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Thread: Simple things in the home that can help save the planet!

  1. #1

    Smile Simple things in the home that can help save the planet!

    A list for all to share the little things around the home that not only save the planet but also reduce your bills!

    If you think of something - post it and we can update the sticky

    Use energy saving lightbulbs in every light fitting - not just main lights - lamps as well! Huge savings!

    Turn off ANY light that you dont use - I for example have even turned the light off in my fridge as I can already see in the fridge when its open cuz of the light in the kitchen! If your leaving a room - turn the light off!

    Dont leave applicances on stand by - you may think that not alot of energy is being used but your apllicance us pretty much the same amount when on Stand by - the electric current is still passing through the system and that whats costs pennys and means more energy has to be produced!

    Use your kettle - If you have both gas and electric use a kettle to boil water for a pan - its cheaper and uses less energy to boil it with the electric than it does with the gas!

    Save water inside - Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth - some people leave the tap running while they are standing there brushing and all the water is being wasted - you have to pay for that water! When running the water and waiting for it to warm up fill up a kettle for example to save wasting the water. Fill an empty plastic bottle with water & put in the fridge so u don't have to run the tap too long to get a cold glass of water.

    Save water outside - If you have a garden instead of attaching a hose pipe to wash your car get a big water but in your back garden to collect rain water and the water from your drain pipes - then use this water to feed your plants or wash your car! why pay for it when the planet gives it to you for free!

    Use less heating - If you have the money to get your walls and roof insulated then do it - its definately cheap in the long run! Whether you can afford this or not if you feel yourself getting cold - reach for a jumper and not the heating! I'm not saying freeze yourself to save the planet but when walking towards the heating system in just your underwear complaining about being cold just think twice!

    Switch your energy type - All power companies offer to put you on a green electricity plan - where all the electricity you recevie comes from reneable energy sources like wind power for example - this will dramatically reduce your carbon emmisions!

    Walk more! - When just about to jump in your car just think whether a car journey is required - a brisk walk will help save the planet, save you the money on petrol and is also good for your body!

    Recycle - Recycle everything and anything! Its really not hard to manage your waste effectively! Use an old cupboard or kitchen cupboard to store the items that are going to be recycled and I guarntee you will be surprised but how much your household waste reduces! Also, if you need to rinse out bottles/tins etc use the bath water once your finished with it - no need to waste more water washing them out!

    Wash clothes efficiently - washing tablets and detergents now a days do not need to be washed a rediculous temperatures - 30 and 40 degree washes will definately get your clothes clean without wasting too much energy. Also in the summer use the outside to dry your clothes and in the winter use clothes horses in a spare room to dry your clothes - electic clothes driers both damage the threads of your clothing and use up lots of energy!

    Even recycle your food - Get yourself a compost bin - they are robust and tall enough now to ensure you dont have any rat visitors - simply throw any fruit, vegetables and tea bags in there as well as cardboard tiny bits of wood, egg shells and shredded paper can go in the composter too - not only will you be cutting down on the amount of landfill space used but take into effect your other recycling and you will hardly have ANY waste! Of course your garden will be very thankful - if you havent got a garden why not donate your compost to a neighbour of a family memeber?

    Get insulated! - even if its simply getting some insulation for the gaps under the doors or around the windows do it - you will quickly notice the difference for a very cheap outlay as well.

    Take a shower - Now we all love our baths and we're not saying don't have one - we all deserve a nice relax sometimes but try and ensure you are taking more showers than baths. If you live in a family then re-use the bath water or take seperate showers - having repeative baths takes up more water than you think.

    Buy applicances carefully - Make sure that when you buy new electrical appliances, kitchen in paticular that you try and get the best energy rating possible. Not only will it be cheaper on the bills but it looks like the government will soon be rewarding house which can prove they are energy efficient by lowering council tax rates!

    Stay warm IN bed - Use a hot water bottle or a wheat pillow that can be reheated to keep any part of you warm instead of using the heating and/or a electric blanket - at the end of the day your going to be asleep and paying for something you wont benefit from - if you like me and dont like to be cold in the winter when you get up simply put the heating on timer to come on and hour before you wake up to ensure your not cold!

    Recycle your batteries
    - Both Tesco and Argos will accept old batteries - please dont throw them in the bin!

    Every little helps - Turn your heating down by just one degree - you'll be surprised how much it saves.Turnng down by just 1 degree saves 240kg carbon thats the same as planting eight trees!

    Think about what you use - Use green washing products, try and use washable nappies or biodegradable ones, try and buy products with less packaging re loose veg, do you need to put them in a bag? Reuse bags. Don't forget to use your Bag for Life & not just in Tesco. Find inventive ways to recyle things. Use freecycle. Buy recyled paper products. If buying compost make sure its peat free. Wood and charcol from substainable sources.

    Clean the Green way - Using ECloth's and Eco balls, save on chemicals, save on pounds and Eco friendly too. Angel green products. You can use green products for household cleaning such as soapnuts for laundury, ecover products or tescos own brand, bio d, urtekram shampoos all natural ingredients powered all by wind power etc. Vinegar for cleaning/fabric softner.

