Save the earth and save money at the same time? Now that sounds like a win-win situation! Here are some tips to get you started.
In the Kitchen
Use cloth napkins instead of paper ones. Not only are you reducing waste, but your meal times will feel more special. Cook from scratch instead of using pre-packaged foods. You create less waste, and the food generally tastes better. A pressure cooker cooks food much quicker than a regular pot on the stove (up to 70% quicker), so less energy is used. Pressure cookers are great for things like beans, which means fewer tins bought, and even less packaging and waste.
Eat less meat. Not only is meat expensive, but it isn’t good for the environment. If the thought of going meat-free overwhelms you, start with meat-free Mondays.
Instead of buying bottled water every time you are thirsty, buy a good quality reusable water bottle. Make sure it is BPA free, or even better – buy a stainless steel bottle.
Replace your shower head with a low flow shower head. They can use anywhere between 25 and 60% less water, and most of the time you won’t even notice the difference! And while we’re on the topic, five minutes is more than enough to wash in the morning. Do it gradually, taking off one a minute at a time if you find it too difficult to stick to five minutes. This alone will save over a thousand gallons a year.
Turn off the tap while brushing your teeth – it may not seem like much but leaving the tap running twice a day every day adds up quickly!
If you have a pool, you know how much water it uses to keep it full. Get a pool cover installed – not only will it reduce the evaporation but it will also keep the pool cleaner thereby reducing the need for chemicals.
Switch out your old light bulbs for newer LEDs. The upfront cost for LEDS is more, but they are far more energy efficient and last for up to 10 times longer than fluorescent bulbs. LEDs also use only a fraction of energy compared to what incandescent bulbs use.
The geyser can make water extremely hot, and often the cold tap needs to used together with the hot tap. It just makes sense to only heat up the water to where you only need the hot tap. By turning down the temperature on the geyser, it uses less energy.
Join a lift club with your colleagues to save petrol. Carpools can be fun, and even if the traffic is bad in the mornings you will have other people to chat to and take your mind off it. Don’t forget to take your flask with coffee rather than stopping at Starbucks! If you running an electric heater or air conditioner, keep doors and windows closed. If they are little bit open, the heater or air conditioner will have to work much harder to do its job. Of course, if you are using a gas heater, you will need to keep a window open!
Many appliances use electricity even when they are switched off! To reduce this unnecessary usage, unplug appliances when they are not in use.Don’t just throw out an appliance that breaks. There is very likely a way to repair it that isn’t too difficult or expensive. Even if you have to pay for a part, it can oftentimes work out cheaper than replacing it altogether.