I run an online eco retail shop and am committed to helping the earth in whatever way I can. I firmly believe that we as individuals can all make a difference by making greener and more ethical choices. For me, saving energy is a priority because this will not only save money, but it will also help preserve our planet. It means a change of attitude and giving up old habits, but ultimately it’s something we’re all capable of doing. Here are my top energy saving tips:
Don’t use stand by
Gadgets left on stand by are responsible for producing 4 million tonnes of excess carbon dioxide (CO2) each year. An average family can save 150kg of CO2 a year just by turning off appliances. Appliances in standby mode account for around 10% of UK household energy use. If we switch off or unplug devices when not in use, or invest in a standby saver, you’ll save around £40 per year.
Use energy efficient lighting
In most homes, lighting accounts for 10 to 15% of the electricity bill. If we use a smart meter to compare the power consumption of normal light bulbs with that of low energy and energy saving light bulbs, we save about 80% of the energy of normal bulbs. It’s simple – use energy saving light bulbs!
Recharge those batteries
We throw away over 650m batteries every year in the UK, polluting the soil and clogging up landfill sites. Rechargeable batteries save energy, and the slightly higher cost is recovered in the first five charges. Recharging costs are also minimal.
Watch your washing
I try not to wash my clothes on a setting above 40C. A wash at 60C uses 30% more energy, as 90% of the energy used by a washing machine is used to heat the water. I also use Eco Balls or a natural laundry soap called Soapods to minimise the effect of harmful chemicals being released into the environment.
Defrost your freezer
It’s a messy job, but I try to defrost my fridge and freezer on a regular basis to maintain efficiency. I acquired a saving device developed in conjunction with the Department of Energy that helps me save up to 20% of my fridge’s energy by better regulating its power use. When fitted, it helps my fridge or freezer run more economically by adjusting the electricity supply according to the motor’s needs.
Lower the thermostat
I like woolly jumpers – wearing one means I can turn down the heating. Lowering the thermostat by just 1.5C can save up to 10% on heating bills and reduce the greenhouse gases households produce by up to a tonne.
Go to my website for more eco-friendly ideas and to see the full range of products available.
By Nigel Berman – Founder of www.nigelsecostore.com