In the last year, I have actively changed my habits to go green but sometimes it’s not cheap. We can’t all afford solar panels on our homes or a brand-new electric car (or just a brand-new car for that matter) but there are things we can all do to take a step in the right direction.
One mistake I made was trying to do too many at once, it’s a case of training your mind to start thinking differently. Make two to three changes and then add to it. You will start noticing you have changed your old habits and the new ones are automatic.
Here are my tips
- Take your own bags to the shop.
You can purchase little tote bags everywhere nowadays and they come in handy little pouches that fit in your pocket or bags. Some even have a clip that you can attach to the outside of your bag.
- Change your light bulbs to LED
It’s well known that LED light bulbs used up to 80% less electricity than traditional bulb. Traditional bulbs need more electricity to function.
- If you have a condenser dryer, use the water to water the plants
The water tank that collects the water can be used to water your plants rather than throwing it down the sink. Or even, if you have one, add it to your water butt.
- Turn off the lights when you are not using them.
There is no reason why you should have the lights on in a room you’re not using. It’s a waste of electricity.
- Fix any dripping taps
Sometimes, it’s only a case of replacing a washer but the amount of water that is wasted due to a dripping tap is eye-watering. Water is not an infinite resource and shouldn’t be wasted. If you have a dripping tap, call a plumber.
- Reuse your old mobile phone
We all have old mobile phones gathering dust in a draw somewhere. Why no utilise it? I downloaded an app so I could use my mobile phone as a CCTV camera. It now sits at the back of the house and alerts me when anyone comes near the back door.
- Buy fruit and veg with no packaging and only what you need
A few months ago, this really got to me. I wanted to buy a lemon but the supermarket didn’t have any loose ones, they were only available in packs of four; I didn’t want four. So, I went to a local greengrocer and bought a lemon. The pack of four lemons were sold in that plastic netting that can’t be recycled. No thanks!
- Stop Junk mail
What do you do with junk mail? I have a quick flick through and put it into the recycling. What an absolute waste. The easiest way is to create your own sign saying ‘no junk mail’ on your door.
- Energy efficient appliances
Appliances are now tested and improved to ensure their efficiency. There are many appliances that now come with a rating of A+, A++ or A+++ tells us that the products has a lower energy consumption.
- Clean the back of your fridge
I didn’t know this until very recently. All fridges gather dust at back but how often do you clean the dust? Probably once? Never? The dust makes the fridge work harder which uses more energy. Dust every so often to keep your fridge working efficiently.
- Check your tyre pressure regularly
If your tyre pressure is too high or too low, it makes the car work harder to compensate, which uses more fuel.
- Print on both sides of the paper
If you have to print something, and it’s not confidential. Keep the paper to one side and if you need to print something else, use the other side. I do this all the time and had saved me quite a bit of money on paper.
- Go paperless
Do you really need a printed copy of your bank statement? You will probably look at it once, file it then you will eventually shred it. Bank/credit card/ energy statements are all kept online. If you don’t want to keep logging onto your bank to view them, you can download them to your computer or even save them to a cloud storage. Ask yourself, do you really need a printed copy?
- Insulate your loft
A lot of heat is lost through the roof due to poor insulation. If this isn’t resolved, you are more likely to increase the thermostat to keep warm. You are best to get a professional in to sort this out for you.
- Buy second-hand where you can
This is one that I’ve embraced a lot recently. When something is no longer needed but still useful, it can be ditched at the tip, which is a complete waste. I needed a new set of chest of drawers and instead of buying a brand new one for £55, I found a second-hand one on Facebook Marketplace for £8. It was in very good condition apart from a little dent at the back that no one will see. You can also save a lot of money by doing this.
- Make do and mend
In my grandmother’s time, she would always say ‘make do and mend’ and I feel that this has been lost through the generations. How many times have you thrown a sock away because it has a whole in them? It won’t take long to sew them up and keep wearing them. You don’t need a sewing machine; a small sewing kit will suffice.
These are my easy tips, of course, this is a subject that I can do on and on about. I will look at writing another blog with further tips.
In the meantime, why do you share your tips!