One of the good things about the choices 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 the important home decisions are about energy use.  In Britain almost 2/3 of our domestic energy is used for space heating, about 1/4 for water heating, 1/8 for lighting and appliances, and the rest for cooking.   Then there’s the question of how we minimise the pollution caused by our cleaning products and what we do with things when we no longer want them.

There are almost 30 million homes in Britain, so imagine anything you waste multiplied 30 million times and any positive changes you make at home multiplied 30 million times!  If every adult in the country showered for a minute less each day it would save the equivalent of 100 olympic swimming pools of hot water daily, or the volume of Wast Water, England’s deepest lake, each year.  These things really can add up!

greener home solutions

use less energy

From home insulation, to air-drying clothes and simple things like unplugging your phone charger. Using less energy saves carbon emissions and saves money.

save water

using less water cuts down on the energy used by your water company to purify and pump it, and using less hot water cuts your gas and electricity bills.

clean without polluting

there are alternatives to chemical cleaning products that do the job and are kinder to the environment.

reduce, re-use and recycle

Throwing stuff into landfill wastes the energy used in making it and releases greenhouse gases as it rots.  So, reduce, re-use, and recycle is the green way forward.

greener home suggestions for your Change List

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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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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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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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....

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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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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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cut pointless plastic

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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Feel the 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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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,...

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Keep a 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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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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start a repair shop

We know that we’ve got to ditch the throw-away culture and that repairing stuff is the answer. Out there there are people who have amazing abilities and experience of fixing things and making them work. But how do we find them?  If you know people like that, or you are...

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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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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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Get comfy in your jumper

When we were first able to heat our houses to the point where we could wear shirt sleeves in mid winter it was a sign of growing 20th Century affluence, or in retrospect, decadence. Now that we know the environmental cost of wasted energy we need to rethink. Why not...

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