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Easy ways to go greener and save energy at your home

The more the merrier. Here, we reveal super simple changes you can make at home to reduce your carbon and water footprints and help ensure a healthy planet for future generations.

  • Shower – don’t bath! Baths tend to use a huge amount of hot water compared to a shower.
  • Limit the length of the shower. We know that, sometimes, nothing beats a nice long shower; but if you can try and keep these extended stays to a minimum you are going to save energy and reduce your bills (especially if you have a water meter).
  • Shut windows during the winter. It may seem a bit obvious, but if the heating is on and you are letting all the hot air escape straight out of the window, then you are wasting energy and money!
  • Install heavy curtains and make sure you close them at night. This again acts as a barrier to prevent heat loss out of the home.
  • Open windows instead of relying on an extractor fan – no electricity used, no cost!
  • Turn down the roomstat by a couple of degrees. 19 degrees is about the norm here in the UK.
  • Replace your lighting with low energy LED lights, they not only use 90% less energy but they also last 10-20 times longer so you will hardly ever have to replace them.
  • Turn lights off when you leave the room. This is one that parents (who tend to pay the energy bills) forever tell their kids. It is definitely worth it, especially if you haven’t made the swap to LED lights.
  • Install motion detector lights. There is no point leaving lights on if no-one is there to benefit from them. Motion detector lights are also a good deterrent against unwanted visitors.
  • Set your fridge/freezer to a higher temperature so they don’t need to work so hard. If you are defrosting food, always defrost it in the fridge because then the frozen food will keep the fridge cooler!
  • Fill your freezer up. It uses less energy since the frozen food won’t warm up when the door is opened. If the freezer is empty, then all the space will fill up with warm air when the door is opened, which the freezer needs to work hard to cool down when the door is shut again.
  • Allow cooked food to cool before putting it in the fridge / freezer, otherwise the fridge / freezer will have to work harder to cool it down.
  • Use microwaves to reheat food as opposed to the oven – they heat up the food far quicker. They use only 20% of the energy required to run a full size oven.
  • Try and maximise the use of the BBQ during the summer months – and use waste wood! This means no electricity or gas used in the home. Everyone much prefers BBQ food anyway!!
  • Only boil as much water as you need – i.e. don’t boil a kettle full of water for one cup of tea.
  • Put lids on pots and pans to reduce cooking times. Try and match the size of the burner to the right pot or pan – putting a small pan on a huge burner or electric hob will just waste electricity.
  • Always use your washing machine on the lowest temperature settings – bio washing powder contains enzymes that are specifically chosen because they work at this temperature. If you crank the temperature up then it can actually make the washing powder ineffective.
  • If your washing machine doesn’t have a half load setting – make sure you fill it with clothes.
  • Plug things into a power strip and turn that off at the plug when not in use – to avoid leaving things in standby. Even though when things are in standby they use less energy, they do still use some! Turning everything off at the plug ensures that NO electricity is used.
  • Don’t leave your computer in standby – turn it off at the end of each day.
  • Unplug any device that is not being used.
  • Charge things at night if you are on an Economy 7 tariff, the night time tariff tends to be half the price of the day time tariff.
  • Turn your tap off while brushing your teeth – this is only really going to save on your water bills if you are metered, but is still good practise!
  • Fill the sink with hot water before you shave – the same as above here although people tend to shave using hot water, so using a sink full rather than a running tap is better because you will use significantly less hot water.
  • Watch less television – read a book instead! Reading a book is proven to be more relaxing than watching TV and a book doesn’t require electricity to run!1980s-tv.
  • Avoid blocking radiators with furniture – allowing convection currents to flow around the room as the hot air will be felt across the room quicker.
  • Recharge batteries instead of buying throw away ones.
  • Recycle whatever you can – think plastic, paper and even food stuff (in a composter).
  • Move in with your partner – save on heating and electricity!
  • Carpooling saves fuel – find people at work who live close to you and take it in turns driving to work, someone to chat to on the way and you halve your fuel bill.
  • Grow your own fruit and veg in your garden or in pots on the balcony – it not only saves you money, but you can save on fuel since you don’t need to go down to the shops so often. Also home grown produce tastes better!