This infographic by Hillarys illustrates the way that every little step we make can all add up. This is often something many people neglect to think about, but it’s actually very similar to the idea that if everyone in the world gave you a penny, you would be a very rich person.
Here are a few more steps you can take to going green:
- A lot of heat is lost through windows and doors, so if you don’t have double glazing, opt for some insulating honeycomb or cellular blinds; their honeycomb structure traps air, and keeps rooms warm in the winter and cool in the summer. These blinds are specifically designed to keep heat in a room – just make sure you keep them open while the sun is shining to let it warm the room, and close them before it gets dark so the heat can’t escape!
- Try and cut your water consumption down by taking baths instead of showers; making them as short as possible. Little things like turning the tap off when brushing teeth or doing dishes can add up and make a difference too, but the simplest way to save water by far is to put a “water saver” in your toilet cistern. You’ll use up to half a gallon less water per flush. Water companies will usually provide you with a water saver if you ask, but if not, an unused brick or a plastic container with a lid, filled with stones or gravel, will do the same job.
- Switch to energy efficient light bulbs. Standard light bulbs have just gone out of production (in the EU at least), so this is about to get far easier! They might be slightly more expensive, but they more than pay for themselves over their lifetime in terms of energy costs. Basics such as turning off lights and appliances when they are not in use, and not leaving things on standby or unused chargers plugged in can all make a massive difference also.
- Recycle or re-use left-over packaging and containers whenever you can. Try to avoid buying excessively packaged goods in the first place. Use a lunchbox instead of buying pre-packing sandwiches or wrapping everything up in disposable cling-film. And if possible, bring your own mug and coffee to work to avoid endless plastic and paper cups.
- Keeping the heating on a low setting (if it’s on at all) can go a long way to saving energy and money, and doing the same with the hot-water thermostat on your boiler is a lesser-known way of reducing your energy consumption. Having the hot water temperature anywhere above 140F is a waste of energy as your boiler has to work harder to keep it hot, and turning it down means your baths and showers will be a far more pleasant temperature.
Thomas Edward Milson is a UK blogger with a keen interest in green issues. He’s currently blogging on behalf of Hillary’s Blinds, who specialise in Custom made, energy saving Vertical Blinds.