Energy saving tips and ideas to help protect the environment
There are lots of ways we can save energy around the home to help lower our carbon footprint and save money by lowering energy bills. Being kind and considerate to our environment is crucial if we are to tackle climate change. Making small changes can make a big difference to our planet. Here are just a few ideas for positive changes we could make in our everyday lives. Can you think of any more?
Reduce the amount of meat and dairy products we consume. This could have a positive impact on both the environment and our physical well-being.
Eat locally produced food. The processing and transportation of food ingredients can require huge amounts of energy, especially where foodstuffs are transported from other countries.
Limit shower time / Don’t overfill the bath. Reducing shower times by even a minute or so can save a large quantity of water.
Before using a printer, ask yourself whether you really need a physical copy over a digital one. Also, look into whether your printer has any eco features that could reduce energy consumption.
Use an energy-efficient car and think about joining a car share scheme. Journeys with more than one passenger can be more economical. Could you share your journey with someone else who’s going to the same destination?
Eat meals together as a family. Meal times can offer a great oppurtunity to check-in with each other and connect with our families. Preparing and cooking shared meals can also be more energy-efficient than eating separately.
Dry clothes naturally. Fabrics dried outside in the sun and the wind can smell beautifully fresh! The UV rays from the sunlight may also reduce the bacteria living on fabrics.
Look after toys with care and pass them on to others, or a charity shop when you no longer want them. Instead of gathering dust in a dark attic, toys could be enjoyed by other children and even help raise money for good causes.
Try not to purchase too many items of clothing. Do you already have lots of items in your wardrobe that rarely get worn?
Wear warmer clothes (or more layers) indoors, before reaching for the thermostat. It sounds obvious, but wearing more layers is a more economical way of keeping warm!
Consider using a bicycle (or walking) for short journeys. This not only helps the environment, but can also help to keep us fit and healthy (in addition to saving money!).
Collect rainwater in a barrel/water butt to water the garden. If you live somewhere where it rains a lot, don’t let all that water go to waste. It can be used for watering flowers and vegetables.
Get energy from clean/renewable sources. Burning fossil fuels for energy releases Carbon Dioxide into the atmosphere which can contribute to the warming of our planet.
Wash clothes at lower temperatures to use less energy. Changing the temperature of a wash cycle from 40°C to 30°C can reduce energy consumption considerably.
Don’t leave water running whilst brushing your teeth. Since we brush our teeth every day, the quantity of water saved by adopting this small habit can be substantial over the course of a whole year!
Use eco-friendly paints for DIY projects. Household paints can contain thousands of chemicals. Some are friendlier to our health and the environment than others so it’s worth checking the information on the labels before you use them.
Consider installing solar panels to harness the sun’s energy. Solar panels can help to reduce energy bills whilst deriving clean, renewable energy from the sun.
Hold meetings virtually in the metaverse to cut down on travel. With readily accessible video conferencing software and immersive virtual reality experiences, the need to travel can be greatly reduced.
Reupholster old dining chairs instead of buying new ones. We can often be inclined to replace furniture which is structurally sound, when replacing the cover would give it a new lease of life.
Recycle glass and plastics where possible (and look at ways you could use less packaging generally in your everyday life).
Use the correct sized pans for cooking. Boiling water unnecessarily is a waste of energy, so it makes sense to only use the quantity we need and not over-fill pans.
Take old or damaged reading glasses to an optician to be repaired instead of buying new. There are also some charities and organisations to whom old spectacles can be donated to help others who are less fortunate.
Save and reuse old wrapping paper for gifts. Some wrapping papers are not recyclable, so it is better to reuse them than to throw them away.
Consider reducing the number of flights you take by taking a ‘staycation’. Transporting people by plane is extremely energy-intensive and can emit large amounts of CO2 and therefore harm the environment.
Avoid leaving devices on charge for longer than they need. For example, charging phones and tablets overnight.
Work from home. If possible, working from home some of the time can help to reduce unnecessary travel.
Plan meals in advance to avoid wasting food. Knowing which meals you are going to prepare in advance can be an effective way of saving money by not buying more food than you actually need.
Grow your own fruit and vegetables. Allotments are great, but small gardens and even windowsills can also offer opportunities to grow delicious, healthy food.
Wear more natural fabrics. Many clothing materials are made with plastic. Natural fabrics may be kinder to the environment.
Fix any drips and leaks in plumbing quickly. Even very small leaks can waste lots of water over time.
Thermal-lined curtains can help regulate a room’s temperature. Windows can sometimes be a source of heat loss from a room, especially older ones that are single glazed.
Borrow books from a local library or purchase digital versions or e-books. Some libraries even offer an e-book borrowing service.
Install energy-efficient windows in loft conversions. Double or triple-glazed windows will help prevent heat from escaping out of the house.
Avoid foods containing non-sustainably sourced oils. The farming and production of certain oils can have a detrimental effect on the natural environment.
Use a compost/heap bin for waste food. Organic food matter can be broken down into nutritious compost, filled with many of the elements needed to help plants thrive.
Leftover food can sometimes be incorporated into another recipe to eat the following day. Thinking of creative recipe ideas is a great way to use up leftover food, reduce waste, and save money.
Mend clothing that has holes or signs of wear. Embrace imperfections with colourful patches.
Don’t leave devices on standby for long periods of time. Even tiny amounts of energy consumption will add up over long periods of time.
Use a bamboo toothbrush. We can reduce our plastic usage by choosing everyday items which are made from sustainable materials.
Make sure loft/attic spaces are well insulated to prevent heat from escaping. Some insulations are also eco-friendly, being made from plant-based or recycled materials.
Consider reducing the use of hosepipes and sprinklers as they can use lots of water. Grass is resilient and strong and watering lawns too much can be unnecessary and wasteful.
Bulk buying certain items can cut down on the number of deliveries when shopping online. Moving goods from one place to another uses lots of energy, so it can be kinder to the environment to combine items into as few orders as possible.
We hope these energy conservation ideas have given you some food for thought!
Can you think of any more?