuse to get another gadget in your house which can save you money and help reduce unnecessary energy waste. Smart meters are becoming more and more advanced, offering the ability to control your heating from your smartphone, set heating routines based on your habits and even auto-adjusting themselves based on the weather, all of which is great for ensuring no energy is wasted.

Get a new boiler

Whilst the tips above relating to heating will absolutely help you save some money and reduce energy waste, the number one thing you can do to be more efficient with the energy you pay for in terms of heating is get a new boiler. A new boiler can be incredibly costly initially, but given that heating accounts for roughly half of the average annual energy bill, the savings over a few years will more than justify the investment. Newer boilers have advanced to the level that they can recycle waste heat and use it heat water!

Cut down on water waste 

Whilst you may pay for your water bill in full already, pumping that water out uses energy, and this is where you can reduce some energy waste. Energy-saving shower heads can save you money by implementing a more even spread of water in the shower which in turn reduces the amount of water needing to be pumped through. This can reduce the amount of water needed for your average shower by approximately 50% in some cases. Similar heads are available for taps, and as a bonus tip checking for leaks in pipes can further reduce wasted energy.

Get your house properly insulated

If your house isn’t properly insulated then you are essentially leaking money when using your heating. Heating can be lost through your loft, walls and windows and this can increase the average energy bill by up to £270 a year.

Whilst this is an expensive investment initially, again in the long-term it will drastically bring your energy bills down and reduce unnecessary waste. Single glazed windows can be switched out for double glazed ones which let out far less heat, and both cavity and solid wall insulation is available which will drastically reduce the amount of heat lost through them.

Energy-efficient appliances

We are definitely in the realm of expensive investments for long term gains regarding your energy bill now, but getting newer, energy-efficient appliances for your home is a surefire way to cut back on unnecessary energy waste.

To illustrate just how much money this can save you, an old washing machine can cost you up to £56 a year, whereas a newer, more energy-efficient model can cost as little as £15 a year. You can use the EU energy-efficiency rating to ascertain just how economical a new appliance is. The main offenders for energy-sucking appliances are washing machines, tumble dryers and fridge-freezers and so if any of these are outdated in your home this is definitely something to consider when replacing them. 

You can even sell off your old appliances to try and get a bit of money back, and if you do choose to go this route don’t forget you can always use Shiply to deliver your goods in an environmentally friendly (and cheap) way.

Solar Panels

Ok so admittedly if you can afford solar panels you probably aren’t too concerned with the cost of your energy bill, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still help the environment! Solar panels transform the sun’s rays into energy and it’s been estimated that it would take just 21,250 square miles (roughly 0.5% of the USA’s land) to power the entire country. They are dropping massively in cost as well, so if you are looking for a long-term solution to cheaper and more sustainable energy bills and a more eco-friendly source of power in your home then they are definitely something to consider.

So there you have it, a multitude of ways to cut down on your energy bill and help save the world in doing so, we hope this helps!

Shiply’s Recycling Tips for Christmas

Source: Google Images

Whether it was the very public demonstrations of Extinction Rebellion or the passionate appeals of Greta Thunberg, there is no doubt that climate change and the current ecological state of our planet has been a hot topic of 2019 (and so it should be).

With one of the most notoriously excessive holidays just around the corner, we wanted to share some of our best suggestions on how to combat unnecessary waste this Christmas and make sure that you can enjoy the festivities in planet-saving style:

Food Waste

When it comes to Christmas dinner our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs. No matter how tasty your roast is there are always inevitably leftovers, and to make sure you are getting the most out of your food you should do one of two things:

Save them for another meal – remember Ross’ Christmas sandwich from Friends? You could recreate your very own ‘moist maker’, and believe me they are as good as they sound! Keeping leftovers means you can get multiple meals out of your food and keep the unnecessary waste at bay.

Use Food waste bins – if there are not enough leftovers to make a meal of, make sure you are disposing of the food in food waste bins. When food is disposed of improperly and ends up in a landfill it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas, whereas if it goes in the food waste bin it ends up as plant fertiliser!

Source: Google Images

Wrapping


Unwrapping presents can be one of the best parts of the day, but it certainly does leave behind a lot of rubbish. According to gov.uk, the amount of wrapping paper thrown away after Christmas would stretch to the moon! When all the gift-giving is finished, make sure you collect all the paper and cardboard up and put it in the recycling bin to ensure it is put to good use in the future.

Source: Google Images

Unwanted Presents

We all love receiving gifts at Christmas, but a lot of the time we receive things we don’t necessarily want. ‘Stocking fillers’ are the biggest culprit, and you may be wondering what to do with your seventh pack of Lynx Africa if you really don’t need it – here are some options:


Give them to charity – there are always people who need something more than you do and giving unwanted gifts to charity is an excellent way of guaranteeing the gift will be used and appreciated by someone in need.

