Saturday, 25 April 2020 21:26

25 tips that will help us save energy, save money and save our planet

Lockdown has turned our lives upside down, disrupted our routines, had us housebound and given us time to think. Some of us got deep cleaning, some decluttering, some doing household chores we had never tackled before. I, for one, have become more aware of how we do things around the house. Even though I pride myself on ‘living lightly’ and watching my carbon footprint, I have realised there are a lot of things I can do better.

Everyone is talking about the ‘new normal’ and what that will be, and although we are not really sure, there are definitely things we can change, things we can improve upon, things we can do to take better care of our homes, our wallets and our planet!

Here are 25 simple tips that will help us save energy, save money and save our planet:

  1. Washing machine: Don’t overload, or underload. Use cold for everything except bed linen, which should be washed in hot water. About 90% of energy used to wash goes into heating the water. Try and use shortest cycle for lightly soiled.
  2. Tumble dryer: Use sparingly and only with nearly dry, not wet items.
  3. Washing up: Always wait until you have a load to wash. Never wash under running tap.
  4. Kettle: Only boil the amount you need at the time. When replacing kettle, buy one that shows water levels.
  5. Fridge: Open as little as possible. Don’t overfill, and clean regularly. Allow good airflow to ensure optimum use. Dust top and back of fridge regularly. Avoid fridges with dispensers on outside and gadgets as they use more energy.
  6. Dishwashers: Fill up before using, switch off before drying cycle and open door to allow to dry naturally.
  7. Oven: When using your large oven, try and double up on your cooking. Freeze extra and use later.
  8. Stove top: remember to use right size pot to stove plate. Keep lid on where possible. Turn off heat before food is fully cooked and leave on stove to cook through.
  9. All small appliances: Unplug when not in use. Even if switched off, they still use electricity.
  10. Compost food waste: Have a tub in the kitchen for all veg and fruit waste, egg shells and shredded wax paper, egg cartons. Find a corner in your garden to start a compost heap, or buy a compost tumbler. Save money on compost, and reduce your landfill footprint.
  11. Shower: As we already know showering is better than bathing. Use a timer when showering to reduce time, water consumption and money on water bills.
  12. Basin: Don’t leave tap running when brushing teeth or washing your face. Use cold water, unless hot is essential.
  13. Toilet: Put a brick in the cistern and only flush when necessary to save water and money. If it’s yellow…
  14. Lights: Switch off lights when not in use. Good to remember as we go into winter!
  15. Light bulbs: Convert to CFL’s or LED’s if you haven’t already done that.
  16. Hot water bottles: Use hot water bottles in winter, rather than electric blankets. I love my hottie, and love the memories it evokes.
  17. Appliances: Turn off all appliances at the plug when not in use. Appliances on standby use 80% of energy they would if switched on.
  18. Curtains: Open curtains and use natural light where possible. Having said that, in winter it’s a good odea to close them before it cools down too much.
  19. Geyser: Turn down to 55C. Insulate the geyser and pipes in ceiling. Switch you geyser off when you go away.
  20. Solar lights : These are a great idea in the garden.
  21. Outdoor lights: Install lights with daytime sensors
  22. Pool pump : Only use your pool pump when needed rather than on a timer.
  23. Insulation:  Insulation in your ceiling is a great energy saver, keeping your home cooler in summer and warmer in winter.
  24. Appliances: Turn off TV’s, DVD machines, computers at wall plugs and unplug where possible.
  25. YOUR BIGGEST ENERGY GUZZLERS: Geysers, then fridge and freezer, washing machine, tumble dryer, stove and dishwasher. When replacing any of these items buy the most energy efficient you can afford.

Do you have any more tips?

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