Here are a few top tips on how to survive the credit crunch and become greener during difficult times;
Many people leave their heating thermostat on the same setting all year round. It’s a good idea to adjust your thermostat to reflect the season. If your boiler also has a water thermostat, turn that down as well, it’s amazing how many people have their water heated to almost boiling level, and then use cold water to cool it down!
On fine days, put your washing outside on the line to dry. It’s tempting to use hot radiators to dry your washing, but if you end up opening the windows when the rooms become too hot, energy is wasted.
3. Save Money - Put a Full Load In The Washing Machine & Dishwasher
Tempting as it may be to put the washer on half full, or half load the dishwasher to get cleaning tasks done, it’s more economical to wait until you have a full load. Another tip is to not spin your clothes on the maximum spin speed in the summer months. This will save energy and make your clothes last longer. Also try washing on a lower temperature, you may not notice the difference. The last tip here is to use less washing powder, this is better for the environment as well as your pocket!
4. Interlined Curtains
Getting interlined curtains is in effect like having a thin duvet hanging across the window, it will reduce the amount of heat that can get to the window and escape through it. A customer of ours once commented on the difference in temperature between the centre of the room and the gap between her interlined curtains and the window, and their windows were double glazed as well! Alternatively you can buy curtains with blackout or thermal lining. These linings will reduce any drafts that exist around the windows. Very useful if your windows are old original windows. Getting made to measure curtains is cheaper than new windows and they brighten up your house.
5. Get a Condensing Boiler
Old boilers can use a lot of power. To save money
, and help the environment, take a look at newer boilers. You can now buy a brand new condensing boiler for relatively little expenditure, and you could see your energy bills decrease substantially as a result. Alternatively, make sure that your existing boiler is serviced on a regular basis.
6. Buy Energy Saving Light Bulbs
Energy saving bulbs can now be bought in many high street shops, they cost slightly more than an average bulb, but use a lot less power, so you will soon recoup the initial expenditure and end up saving yourself money.
7. Reduce Drafts Round Doors & Windows
This is especially important during the colder months – try to ensure that doors and windows are maintained, and that any gaps are filled in. Also consider using draft excluders behind your doors to keep the cold out of a room. In doing so, you could find yourself turning the heating down in your home.
8. Save Money - Only Heat The Rooms That You Use
If you don’t use a room upstairs, make sure that the radiators in it are turned off. Also consider turning off radiators in bedrooms - extra blankets can be added to keep the bed warm, so a radiator is not always required in sleeping areas.
9. Water Reducing Shower Heads
Use a special water reducing shower nozzle – you can buy nozzles at a very reasonable price from many DIY or homeware shops, then you will save water every time you shower.
10. Wear a Sweater
Let’s face it - walking round in a t-shirt in January is illogical, especially if you have the heating on full blast in the house. Layer up and save on your bills.
11. a bicycle
Not only is a green alterative to cars, it also builds exercise into your daily routine.
12. Consider Getting a Wood Stove
If you live in the country and have a supply of wood, this could be a very economical and green energy solution.
13. Compost Your Waste
Instead of throwing your food waste into your bin, use it to make your own compost. Buy a cheap compost bin from a DIY or garden shop, or make your own.
14. Recycle Your Clothes
When you next drop your bag of unwanted clothes at the charity shop have a good look around. You may surprise yourself. Some towns have vintage clothes shops or even second-hand designer clothes shops. Ebay is a good alternative especially if you know exactly what clothes/shoes/accessories you are looking for. There are bargains to be had.
15. Get On Ebay
Liquidise your assets and create space by selling unwanted items on ebay, even the most unusual items could make you a few pounds! It really is amazing what people will buy.
16. Try Free Hobbies
Some of the best things in life are free, so why don’t you go for a walk in the country or take the kids to the library for a change?
17. Can’t Afford A Holiday This Year? Go Camping
Go camping- Why not try a great, cheap, environmentally-friendly holiday? Tent technology has progressed a lot in recent years - no more leaky tents and wet food! Borrow a tent and see how you get on. Look for camping sites that are local to you, to save on petrol costs.
18. Combine Car Trips
Plan your trips, and where possible combine trips. If you have to take the kids to a party, try and do the food shopping as well.
19. Walk To School
The UK is at the start of an obesity epidemic amongst children, with diabetes expected to rise significantly over the next few years. Children who exercise are more alert in class.
20. Modify Your Driving Style
Drive with anticipation, leave a bigger gap between you and the car in front. You will find that you do less ‘gas and brakes’ style driving, which is much more relaxing and less stressful. Rather than seeing how quickly you can get from A to B, play the ‘how many miles can I get from a tank of fuel’ game. All this will reduce your fuel bill put less wear and tear on the car (tyres last longer and so does the car).
21. Cold Tap or Hot Tap?
It is almost habit to use the hot tap for