Your practical guide to saving energy and money at home.
Almost every home owner in the UK could save money and energy by implementing at least one of these ideas. There’s an easy swap for every room in a typical house – after all small changes can make a big difference to the environment and your pocket!
Top 50 ways your home could save the planet are:
- Being green doesn’t require spending lots of money on fancy gadgets. An environmentally-responsible home not only saves you money, but saves the earth too.
- Replacing Bulbs: You will save 66% more energy by replacing incandescent light bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFL)
- Use CFL Bulbs:It will save 400 pounds of greenhouse gas emissions if you trade in 1 incandescent light bulb for 1 CFL bulb.
- Use extension leads: By using multi socket extension leads and turning it off when not in use, you can reduce your home’s energy consumption by up to 15%.
- Unplug. TVs are typically left on standby for 17 hours per day. Unplug your TV when it’s not in use to save electricity.
- Bamboo is better: Bamboo is the fastest growing plant on earth. This quick rate of replenishment means it’s more environmentally friendly than timber trees to use as hardwood flooring.
- Open the blinds: 10% of energy can be saved on heating when you open the blinds during the day to let the sunlight in.
- Magic Carpets: Using rugs on wooden floors can save 4% – 6% on energy bills.
- Party: Invite friends over in the winter. Each person can generate the same amount of warmth as a 100-watt heater.
- Turn it down: You can save up to £60 annually by turning your thermostat down by 1c.
- Cuddle Up: 13% of people cuddle their cats or dogs as an alternative way to keep warm.
- Shady Fridges: Having your refrigerator in the sunlight will force it to work harder to keep cool. Move your refrigerator in to the shade
- Refrigerator Gazing: Peeking into the refrigerator can cost £18 – £36 per year. So, decide what you want before opening the door!
- Low-energy appliances: ‘Energy Star Qualified’ appliances use 10% – 50% less energy than standard models
- 7.6 cm: The recommended space between the refrigerator and the wall to ensure proper airflow
- Compost kitchen scraps: Separating and composting kitchen scraps not only reduces the amount of household waste in landfill but also eases the costs associated with rubbish collection
- Clean with vinegar: It’s a natural way to kill bacteria, germs and mold
- Use a microwave: 50% less energy is used by a microwave oven than a conventional oven
- Use energy-efficient cookware: Use glass, silicone or ceramic dishes. They’re the most efficient to use in the oven and can reduce the cooking temperature required
- Smart dish-washing. Save energy by avoiding pre-rinsing, always running a full load, and air-drying the dishes at the end
- Multitask in the oven: Use both oven racks at the same time to bake, roast or warm up food
- Keep it closed: The oven temperature can drop by 65C when opening the door for 30 seconds. Don’t be tempted to keep unnecessarily checking-in on your cooking!
- Eco-scents: Instead of chemicals and synthetic fragrances, opt for 100% essential oils and non-aerosol scents
- Grow houseplants: Be literally green and improve the air quality in your bedroom
- Use eco-paints: They contain very low levels of volatile organic compounds
- Repurpose: Get creative! Reuse and repurpose old furniture instead of buying brand new
- Sleep on organic sheets: Cotton linens account for 25% of the world’s insecticide use. Switch to organic cotton or sustainable bamboo instead
- Wool not polyester: If you have a choice between wool and polyester blankets, go for wool. It’s more eco-friendly to produce
- Energy efficient windows: Energy efficient windows will keep you cool in the summer and warm in the winter due to their better insulation
- Non-toxic mattress: Purchase a new mattress that has not been treated with synthetic chemicals and toxic materials
- Turn it off: When brushing your teeth, remember to turn off the tap
- Install a low-flow toiler: Flushing toilet account for 30% of total indoor water use
- Stop Leaks: 182 litres of water is lost per week from a leaky tap
- Buy recycles toilet paper
- Open your windows: Excess humidity causes mold. If there’s no toxic mold, there’s no need to use any harmful chemicals
- Shave smart: Use a cup of warm water to rinse your razor rather than using the tap
- Install a low-flow shower head: A family of 4 can annually save 160,000 litres of water by installing a low-flow showerhead
- Get a spider plant: Having a spider plant in the bathroom will help purify the air
- Fix leaky toilers: A leaky toilet can waste 757 litres every day. If it’s leaking, get it fixed ASAP
- Shower: Taking a shower can use as little as 14% of water used during a bath
- Hang dry: 2-3kg of carbon emissions is produced for every hour a dryer is in use. Hang dry your clothes instead
- Wash at 30c: Washing clothes at this temperature uses around 40% less electricity than washing at higher temperatures, saving £13 annual on energy bills
- Energy Start: An Energy Star washing machine can save 50% more water, compared to a standard model
- Cold is better: 85% – 90% of energy goes into heating water when washing clothes. Use cold water instead
- Use soap nuts: These are berry of the saponus bush. Completely natural and hypoallergenic, they can be used for washing laundry and can be composed once they’re no longer reusable
- Use concentrated detergent: These have reduced packaging and a smaller carbon footprint due to their cheaper transport cost
- Install a water butt: Water butts can reduce your council’s water system strain by 70%
- Compost Organic Matter: Composting organic waste can reduce the need for water, fertilisers and pesticides
- Fire Pit: Burning logs made of alternative materials will release 80% fewer emissions than regular wood when burned. Options include logs made from recycled sawdust, used coffee beans and soy
- Native Landscaping: Protect your local environment by planting plants that are native to your area
- Use home made pesticides: Chopped tomato leaf spray or garlic oil spray are just a few recipes that can keep bugs away.
Another really important way to save money and reduce your energy bill is to replace your old boiler with an ultra-efficient one, like the Vaillant ecoTEC.
Small things do make a big difference. Even if you can only do a few of the actions above, you’ll be one step closer to living on a greener planet!