To reduce your domestic energy consumption, make your radiators more efficient by placing reflective panels behind them that will bounce the heat back into the room.
Lighting accounts for up to 15% of household electricity use, so dramatic cuts can be made by simply turning off the lights when not in use.
Run your fridge between 3-5°C.
Run your washing machine at 40°C or less. Cutting your washing cycle temperature from 60 to 40°C means you use a third less energy. Use the washing machine at 30 degrees when possible for lightly soiled clothes. Washing at 30°C rather than normal temperatures means you use up to 40% less electricity.
The ideal living room temperature is 20°C (68°F), and bedrooms are healthier at 16°C (64°F). Each 5°F in temperature produces a 7% to 11% increase in energy consumption (depending on how well-insulated your home is).
Unplug appliances when not in use and avoid using stand-by. Some appliances, like digital set top boxes, use nearly as much energy in standby mode as when they are switched on.
Use your heat wisely, and insulate well. Turn down the heating in rooms which you are not using.
If your local authority does not collect Christmas trees, ask if it can arrange to do so. Also consider alternatives, like a potted Christmas tree that can be later be planted in a garden or a park.
Draw your curtains at dusk outside at night.
Give a potted plant as a gift rather than a bunch of flowers. Choose houseplants instead of cut flowers.
Plant trees regularly.
Recognise energy efficiency as key factor in house purchase or refurbishment decisions. In many countries Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) are used for homes bought and sold. As they are phased in across the market, these mandatory assessments will provide an energy efficiency rating for houses, similar to the A-G scale currently used for fridges and washing machines. It will enable you to choose a more efficient house and help you to understand in advance the running costs. Remember that an energy efficient house won’t only be kinder to the environment but will also save you money on your heating and lighting bills. If you are refurbishing your home it’s worth investing in energy efficiency measures to increase the value of your home at point of sale.
Put on a jumper instead of turning up heating.
Line-dry your clothes. Save energy and money by not using or buying a tumble dryer.
Find the energy-efficiency/renewable energy solution for your home/office.
Develop the Green Office concept for your organization/company.
Waste less food. Over half the food thrown straight into our rubbish bins is edible.
Processed foods often have a high content of salts, saturated fats and sugars, so eating fresh unprocessed food helps maintain a healthy diet. The manufacture of processed foods uses large amounts: of energy, water and materials in production, chilling, packaging and transport as well as producing large amounts of waste.
Avoid heavily-processed food and go for healthier alternatives. Processed foods often have a high food helps maintain a healthy diet. The manufacture of processed foods uses large amounts of content of salts, saturated fats and sugars, so eating fresh unprocessed energy, water and materials in production, chilling, packaging and transport as well as producing large amounts of waste.
Use less water. Large scale drought is already happening, and we have less available drinking water.
Drink tap water instead of bottled water.
Bottled water costs around 500 times more than tap water, and the industry emits thousands of tonnes of CO2 every year.
Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth.
Do not leave the tap running while you wash dishes by hand.
Collect rainwater for your garden and outdoor water needs.
ECO-TIPS: WASTE MANAGEMENT
Compost your kitchen waste and garden cuttings.
Take part in a local recycling initiative, rethink your attitude towards waste. Don't fly-tip, so make the effort to separate your waste and recycle where possible.
Kitchen scraps, such as vegetable peelings, apple cores, egg shells and most garden waste biodegrades in a compost bin into a rich fertiliser which can be used in gardens or allotments.
Suggest composting at your children’s school.
ECO-TIPS: vacations, Travel
Take surface transport rather than flying. Aviation has the fastest growing carbon emissions of any industry sector.
Before booking a flight consider whether there is the alternative - such as a coach, train or ferry - or even take holidays closer to home. It is now becoming clearer that flying has an even greater impact on climate change than previously thought as it is likely that emissions of greenhouse gases at high altitudes have between 2 and 4 times more impact on climate change than at ground level. Arrange a video-conference instead of business trips.
Take eco-driving lessons or watch video-tips available online. Use public transportation and walk, when possible.
Save water when on holiday. Water conservation isn’t just important at home.
Use your free day to catch up with friends, join in with a community activity, take part in a green event, organize your green event or spend the day discovering your surrounding area.
Always use eco-bag for shopping not disposables. If you have to take carrier bags from the shop, make sure you reuse them.
Plan a weekly food menu and take a shopping list. Planning your weekly menu ahead of time and taking a shopping list with you means you can better estimate how much food you need and ensure you don't waste anything by impulse buying. An all round win as you'll save money, waste less food and not forget those all-important ingredients.
Planning ahead also means you'll avoid unnecessary extra trips to the supermarket and therefore cut down on your travel emissions.
Always use eco-bag for shopping. Use reusable shopping bags not disposables. If you have to take carrier bags from the shop, make sure you reuse them.
Buy products in reusable containers. Avoid over-packaged products. Reuse envelopes and jiffy bags. Use recycled products.
Buy fairly traded food and drink. When you buy food from overseas, try to buy fairly traded products (certified by Fairtrade).
Choose washable not dry clean-only clothes. The alternative option is to buy clothes that can be machine washed or hand-washed.
Take part in Buy Nothing Day. Join in the non-consumer movement that encourages us to live more by shopping less.