Energy Sustainability

Energy - lets save it

Lighting

  • Optimise the daylight hours as much as possible – there is no need to have any lights on when the sun is shining! This is also known to have a great positive impact on your health and wellbeing.
  • Turn off all lights when you leave a room, hours of energy is wasted a year lighting empty rooms.
  • Make sure you dust your light bulbs regularly, dusty lightbulbs can reduce light output by 50%. 
  • If you need to turn lights on to come on at a specific time, use a timer to control them instead of leaving lights on all day instead. 
 

Heating

  • If you are away from the house for a long period of the day or during the night, turn down or even turn off the heating to save energy. 
  • Keep your curtains open during the day to let heat in and warm up rooms– 10% of energy can be saved on heating just by opening your curtains!
  • On the flip side, close your curtains at night to restore heat and keep your house warmer
  • You can save up to £60 per year by turning your thermostat down by just 1 degree! 

Water

  • Think how you can reuse your water – after you have had a bath you could use the water to water your plants
  • Leave buckets outside in your garden to collect rainwater which you can use and keep to water your garden
  • Turn off the tap whilst brushing your teeth or washing your face, you can waste so much water if you just leave the tap running. 
  • Opt to have a shower rather than bath. Taking a shower can use as little as 14% of the water than a bath!
  • Install a low flush toilet in your home. Flushing toilets accounts for 30% of total indoor water use. 
  • Install low flow shower heads! With less water to heat you will save water and energy!
  • A family of 4 can save 160,000 litres of water by using a low flow showerhead! They’re very easy to install and you can pick them up cheaply in your local hardware store!
  • Install a shower timer so you can time how long you take. When you’re watching the time go down you will realise how it is possible to have a 3 minute shower!

Cooling

  • Instead of using air conditioning units simply open your windows on a hot day, this will cool rooms down quickly and efficiently!

In the kitchen

  • If you are using  a ventilation system when you are cooking or having a shower use this sparingly and only have it on when you need it! They use up a lot of your house heat. 
  • Use the microwave to cook your meals instead, they use 50% less energy than the oven.
  • Only run a dishwasher when it is completely full – full loads use the same amount of energy as small loads.
  • Only boil the kettle using the amount of water you need. If there is only one person having a cup of tea don’t boil the whole kettle as this uses a lot of energy and takes a lot longer!
  • Try and use natural cleaning products instead of harmful chemicals which can harm your environment. When you put these chemicals down the drain it takes more purification before they are safe to use again. Products such as vinegar and citric acid make great products for day to day cleaning.

Electricity

Indoor air quality

  • Not only can plants have a calming and aesthetic effect on you in your home, but there are certain types of plants that can actually clean your indoor air, and they’re almost impossible to kill too, for those with less than green fingers!  Try out some of the following in your home for benefits in eliminating indoor nasties and freshen up your indoor environment: 
    • Garden Mum (chrysanthemum morifolium)
    • Spider plant (Chlorophytum Comosum “Vittatum”)
    • Dracaena (Dracaena spp.)
    • Ficus/Weeping Fig (Ficus benjamina)
    • Peace Lily (Spathiphyllum sp.)
    • Boston Fern (Nephrolepis exaltata v. Bostoniensis)
    • Snake plant/mother-in-Law’s Tongue (Sansevieria Trifasciata)
    • Bamboo Palm (Chamaedorea seifritzii)
    • Aloe Vera (Aloe Vera or A. barbadensis)

Around the home

  • Make sure your washing machine and tumble dryer are full before turning them on. They use the same amount of energy for a half full load as they do a full load.
  • If the sun is shining dry your clothes outside on the line.
  • When you aren’t using your chargers and appliances, turn off the plug socket and remove the charger – this helps to save electricity. 
  • Wash your clothes at 30 degrees as this temperature uses around 40% less electricity than washing at higher temperatures which can also save you £13 annually on energy bills.
  • Try and buy recycled products when you can, these can be things such as recycled toilet paper and kitchen roll. 
  • Seal any cracks around windows or doors which may let air escape. You can use materials such as weather stripping or caulk, these are inexpensive and an easy solution to help cut your heating and cooling costs. They can also help to cut your heating and cooling bills by 10%. 

Sustainable living

  • Use vinegar to clean your home, it is natural way to kill bacteria and germs without toxic fumes ruining your air quality.
  • Use Hive metres to control your heating and hot water from your mobile phone. You can save up to £130 a year by never having to heat an empty home. 
  • Heating is one of the biggest ways you use energy in the home. Install a smart meter which can be programmed to turn on and off at certain times of the day.  For example you can programme it to come on around an hour before you get home from work or turn off an hour before you leave for work in the morning.
  • Don’t throw your plastic bags away after you have used them, reuse them for the next time you go shopping or need to take something to work.
  • Instead of receiving paper flyers and brochures from your favourite shops or even your local suppliers, enrol for online statements to help cut the use of wasted paper. If you are going to receive paper statements ensure that you recycle them.
  • Re-use old glass jars and bottles to store dry foods, or liquids instead of throwing them away. Glass products especially have an endless lifecycle.
  • Use locally sourced or supplied materials when possible. They would have used less energy and fumes transporting the products all over the world. 
  • If you can, replace single glazed windows with double glazed. This can help to save money and energy heating your home as single glazed windows let more heat escape.
  • If possible buy a digital display appliance which tells you how much money you are spending on electricity every day. If you knew how much you were spending it might make you turn off some sockets and be more mindful of how much energy you are using.
  • When possible try and car share or even walk when you can! By sharing transport or walking you are allowing less toxic fumes to pollute our air quality.
  • Ensure you are recycling your used batteries properly. If not recycled properly the harmful and toxic chemicals can pollute our drinking water if left in landfill. A lot of shops and post offices have battery drop off containers and they will recycle them for you.
  • Check the energy level of a product or even your home to ensure you are buying an energy efficient product. 
  • Ensure your car has all the required MOT’s and services. Without the required maintenance your car can lose up to 9% of its fuel efficiency. 
  • Plant a garden of any size you can. This can help to reduce your homes carbon footprint. Even if you don’t have a garden a plant pot with some soil will work just as well on your kitchen window. By growing your own herbs and vegetables this helps to reduce the number of trips you make to the shops.

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