You’ve already made a good start. You’re a recycling pro and always carry your refillable water bottle. But what can we do around the home for the sake of the environment and our wallets?
In April 2021, the government made a world-leading commitmentto reach a 78% reduction by 2035. There’s a long way to go for the government to reach this target, but there are plenty of changes we can make ourselves.
We're already making progress
The average number of plastic carrier bags a person uses has fallen from 140 in 2014 to just 4 bags in 2019/2020, thanks to the 5p charge!
There are any number of ways to be more eco-friendly and it’s a myth that it will cost you more cash, in fact most of them could save you money in the long run.
Unplug your chargers
Unplug your mobile phone's charger when the battery is fully charged, turn off those devices on standby and turn the light off when you leave the room.
Although it is hard to measure just how much energy leaving things on standby actually uses, in December 2021, The Energy Savings Trust believes that you could save around £40 a yearby turning off appliances rather than leaving them on standby.
That's a lot of electricity (and money) wasted, especially when you consider just flicking a few switches could make all the difference.
Spend less time in the shower
Let’s face it, many of us love a long shower. Cutting it down is easy though; try not to run the shower for too long before you get in and keep it at your preferred temperature, so you don’t waste time setting it every time you use it. You could even consider setting a timer, using your phone, for a shorter shower.
Every year the UK throws away 7 million tonnes of food and drink and it’s estimated that over half of it could have been eaten!
The Love Food, Hate Wastecampaign by Wrap (December 2021), tells us the average family of four can save as much as £70 per month by reducing their food waste. This can come from buying only what you need, storing your food properly, and eating everything you buy.
Food waste generates tonnes of greenhouse gases over its lifetime – and preventing that pollution would be equivalent to taking one in four cars off UK roads.
The Love Food, Hate Wastecampaign website has plenty of ideas on how to save money, with recipes for leftovers and ways to reduce your food waste that you might not have considered. You can also look at your local council website for more information on what to do with food waste.
Although all kettles differ in power, just boiling what you need will get you your cuppa quicker, as well as saving you money.
For instance, to boil a full (2 litre) kettle with a power rating of 3kW would be about £0.04.Over a year boiling a full kettle just twice a day costs around £30.74 with (60.3kg CO2 emissions). If you only need enough for 2 cups of tea you could cut these figures in half. If you’re a real tea fiend just think how much more it could be!
Turn off the tumble dryer
It’s one of the most expensive appliances to run in the home. If it’s not too cold or raining, drying your clothes and linen outside could make a real difference.
If everyone in the UK line dried their clothes during the summer instead of using a tumble dryer, it would save as much as £375 million a year and cut electricity consumption by 2600 GWh
The cost of loft insulation for a standard semi-detached is around £300 and could be recouped within 3 years. You will of course carry on benefiting from a warmer home and saving money on your heating bills.
Keep hold of your hard-earned heat. Insulating your home is by the far the best way to save heat in the winter,keep cool in the summer and save money on your energy bills.
Smart thermostats and home heating systems connect your heating to the internet. You can easily take control from your phone, wherever you are, giving you the chance to be more energy efficient.
If it’s easier to turn the heating down, set timers and only heat the rooms you’re using, then you’re much more likely to do it and save money in the process. Turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree could save you £80 per year.Systems vary greatly so it’s worth shopping around to find the one that suits you and your home best.
Upgrade your white goods with more energy efficient models
When buying a new appliance look out for its energy rating. The higher the rating, the more energy efficient it is, which helps reduce the environmental impact and save on running costs.
Choosing an A+++ fridge freezer over an A+ model will soon add up over the lifetime of the product. It doesn’t have to cost a lot to upgrade. You can even increase your green credentials if you buy reconditioned or used models. Buying second hand reduces waste and the need for more manufacturing.