Environmental Issues

Simple ways to help you to save money as well as the environment

 Want to take action at home? Here are some simple environmental tips which can help you to save money and improve the environment.

 Heating

  • Turn your central heating thermostat down to between 18°C and 22°C. Turning it down by 1% can save as much as 10% from fuel bills.
  • Heavy curtains keep out draughts, especially if they have a thick lining, reach the floor or window sill and have a number of folds. Don't hang curtains in front of radiators though.

 Cooking 

  • Only heat the amount of water you need.
  • Use boiled water immediately rather than leaving it and then reboiling.
  • Put well-fitting lids on pans.
  • Keep heat on the base of the saucepan, do not let flames lick the sides of the pan.
  • Keep your fridge temperature at 2 to 3°C and freezer at -15°C. Check the fridge is not near a cooker or any other heat sources.
  • Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly.

 Washing 

  • Use low temperature washes whenever possible.
  • Try to dry clothes naturally.

 Appliances

  • Turn televisions and other appliances off at the mains. Leaving appliances on standby still uses energy.
  • Turn off your home computer when it is not in use.
  • Energy efficient light bulbs are more expensive than standard bulbs but they will last up to 10 times longer which conserves significant energy. They are most effective when used for lights that are left switched on for long periods of time
  • Try placing foil behind radiators. Household foil will do, although it is possible to buy foil for this purpose from DIY stores.
  • Look into cavity wall insulation, condensing boilers and loft insulation, all of which could save energy or money.
  • If possible, buy the most energy efficient products possible. Ask retailers and manufacturers for information, and look out for the Energy Efficiency Recommended Logo.
  • For free Energy Efficiency Advice from Climate Benefits, contact freephone: 0800 783 2503.

 Water

  • Turn off taps if you do not need them, for example when cleaning your teeth.
  • A washing machine can use as much as 95 litres water per cycle. Using a full load uses less energy, water and costs less overall than washing half loads. The same can be applied to dishwashers.
  • Flushing the loo can use around 15 litres of water. Placing a brick in the cistern or using a hippo from the water company can lead to considerable savings. Toilet cisterns manufactured after 1993 usually use less water per flush.
  • Think of ways to use 'grey water', from cooking or fish tanks. This water can often be used in the garden and for watering household plants.

 Waste

  • Recycling saves the earth's resources. Every tonne of recycled glass saves over a tonne of raw materials.
  • Recycling saves energy. Recycling aluminium cans saves 95% of the energy required to extract natural resources and make a new can. 
  • Recycling helps conserve the environment as it reduces the need to mine raw materials, limiting the impacts of mineral extraction on the landscape.
  • Remember the 3R's and apply them to your own waste before disposing of it - Reduce, Reuse, Recycle.