Return it for something else, or even just for store credit – keep those receipts! Although it may ‘spoil’ the fun by revealing how much you have spent, supplying receipts with gifts means that they can always be returned for something else or for store credit rather than ending up unused or in the bin.

Sell them on – if you don’t have a receipt but don’t want to throw the gift away you can always sell it on sites like eBay and Gumtree, ensuring that it is still going to be used by someone and not put to waste. As an extra eco-bonus, use Shiply to deliver the sold items for up to 75% less than usual rates and to stop unnecessary traffic on the road by using someone who is already going there.

Merry Christmas from the team at Shiply!

Being Environmentally Aware on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday Electronic Cell PhoneWaste
Electronic Waste
Source: Flickr

Black Friday is the shopper’s favourite day of the year, but the consequences on the environment are significant. How can you join in on the fun whilst still thinking green?

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, consumers across the country are readying themselves for some of the best deals and discounts of the year. It’s no secret however that world’s favourite shopping weekend takes its toll on the environment; with over 174  million making purchases in America alone that’s a lot of orders to be delivered or plastic bags to be taken home!

If you want to shop over Black Friday but are concerned about the effects on the planet, here are a few things you can do:

Consider whether you actually need what you are buying

Before you go and splash out on that new wireless set of headphones or those trainers you’ve been eyeing up for the past month, take a moment and consider whether you actually NEED them. The fashion and tech industries are two of the biggest contributors to environmental damage due to the rapid developments they experience, and whilst it is certainly tempting to want the latest of everything the consequences for our planet are bad. If you do need a phone upgrade or some new clothes, just make sure to recycle or dispose of the old items responsibly!

Shop online and opt for slower delivery times

Research suggests that shopping in-store is actually worse for the environment on Black Friday weekend due to the number of individuals heading out in cars to get to the shops. It’s actually much better for the environment to shop online over the famous weekend, however, this comes with a caveat – choosing a fast delivery time will negate any positive effect that shopping online has had. By choosing faster delivery times we encourage companies to send out as many vehicles as possible to ensure deliveries are made on time, whereas slower delivery times allow for more organisation and efficiency.

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a trend that emerged in 2012 as a result of the environmental damage that Black Friday and Cyber Monday cause. It encourages people to give back to the environment on the following Tuesday, whether that consists of going out and picking up some rubbish (and recycling it), volunteering or donating some money to charity. If you are feeling guilty about your Black Friday spending habits this is the perfect opportunity to give back.

And of course, if you do need any old items moved somewhere or some new purchases picked up, be sure to use Shiply for cheap quotes and shipping that will have a minimal impact on the environment!

Avoid Protest Road Closures With Shiply

Road Closures in London
Source: Google Maps

Protests erupted yesterday with thousands around the world taking to the streets, asking that governments take action against climate change.

The overarching tactic of the protesters appears to be to use peaceful methods to close roads and bring the issue to the attention of people in power, with brave tactics ranging from cementing themselves under lorries with glue to one man who parked his car in the middle of a street and locked himself to the steering wheel with a bike chain.

The protests are expected to last two weeks and will cause severe delays in the major cities of London, Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam and Sydney among others, with road users experiencing the most disruption.

We understand that, despite the importance of these protests, people still need to move things through cities, and that’s where Shiply can help. 

We pride ourselves on being an eco-friendly company, utilising the empty return journeys that transport providers often make to save unnecessary miles on the road and provide customers with a cheaper option for transporting goods.

With an estimated 324,551,037 miles saved through our service (that’s just over 13,000 times around the world) you can still move your things, whether it’s a whole house move or an eBay listing, without feeling like you are contributing to the undeniable issue that is global warming.

Why not take the headache out of the road closures and use Shiply to find someone who is going there anyway.


Shiply named Best Digital Climate Change Innovation at 2019 Transport Awards

We are delighted to announce that Shiply has won the Best Digital Climate Change Innovation at the 2019 Transport Awards.

Awarded by SME News, the Transport awards recognises Shiply’s impact pf using digital technology to tackle climate change.

Shiply estimates it’s platform has helped save some 124m kg CO2 and over 90m otherwise wasteful road miles.

Transport companies use Shiply as a way to keep their fleets full of cargo, by matching with loads which also need to travel along the same route or the return journey.

Empty running in the transport industry is an enormous issue. Over 25% of lorries and vans run empty of cargo and over 50% run only part full.

The entire team at Shiply is humbled to have received this recognition and remains focussed on delivering a great experience for customers, transport companies and the environment.