Simple ways to be greener

These days most people would like to be greener, but not many of us have the necessary spare thousands of pounds for items such as ground source heat pumps and solar panels.  The following ideas are either cost saving or cost neutral, and many of them everybody knows, but 1000 people making a small saving, adds up to one big saving.

  1. Routinely turn off lights as you leave a room, (except neon strip lights)
  2. Don’t leave appliances on Standby. They use electricity.
  3. If you have rooms not used much, turn off the radiators and shut the door.
  4. Save water – don’t leave the water running while you clean your teeth or shower.
  5. Use less toothpaste – a pea sized amount is enough. All the adverts are made by manufacturers who want you to use more.
  6. Kettle – only boil the amount of water you need. A full kettle takes longer to boil and costs more in both electricity and water.
  7. Stop using conditioner in your washing machine. It’s really bad for the environment, contains toxins that are bad for people and comes in plastic bottles which release microplastics into your clothes, and into the water. Google it and you’ll never use fabric softeners again!
  8. Switch to bar shampoo. Cost is about the same but cuts out the plastic bottle.
  9. Wash clothes only when they really need it, not routinely after each wearing. Clothes deposit nasty microplastics into the rivers. Fewer washes will also prolong the life of the garment and save money by less use of the washing machine.
  10. If at all possible dry clothes outside using the latest modern technology – wind and solar power. Keep the tumble dryer for emergencies (and the radiators for wet days!) Tumble dryers are expensive to run.
  11. TOP TIP: make a weekly menu plan and shopping list. This is a win/win. It avoids throwing away rotten food, saves money on the shopping bill and cuts out the daily worry about what to give the kids for their tea. Stick the week’s menu up in the kitchen. With any luck your teenagers will start eating out some days, saving more money!
  12. If you are sufficiently organised/motivated, batch cooking can save time and money. ‘Basic sludge’ a mince mixture cooked up with onions and tomatoes can become spaghetti sauce, chilli, lasagne or shepherds’ pie. Freeze the batch in family sized portions which can be thawed and adapted quickly.

V Brown