    Be clever when you cook - Put lids on saucepans when cooking. Make up large batches of food to freeze & use at a later date - uses less energy than making smaller portions from scratch. If you have an electric cooker with a solid plate or ceramic hob, turn off a few minutes before the food has finished cooking and it will carry on with the heat that is left. Rice is especially easy to do this with. Leave the lid on and it will cook in the steam. It's very useful if you are dashing in and out as it cooks while you are out. If there is still some heat when you remove the pan, put some cold water in a pan to warm up to help with washing up.
    You probably need to experiment, depending on your cooker. Match the correct saucepan to the size of the hob, saving 40% of energy!

    Get a lagging jacket - for your heater. It needs to be 75mm thick and costs ?10, you will save this in just a few weeks!

    Charge your phone efficiently - UNPLUG CHARGERS WHEN NOT IN USE. If chargers for devices such as mobile phones and MP3 players were unplugged when not in use, the UK could save enough electricity each year to power 115,000 homes. Chargers are not huge energy consumers in their own right, but across the UK those left plugged in unnecessarily waste over ?60m and are responsible for a quarter of a million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year. If a charger feels warm when it is plugged in without being attached to a device it is still converting energy.

    Think about your water thermostat - Turn down your water thermosat, it does not need to be any higher than 60.

    Drive light - Remove any excess baggage from your car, including bottles destined for the bottle bank! every 100lb weight reduces fuel economy by 2%

    Leave your clothes fresh - Tumble dryers are energy guzzlers, invest in an airer.

    Recycle while you work - Recycle your vending cups at work at , or better still get people to bring in their own mug.

    Stay cosy - Close the curtains at night, around 40% of heat is lost through windows.

    Use every drop - Recycle left over paint, at landfill its a pollutant, and so much is thrown away, give it to

    It may be cheap but it comes at a price - Shun duty free, it weighs the aircraft down, on board watch your waste.

    Maintain your radiators - Keep radiators at their maximum efficency through regular bleeds, and adding a foil reflector, increases their efficency.

    All at the click of a button - Invest in a intelliplug When you switch off your pc, it automatically powers down other devices.

    Share the fun - Support toy libaries, toys are often made from plastic, so donate your kids castoffs. They provide free toys to borrow and run play sessions.

    How old is your fridge? - If your fridge is over 7 years old invest in a Savaplug,, to regulate energy - this already happens in newer models.

    Make your voice heard - Lobby the office to fit a light sensor.

    Keep your fridge efficient - Give your fridge a spring clean, your fridge/freezer accounts for 25% of your bill, so keep it efficent by cleaning the coils at the back.
    Last edited by M3chanical_animal; 30th December 2007 at 11:02. Reason: Updated

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  2. #2


    Excellent informative post M3, thank you!

  3. #3


    Trying to think of tips to add M3 but you seem to have thought about everything!

    My biggest problem is a badly fitting front door which makes the hall way very cold, and as that is where the thermostat for the heating is it turns the heating on when perhaps it need not be on.

    I also have a dripping tap I know I should get fixed.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep 2006
    Another planet half the time!


    I remember growing up my mum used to put tin foil behind the radiators, and I bought some foil insulating stuff for behind mine in the living room. No idea how effective it is, but I'm sure it helps in some way!

  5. #5


    Excellent M3

    I get cold feet and can't sleep at night.

    My tip is use a hot water bottle or wheat pillow that can be warmed up in minutes instead of an electric blanket.

    Also we have to rinse all our plastic bottles out before recycling. Don't rinse them under the tap, throw them in the bath water just as effective unless your bath is full of bubbles and bath oil

  6. #6


    Ok peeps - 5 more have been added - have created this into a sticky so that new commers to the Eco forum can find the easy ways to make a difference - put your thinking caps on and come up with some more - doesnt matter how small you think it is!

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  7. #7


    You can also add cardboard to your compost bin, toilet roll and kitchen roll tubes and any plain cardboard can go in.

    With regard to composting food waste, it depends on the type of bin you have. The one supplied by my local authority has no bottom and it sits on the soil. It is possible for rats or mice to enter it from below the soil. Table scraps should not be put into the bin. It should only be vegetable peelings and tea bags in addition to garden waste.
    Last edited by M3chanical_animal; 20th March 2007 at 23:48. Reason: oooops - sorry edited the wrong post - have not changed it.

  8. #8


    Recycle your old batteries Tesco and Argos both have battery recycling tubs in their stores.
    or buy a battery recharger

  9. #9


    Quote Originally Posted by tiger View Post
    You can also add cardboard to your compost bin, toilet roll and kitchen roll tubes and any plain cardboard can go in.

    With regard to composting food waste, it depends on the type of bin you have. The one supplied by my local authority has no bottom and it sits on the soil. It is possible for rats or mice to enter it from below the soil. Table scraps should not be put into the bin. It should only be vegetable peelings and tea bags in addition to garden waste.
    I've not got a garden or a compost bin myself - thanks Tiger I'll update

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  10. #10


    thanks guyz I've updated

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