Seven lazy ways to go green

Do your bit without the hassle – and you’ll make some savings, too

1. Cool it

It doesn’t take much effort to turn the dial to 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees on your washing machine. It’ll use 40% less energy, so it’s better for the planet, cuts your bills, and may even help your clothes look good for longer as cooler water reduces colour loss.

2. Recycle

Your local council should be making it easy for you to recycle paper, glass and cans. But some councils take computer parts, batteries, printer cartridges and even furniture, and you’ll barely have to lift a finger to check out online if your local authority has a recycling centre for these things.

3. Swap your bulbs

You can now get energy-saving bulbs for all the lights in your home, from halogen bulbs to dimmable ones. Finding them is easy, too – at Tesco, Sainsbury’s and high-street shops such as Marks & Spencer. Eco bulbs use up to 80% less electricity than standard bulbs and last six times longer, so they’re a great investment.

4. Save water

A brick in your toilet’s cistern will save up to three litres of water every time you flush, but it could break up over time, damaging pipes. Try a plastic Hippo water saver from Marks & Spencer, or just put a plastic bottle full of water in your cistern with the lid screwed on, which will work in the same way.

5. Track energy use

Want to see how much you’re spending on electricity instantly? Just fit an Electrisave OWL energy monitor, £49.95 from Wind Trap, near your meter and watch the wireless monitor to see the pennies add up. Now that’s an incentive to turn the lights off!

6. Think before you throw

Oxfam has 19 furniture shops – see www.oxfam.org.uk to find your nearest – and, if you’re really lazy, many of them have a convenient collection service. Or try www.freecycle.org — you can get rid of stuff and find other nearly new items all from your armchair.

7. Clean up

They used to have a bad reputation performance and price-wise, but eco cleaning products from companies such as Ecover and Lakeland now work really well, look great and smell lovely – so add them to your supplies. Biodegradable bamboo cloths, £2.29 for 10, Lakeland

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