Do your bit without the hassle and youll make some savings, too
1. Cool it
It doesnt take much effort to turn the dial to 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees on your washing machine. Itll use 40% less energy, so its better for the planet, cuts your bills, and may even help your clothes look good for longer as cooler water reduces colour loss.
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 youll 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, Sainsburys 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 theyre a great investment.
4. Save water
A brick in your toilets 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 youre 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 thats 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 youre 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
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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