Follow these tips to go a shade greener…
1. Put an end to Junk mail
It is possible to stop junk mail! Either register with the Mailing Preference Service at www.mpsonline.org.uk or call 0845 703 4599 to stop addressed mail, or to avoid unaddressed mail opt out at firstname.lastname@example.org. And don’t forget - recycle any junk mail you do receive.
2. Buy energy saving light bulbs
If every household installed just one energy saving light bulb, the electricity saved in a year could power the Blackpool Illuminations for nearly 900 years. To go one step further replace old appliances with energy efficient (A or A+ rated) ones.
3. Switch off
Turn appliances off at the mains, rather than leaving them on standby. It is estimated that if everyone in the UK turned equipment off standby we could shut down 2 power stations. Monitor the temperature in your fridge and freezer and keep them full to save even more energy.
4. Wash at 30o
Doing your washing at 30o rather than a higher temperature saves you money and saves energy. Also, try hanging your washing out to dry rather than using the tumble-dryer.
5. Save water
Taking a shower instead of a bath uses around a fifth of the water, and you can reduce this even further by installing a low flow shower head. You can also use a ‘hippo’ water saver in the cistern of your toilet, make sure none of your taps are dripping and harvest rainwater to use in the garden.
6. Turn the heating down
Reducing the temperature of your heating by 1o can cut your bill by up to 10% and closing your curtains at night helps to keep warm air in and cold air out!.
7. Cook greener
Try to cut down on take-aways and ready meals, and cook using local fresh ingredients. Only use just enough water to cover vegetables, and use the right size ring on the hob. Eating less meat is good for you, and much better for the environment, as it uses more energy and water to produce meat than to produce vegetables or cereals. Compost any vegetable waste left over from cooking.
Most of us recycle glass, cans, paper, even plastics, but there are a whole host of other items that we should be recycling. Many charities accept mobile phones, ink cartridges, stamps and old coins either to sell on or recycle; items like batteries, clothes, textiles and shoes can all be recycled in recycling banks found in household recycling centres and many supermarkets. For more information check out Aston’s Recycling A-Z or try your local recycling guide.
9. Change energy supplier
Signing up to a green energy supplier or green tariff means you are reducing your carbon emissions and supporting renewable energies. Try www.uswitch.com or www.moneysupermarket.com to change from your current supplier.
Insulating your walls and loft space can dramatically reduce the amount of energy you use to heat your home. Insulating your hot water tank and piping reduces heat loss.