Creating a sustainable home First steps to going green

There are plenty of things you can do that will help to save the planet – and benefit your wallet – without starting any major projects.

  • Switch off the lights when you leave a room.
  • Turn your heating and water thermostats down by 1°C (this can cut your bills by 10%).
  • Save water. Try not to let water run down the drain – use a plug or bowl in your basin. When you’re making a cup of tea, don’t fill the kettle to the brim – only use the amount of water you need.
  • Opt for a shower rather than a bath – as long as it’s not a power shower you’ll use about two-fifths of the water.
  • When you use the dishwasher, washing machine or tumble drier, make sure you have a full load.
  • Keep appliance temperature settings low and make use of energy or time-saver options if you have them.
  • Appliances such as televisions and stereos often use a similar amount of energy on standby as they do in use – turn them off.
  • Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly so they run more efficiently.
  • Close curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping.
  • Move your furniture away from radiators to allow heat to circulate.
  • Don’t leave mobile or cordless phones on charge – unplug them as soon as they are ready.
  • Recycle as much as possible, including using bath water to water your garden.
  • Don’t leave the tap on when brushing your teeth.

Once you get used to these simple changes, there are other areas that you can investigate to make your home more sustainable.

Start by filling in the information on the Energy Saving Trust website – go to the home energy check page. This gives you a guide to making your home more energy-efficient and a summary of how efficient your home is and what you can do to improve it.

Energy-efficient products

Another way to help create a more sustainable home is to buy energy-efficient products to use in your daily life.

The list of items that you can buy is huge, but do bear in mind that in most cases the cost of these products is higher than those from less sustainable sources.

To identify what products you can buy to help make your home more energy-efficient, look out for the energy saving recommended logo from the Energy Saving Trust.

One easy way to save money and use less electricity is to buy energy-efficient light bulbs.

Other sustainable products include environmentally-friendly cleaning products or energy-efficient appliances, especially those that use less electricity to run, such as tumble dryers, dishwashers and extractor fans.

Solar power charged products are clearly a good way to reduce your dependence on non-sustainable energy resources.

If you are carrying out home improvements, you can now buy virtually everything you need from sustainable materials, such as timber from sustainable forests.


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