One of the good things about the choices that we make at home is that they are pretty much up to us. We make the rules, so we can make them greener rules if we choose to.

A lot of home decisions are about energy use, from long term investments, like insulation, double glazing, or solar panels, to daily habits like only boiling the water you need in a kettle, using a cooler clothes wash, or showering for one minute less. And these things do add up – 50 million adults in Britain showering for one minute less each day would save 250 million litres (100 olympic swimming pools) of hot water each day. That’s heading for the volume of Coniston Water in the English Lake District each year. Quite a lot of water, heat and money!

Other things to look at as far as home life is concerned are the recycling and looking for less polluting ways to do the washing and cleaning. So on our list to look at and write about here is:

Heating, lighting and cooking
Cleaning and cleaning products
Washing, bathing, and showering
Clothes washing and dish washing
Electrical appliances and light bulbs
Electricity and gas supplier choices and renewables
Insulation and double glazing
And Recycling

Let us know if there are things you have tried in these areas or questions you have or things you’ve heard abou

Don’t put up with a drip

A dripping tap can waste up to 5,000 litres of water every year. Fixing a dripping tap is usually as simple as replacing a tap washer. The best time to fix a dripping tap is now!...

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Slow the flow

Replace your standard 15 litres per minute shower head with a low flow model. This Mira model is 8 litres per min. This Flowpoint one too. This Kiri Satinhead shower head is a very low 5.7 Litres per minute. Or, if you are particularly attached to your current shower head, you...

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Go vintage online

If rootling about in the local charity shop is not your thing there is a growing number of online vintage stores. Oxfam have put all their vintage clothes online with profits going to the charity. Beyond Retro has been growing since 2002 and has a website that is packed with...

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Keep a paper bag stash

Along with your re-useable shopping bags take a stash of small reused plastic or paper bags when you go shopping to put loose fruit and veg in. That way you can pick the very best produce and avoid the stuff prepackaged in pointless single-use plastic.  Why not tell your shop-keeper...

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Make your bath a treat

One bath can use over 80 litres of water, compared to an efficient, 4 minute shower using under 30 litres. So why not keep clean with showers and make a date for an indulgent soak (solo or shared)? By heating less water, you can save on your energy bills too. But...

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Are you hot in the mornings?

As well as throwing on a jumper, turning down the radiator in unused rooms, and tuning your heating timer, it’s worth checking whether you need as much heat in the mornings as you do in the evenings. If you’re more active first thing, or just getting ready to go out,...

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Fit a free water meter

Water meters are fitted free by your water company. They will help you track your water savings and give you a financial incentive to reduce your use. Here’s what Citizens’ Advice has to say including a calculator to work out whether you’ll save money straight away....

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Use the force of fizz, Luke

Screw an aerator onto your kitchen tap. It mixes air in with the water to make it more effective for rinsing and cleaning and cuts your water use. Here are some from the Save Water, Save Money website. May the fizz be with you....

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Taps off

By turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, washing your hands or shaving, you can save over 5 litres of water every minute. Over a year, that’s a saving of around 4,000 litres....

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Cut Pointless Plastic challenge

Here's a challenge - Collect all your plastic wrapping and bags and plastic bottles for a week and weigh them before you recycle them. Then set yourself a challenge to cut down on that weight each week and let us know how it goes....

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Cold is cool

How often do you turn on the hot tap to wash your hands, start when the water is running cold and finish before the hot water comes through? All that hot water in the pipes on its way to you is just wasted. So why not use the cold tap...

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Shut that door!

If you close the doors of rooms you don’t use so often you can turn down the radiator thermostats without reducing the temperature of your main rooms. It all saves money and energy.  Chains and padlocks may be excessive though....

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Tune your heating timer

If you use a heating timer, try starting it half an hour later in the mornings and turning it off half an hour earlier. See if you notice a difference. If not to, try another half hour, or a quarter of an hour. The same in the evenings.... you don’t...

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Take a 4 minute shower

Cut the amount of time you run the water in the shower.  You can turn it off while you soap up, or just get focused on the matter in hand.  I favour keeping track of time by singing along with Bob Marley's One Love (3 minutes 42 seconds) which leaves...

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Wash in a vegeta-bowl

Use a bowl for washing vegetables. Washing your veg under running water can use up to 20 litres every minute, so use a bowl when washing and preparing your vegetables, or doing the washing up. You can use the leftover water to water plants or rinse out your cans and...

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