Content: 1357 words
Reading time: 4 min 56 sec
Article by: Ryan Thomas
The climate emergency we are facing is getting worse. Although campaigners like Greta Thunberg are bringing action into the spotlight; we still have a way to go. As it stands, rising sea levels, mass-extinctions, and plastics that last forever are all against us. With a whole planet to fight for – it is time to act!
All of us are seeking ways we can lessen our impact on the planet. What many people don’t seem to realise is that being Eco-friendly can also save our finances! Here we have put together a guide to help you save both the planet and your wallet in the coming months.
Read on and find out how to be more eco friendly and save money at the same time.
Close Your Curtains At Night
This is essential for those of us that don’t have double glazed windows! Closing your curtains at night effectively keeps 50-100 watts of extra heat in your home. Many of us close our bedroom curtains – but what about the other rooms in your home?
Experts have calculated that it could seriously impact your heating bills. Closing your curtains will certainly lower your heating costs. It could save you as much as 10% over a year. Of course, using this method you aren’t just helping your purse strings. You are also shrinking your carbon footprint by not wasting energy!
Insulate Hot-Water Pipes
Heat transference is a real problem, especially in colder areas. If your hot water pipes aren’t insulated then you will be losing energy! Sources say that insulating your hot water pipes against heat loss can result in a big energy saving.
Not only that but it will raise your water temperature by as much as four degrees. This means you burn less gas or electricity when heating the water. There is no need to insulate pipes in airing cupboards etc. But lofts, cellars and all other exposed pipework is fair game!
Start Using LED Light Bulbs
The LED light bulb gives a brighter light than a regular bulb. LEDs provide the same benefits as traditional light sources – but they do it by burning about 80% less wattage. For instance, a 5W LED candle bulb is equal in light output to a 40W standard candle bulb.
Better still; LED lamps are available as tubes, reflectors, candles, golf balls and several others. That enables you to light a room in any way required leaving a minimal carbon footprint.
Repair Dripping Taps
Dripping taps are annoying at the best of times. And, whether they're hot or cold they are damaging the environment and costing you cash. A single dripping tap moving at 60 drips a minute will run away 5 gallons of water. Repeat this once a day and your water bill will be sky-high after a year.
Around half a billion people worldwide currently suffer from severe water scarcity. Although the UK only suffers this problem in the high summer, it should be a focus for all. So, fix the tap, save some money and do your bit for planet earth.
Fit Reflector Panels Behind Radiators
This trick is beloved by students everywhere! By fitting a reflective panel behind a radiator the heat will be bounced back. Instead of soaking into the wall and being lost, the warm air is circulated back to heat the room. It’s a simple trick on how to be more eco friendly.
Why is this a favourite student trick? Because most of them don't have much money and it's a great way of cutting down on heating bills. If you can’t afford to have a reflective panel fitted you will get the same effect using tin foil. Blue-tack the foil onto the wall and bingo! An instant saving for both you and the planet.
Buy The Correct Sized Heater
When you move into a new home make sure you choose your heaters wisely. A heater that is too powerful will do nothing but overheat the room. Similarly, a heater that is too small will be working flat out but you will never feel warm enough.
You can avoid all of this by selecting the appropriate size of heater for the room. Then set the stat to mid-temperature to begin with, then turn it up or down as needed. Eventually, you will find the correct setting and right level of warmth. The Earth will thank you and so will your bank balance.
Replace Your Old Boiler
Technology moves so quickly that we sometimes blink and miss it. That's just how it is with boilers and heating systems. The boiler that you had installed 10 years ago will not be as efficient as a modern boiler. So, replacing your old boiler with something new could save you cash.
A gas condensing boiler or solar-powered heating system will cost more to install. But, they are cheaper to run and there is a huge selection of ethical boilers from which to choose. By ethical, it means there are plenty of low emission models available. Have a browse online and see if there is one suitable for you.
Wear More Clothes At Home
This is so simple – yet so effective! Try turning your thermostat down by one degree and popping a cardigan on. It has been calculated that this will save you around 10% of your annual heating bill – per single degree. Turn it down two degrees and you save 20%, and so on.
MPs in the UK very recently advised us that turning down our thermostats will help fight the climate crisis. For them to meet their climate targets by 2050 this could be a huge help. If we all cut down by a single degree it would produce major benefits.
Recycle Electrical Appliances
All too often we throw away things that are broken. This so-called ‘disposable culture’ is one of the things that needs to be resolved to help the planet recover.
When something electrical develops a fault, why not take it to be repaired. Or, if you're throwing it out because you've bought a new one, why not give the old one to a friend instead. This way, the shelf life of the product improves and helps the environment.
The more often we re-use electrical products, the less harmful impact they have on our planet. Reduce, re-use, and recycle needs to be our new policy for electrical goods across the board.
Drip-Dry Your Dishes
Drip drying your dishes, pots and pans can help save on energy. After all, dishwashers are luxury items – so try not to use one if you can.
Hand washing you cutlery only takes a few minutes and letting them dry naturally is not difficult to do. You can buy a wire dish rack for only a few pounds and that’s a lot cheaper than a dishwasher. And the wire dish rack will stand right on the drainer next to the kitchen sink.
It's well known that dishwashers are very expensive to run. That cost will depend on the efficiency of the dishwashers but it could be as much as £70 over the course of a year. If you eliminate this energy cost you could see a huge drop in your electric bills.
Start Saving Today!
With so much demand for energy, it's no surprise suppliers keep growing and growing. When gas firms expand we end up with fracking, wars over oil and environmental disasters. Fortunately, the planet seems united in this one thing at least – the environment. Things need to change before environmental damage becomes irreversible.
By following the tips outlined in this guide you can find out how to be more eco friendly. And, although energy bills in the UK are at an all-time high, it should also help you save some money.
Currently, a standard UK household uses about 3,940kWh per year in electricity alone. Collectively, UK homes spend £3.4 billion on energy annually. With those figures, isn’t it about time we all started cutting down?
Join the fight today and start saving energy. Let’s all work together and try to leave a better planet for the people who come here after us.