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tips for softies
Green Tips for softies
For quick (and free) tips on how to live
in a more sustainable manner, start here!
We welcome contributions, please use this form
Next time you get the vacuum cleaner out — give your fridge
a treat and save money. Run the cleaner gently over the coils on the back of
the fridge to remove the dust. The motor will run for shorter periods and
save you cash.
Turn down your central heating thermostat by 1 degree can
save up to 10% on fuel bills.
Fitting a low energy life bulb may seem like a costly
exercise, but in fact it will save you £10 a year in electricity! It will
pay for itself in as little as six months. Replace the ones that are on
longest the first.
A soon as dusk comes draw the curtains - your windows (even
if they’re double-glazed) are an energy leak point. This can save you around
£15 per year!
When you’re cooking always use a lid on your pan - it
dramatically cuts the energy used.
Set your central heating to cut out 30mins to 1 hour before
you go to bed - your house has ‘cooling down time’. Experiment with the
Taking a shower instead of a bath, depending on the length
of time you shower it can use as little as 1/5 of the hot water.
Simply remember to switch off unwanted lights!
If you have a microwave always use instead of an electric
cooker to heat small quantities of food - its much more energy efficient.
If you have ‘Jug’ type kettle (you should) only fill it to
the level you really need — don’t heat up water that you’ll just let cool
Avoid putting warm food in the fridge, always let it cool
down first, and don’t put uncovered food in the fridge the moisture released
make the fridge work harder.
Always put a full load in your washing machine - small loads
waste large amounts of energy.
Don’t leave the telly on when you’re not watching it (same
goes for the computer and radio).
If you have an extractor fan in the kitchen or bathroom —
turn it off as soon as it’s done its job. Left running for an hour could
empty a whole house full of warmed air!
Defrost your fridge regularly a build up of frost on the
elements will dramatically reduce its efficiency.
When cooking electric make sure you match the pan size to
the hotplate to avoid wasted energy, with gas make sure the flame only heat
the bottom of the pan.
If you use a tumble drier always dry heavier items like
towels separately from lighter items.
Don't leave electrical items such as TVs, PC screens etc
on standby.......they use a surprising amount of energy overnight.
From Angela Cosens
To see how much electricity a kettle uses, look at the
dial on your electricity meter and watch the speed it moves (say with only a
couple of lights and the tv on in the house).. Then fill the kettle and go
back and look at the dial..... Watch the dial spin... This just goes to show
how much electricity can be saved if you put only the amount of water you
need to boil in the kettle. From
you leave your TV on stand-by, it uses a third of the electricity it would
use to have it totally turned on... Do not leave your television on
stand-by, you will use lots less electricity. From
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OK so we can’t persuade you to give up your
car! But here are some really easy tips to reduce its impact on the world.
Try to drive less. Think about whether you always
need to use your car. Cutting out some of those short
really help in reducing emissions.
Watch your fuel
consumption. Check your fuel consumption, and make sure your car is running
as efficiently as possible. If in doubt, get it serviced
Drive more slowly! It can save lives, but will also save you money. For
example, you use 30% more fuel driving at 70mph than 50mph
Drive more smoothly! Think ahead - and avoid sharp braking and rapid
acceleration. It saves fuel.
Switch off - don't idle!
If you've stopped, switch off! If you're idling, while waiting or in a
am, you're getting zero miles to the gallon. So, switch off if
you can - and that applies to the air conditioning too!
Check your tyre pressure If your tyres are at the right pressure,
you'll drive more smoothly and save fuel
Cut down wind
resistance Remove roof racks and other accessories if you're not using them:
a fully loaded roof rack increases consumption by 30%!
Use your gears as efficiently as possible Drive in as high a gear as
possible. You'll use a quarter less fuel doing 40mph in fifth than in third!
Travel light! If you don't need it, don't take it.
Plan your journey! There's
no surer way to waste fuel than to get lost! Be certain that you have
planned the best way to your destination, and think about the time you
travel - don't travel in the rush hour, if you can avoid it.
Share your trips If you can share your car, you'll save emissions and
share the cost.
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Green TIPS for
While you’re in the supermarket take a look at the stacks of
plastic carrier bags at the checkout and imagine them multiplied by the
number of checkouts in the average supermarket and the number of
supermarkets in the country and the number of shopping days per year!
Buy yourself (or make) a small drawstring bag, enough to hold ten or so
carrier bags (they pack VERY TIGHTLY) and take it with you when you go
For extra public ‘greenie points’ get your granny (or
granddad!) to embroider the words ‘Saving the Planet’ on the outside of your
bag and wave it in front of the checkout person before opening it.
This one is only for the very brave — after the goods have
gone past the scanner, slowly remove the outer packaging and leave it on the
checkout. If anyone out there actually does this PLEASE take a photograph
and send it to us. Packaging uses energy — unnecessary packaging consumes
Start saving EVERY envelope that comes through your letter
box, keep them tidy with an elastic band and RE_USE them.
If you want to re-cycle, but dont want all those bottles,
cans, newspapers and the rest hanging around..... buy some storage boxes, or
even better make some, funk them up (you could use some of that paint
leftover in the bottom of tins in the cellar or old wrapping paper perhaps),
label them and stack them, or have them side by side, in the kitchen or
other appropriate room.
Then stand back in admiration as your friends
congratulate you on your recycling, artistic flair. They may even be so
inspired that they rush home and try to recreate your masterpieces, whilst
rummaging around in their rubbish for the re-cyclables......
(thanks to Kate Lovett from Pembrokeshire
for that one..)
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Next time you go shopping for fruit & vegetables look at the
‘country of origin’ and choose the product that has travelled the least.
Transport uses energy, choosing locally
produced food saves energy and pollution from the truck, ship or plane(!)
that brought those goods to the shop.
For extra public ‘greenie
points’ take a child shopping with you, pick up one of the offending
products and say quit loudly "Well we’re not buying that, think of the
energy it’s used up just getting here!
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