OK, so we all lead busy lives right? and we all live in the 21st century- but with a bit of smart thinking we can make a few little changes and save a whole heap of energy from being wasted! Saving the amount of energy you consume is the single biggest (and easiest!) contribution you can make to the environment.

My name is Fred.

Welcome to my blog....

Tuesday, 27 November 2007

My God, Christmas is depressing...

Tough one this. And I'm probably not alone here? I love giving presents- and I quite like receiving them too! but my God, what does it do for energy consumption, wastage, packaging in landfill etc etc etc. This conflict that many of us (who live in Western societies at least) undoubtedly feel is a real tricky one...


See some ideas from Friends of the Earth

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So how are you going to start saving energy?

Well, start by taking small and easy-to-manage steps. Often even the smallest of changes to our normal routines can have big pay-offs when it comes to reducing carbon emissions. Every little counts, and if all of us were to make an energy saving change, the amount saved overall would lower the UK’s carbon footprint significantly.

One of the biggest problems to overcome when it comes to energy saving is the attitude that going green will be time consuming, difficult to implement or could cost us money. We’ve come up with a series of top tips for energy saving to help break these incorrect assumptions – they don’t involve lots of time or effort, and could actually help to save you money…

Heating

Keeping your home warm during the colder months is an absolute must, which means being dependent on gas central heating. However there are ways of cutting your energy bills and still staying toasty…

* Turn your thermostat down a degree.

* Use blankets and extra layers rather than turning up the heating.

* Place draught excluders under doors and loose windows.

* Fit an insulating jacket to your hot water tank.

* Place foil around the back of your radiators to reflect heat back into rooms.

* Move furniture away from radiators to allow heat to circulate.

* Close your curtains in the evenings.

Lighting

Like heating, we all need our homes to be well lit in the mornings and evenings, particularly during the winter months. The key to saving money on lights is not allowing bad habits to become the norm…

* Don’t forget to turn off lights when you leave a room.

* Use your dimmer switch when you don’t need full lighting on.

* Switch off security lights when you return home or go to bed.

* Open curtains and blinds to allow natural light in.

* Avoid energy guzzling lightings fittings, for examples fluorescent lights.

* Replace used light bulbs with energy saving bulbs.

In the Kitchen

There are lots of ways to reducing the amount of energy needed to cook, store, prepare and wash up after our daily meals. Here are a few to get you green in the kitchen…

* Keep fridges and freezers shut tightly and at the correct temperature.

* Avoid heat loss in the oven by keeping the door closed until the food is ready.

* Wash vegetables and fruit in a bowl rather than under a running tap.

* Grow your own vegetables, or shop locally for them.

* Turn your toaster setting down by one.

* Unplug all appliances when not in use, or they will continue to use energy.

Outdoors

There’s lots of fun and relaxation to be had in the garden, especially when the sun is shining. There are also plenty of things you can do to help save energy and create a luscious green garden that everyone will enjoy…

* Turn food and garden waste into nutrient soil for flowers and plants using a home composting bin.

* Start growing your own vegetables.

* Use a manual lawnmower rather than an electrical one.

* Make a rock garden using reclaimed stone.

* Use a watering can to water plants instead of a hosepipe or sprinkler.

* Fit a water-butt onto the downpipe of your guttering to collect rainwater.

Travelling

We all need to get from A to B, which invariably involves some form of transport. In order to save energy and carbon emissions, there are alternative ways to travel than in your petrol dependent car…

* Share your driving burden by joining a car sharing pool.

* Invest in a bicycle for shorter journeys.

* Switch your car off when it's idling for a long period- even in traffic jams.

* Try walking a short journey you’d usually drive at least once a week.

* If you’re travelling on a longer journey, take a train instead.

* Choose a car with low carbon emissions.

* Only fly when you really have to, is there another alternative?

In the Office

Saving energy shouldn’t stop as soon as you’re at work. There are just as many simple ways to save energy in the workplace as there are at home, and you should try and implement your energy saving habits in both environments…

* Shut down your computer at the end of the day, don’t just leave it on standby.

* Try to minimise the amount of paper you use to print.

* Set your printer up to print on both sides of a sheet of paper.

* As at home, only fill the kettle with as much water as you need.

* Turn off photocopiers and other office equipment before you leave.