Everyday tips to reduce your footprint
In a recent survey of UK residents, 64% of people said they were concerned about their carbon footprint and were doing something about reducing it.
Here are some simple ideas to help you Reduce, Reuse or Recycle…
Switch to 30°C
Modern detergents are more effective than before. Reducing the temperature of your wash will not impact the effectiveness of your washing, but will have a significant impact on energy reduction. Your utility bills will come down too!
When given the option by banks, mobile phone companies or other subscription services, ask to switch to paperless billing.
When you are not using electrical appliances such as TV, personal computers, irons, games consuls…SWITCH THEM OFF! You could be wasting as much as £40 per year by not doing that and energy is being wasted as you sleep. There are many cheap “Standby saver” devices available that will do this for you can’t do it yourself!
Your energy supplier should be able to fit a free smart meter to your house. Studies indicate that fitting a smart meter, and the behavioural changes in energy usage it initiates, will save you £23 per year on your utility bills.
A shower uses on average less than half the amount of water than a bath and in many Asian cultures they are consider much more hygienic. By having an aerated shower head (or shower head adaptor) you can further enhance the efficiency your shower without reducing it’s effectiveness. An aerated shower head can save as much as £60 per year in water heating.
Keep things longer
Do really need to change your mobile phone every 2 years when you old one works perfectly well? Do you really need a new car every 4 years when modern cars are very reliable? Mobile phone production uses a number of harmful, toxic substances, whereas the energy used to manufacture a new car will vastly outweigh the benefits of even the most fuel efficient motors.
Hanging your clothes out to dry on a windy day makes them fresh and dry. Even in the middle of winter, most homes are warm enough to effectively dry clothes hung on indoor airers.
Stop the junk!
How much junk mail do you receive each week? In addition to most of this being useless nonsense, the resources used to manufacture, print and distribute junk mail is significant, considering as there are over 18 billion pieces of unaddressed mail distributed in UK each year. Sign up to the mail preference service or send an email to the Royal Mail asking to opt out of unaddressed mail.
It has never been easier to get your house insulated, whether that is loft, cavity wall or even single wall. Your utility provider will have a range of offers depending on your circumstances, however all will be heavily subsidized as they are being forced by the government to help their customers be more energy efficient. Insulating your house will help you save money and will reduce unnecessary thermal waste escaping from your home.
In the UK we are blessed with a lot of rain although most of us do not take advantage of this overabundance! Water buts are very cheap (some water companies offer them free of charge through their websites) and easy to install. Reusing rainwater in the garden or for washing your cars and bikes reduces the need for the energy intensive processes involved in water sanitation.
It is so simple and obvious, but how many times have you left lights on in your house or place of work? Although you may be “well behaved”, young children are often forgetful and they don’t pay the electricity bill!
Lighting constitutes about 11% of household energy bills and getting into the habit of “switching off” will save you money as well as reducing needless energy loss. And don't think buying low energy light bulbs gets you off the hook – they are much more energy efficient but the most energy-saving bulb of all is one that's turned off.
How many times do you make a cup of tea during a normal day - 4? 5? Most people over-fill their kettles, boiling water they will never use. This is a waste of energy. A simple tip is to have a cup or mug by the kettle. If you are making 4 cups of tea – pour 4 mugs of water into the kettle!