With the rising cost of fuel bills and the constant pressure to be as green as possible, it’s no surprise we often feel like we should be huddled on the sofa wrapped in blankets, reading a book by candlelight without the technological hum of a light or the glimpse of a standby light on our TV’s or sound systems. Anyone would think we had gone back to the early 1800’s.
Do you think Thomas Edison ever comprehended how much trouble the light bulb would cause in the 21st century? We’ve all had a spat with our parents or spouses about who left the light on, which is closely followed by the oh so common – ‘Money doesn’t grow on trees’ lecture. But with this checklist of simple steps to saving energy in the home, we can save some precious pounds and with a bit of luck eliminate those little household arguments about lights being left on and the heating being unnecessarily cranked up.
And where better to start than with the checklist on how to make the most of all this rain water. When the fear of draught lead to hose pipe bans up and down the country, the British weather decided it would reward us with the wettest June since records began – typical. So what to do with all the water?
1. Collect it of course. Get yourself a few water butts, plonk them under the run offs from your house and sheds and away you go.
2. You can then use the collected rainwater to:
– Water your plants and garden
– Flush the toilet
– clean your cars
– wash down your patio and driveways
Other ways of saving water in the home:
3. You can place a brick or a bottle filled with sand in your toilet cistern and it will reduce the amount of water you flush down the toilet
4. Water your garden in the evening when it has cooled down to give the water a better chance of sinking into the ground
5. Only run your washing machine when you have a full load
6. Store tap water in the fridge or invest in a filter jug that fits in the fridge to prevent wasting all that water while you run the tap waiting for it to go cold
7. Here’s a nice one to remember, putting your dishwasher on when it is full will use less hot water than if you washed it up by hand
What about keeping that all important heat in?
8. We hear it all the time but turn your thermostat down! Just turning it down by 1 degree C could cut your heating bills by up to 10%
9. Draw your curtains in the evening to prevent warm air escaping, heavy, lined curtains and blinds are best for keeping the heat in
10. Use draught excluders on your exterior doors
11. Hot water bottles are sometimes seen as a thing of the past but they are perfect for slipping into your beds a few minutes before you get in
And saving electric….
12. Without the risk of sounding like your parents – TURN THE LIGHTS OFF WHEN YOU AREN’T USING THEM!
13. Invest in some energy saving light bulbs, we have moved on from the days when you’d switch an energy saving light bulb on and sit in the dark for 20 minutes waiting for it to warm up, they are much more efficient now. And there are many different types now from the traditional bayonet and screw light bulb to spot lights, cluster, candle and tubular light bulbs
14. LED lights are also a great energy saving alternative. You can get LED torches and bulbs as well as flood lights and security lights
15. Again at the risk of sounding like our elders – turn appliances off when you aren’t using them! We all have that annoying relative that run around the house turning everything off and unplugging everything they can find. But however annoying it is to sit there for several minutes trying to work out why the TV won’t turn on, keeping things unplugged will save some energy for the planet and some precious pennies for you
Why not print this list off and pin it to the fridge or your notice board? That way it can act as a gentle reminder to you and your family.
This post was written by Meredith Watts, on behalf of SolarTech, providers of solar panels designed to help you live greener.