Living green is a great aim. But if you’re not a millionaire, the usual question is how to live green on a budget?
1. Wash your clothes colder
Boil wash stopped being the usual way of washing clothes years ago. Modern detergents work well at ever lower temperatures. Turn down the temperature dial on your washing machine. The only difference you’re likely to notice is on your energy bills.
2. Stop using washing detergent
This sounds a bit more radical. Most washing powder and tablets are derived from oil, so you’re not helping the planet much when you use them. There are eco-friendly versions but these are more expensive than regular powder. Instead, get you next thousand washes for a one off price by using Eco Balls.
3. Don’t use your tumble drier
Drying clothes naturally doesn’t take long, especially with faster spin cycles. Unless you absolutely need to wear an item of clothing immediately, let your clothes dry naturally.
4. Live warmer in the summer, cooler in the winter
Even a one degree change on your heating or air conditioning thermostat will make a difference to your energy bills. If it’s too cold, put on a sweater rather than turning up the heating.
5. Buy thicker curtains
Thick, lined curtains over your windows will keep the heat in during the winter. They work at least as well as double glazing and are much cheaper than replacing all your windows.
6. Shower instead of taking a bath
A shower uses less water, so you won’t have to heat as much water to get yourself clean. You’ll also save time too, which can be helpful on busy days. This doesn’t mean you have to cut out long, relaxing baths altogether. Just use them as an occasional treat instead of an everyday item.
7. When your light bulbs blow, replace them with energy saving versions
Energy saving bulbs are getting cheaper all the time. They’re also getting less ugly. So instead of reaching for 100 Watt bulb to replace the one that’s just blown, replace it with a 23 Watt energy saver. You can even get dimmable energy saving bulbs nowadays, so you can change the mood of your room and cut your energy consumption even further.
8. Check energy consumption when you replace your household appliances
When the time comes to replace your refrigerator, washing machine, etc then read the label. Most appliances now have energy rating information on them. If they don’t, check the manufacturer’s website which will almost certainly have the information. Chances are that spending an extra few dollars on a product will save much more than that in energy costs.
9. Don’t use standby
When you have finished with something, whether it’s a television or whatever, turn it off at the socket . Unless it absolutely needs to be left on standby, like a Tivo machine. Sure, it’s slightly less convenient. But you’ll save lots of dollars over the year as most products still draw lots of power even when they’re on standby. That goes for your computer monitor as well. The switch is on the front of that, so there’s not even a need to walk to a