You could want to go environmentally friendly for a number of reasons: you may want to protect future generations from the inevitable climate disaster looming over us, or you may just want to save money on your energy bill and keep your room smelling nice.
Either way, it’s in everyone’s best interest! So Coreco offers you our top five methods of going green in your house where you’d (barely) have to lift a finger.
Get a green finger
This list suggests you go green metaphorically, of course, but taking it literally might be a good idea too. Having plants in your house is a great way to brighten up your home, freshen your air and help the environment at the same time. Also they aren’t pets so require very little attention.
Don’t take that ‘fresh air’ statement lightly, either, because there are many health problems associated with air quality and some studies suggest that air in your home is even worse for you than air outdoors (albeit perhaps not the case in London). Some plants are especially good at removing impurities from the air, such as Areca Palm, Bamboo Palm, English Ivy or Peace Lily. Keeping your air quality high will reduce the risks of conditions like asthma or worse.
If you were looking for a cherry on the cake, there was also a study that claims merely having a plant around makes you smarter (or have a better attention capacity anyway).
Well known by you all, I’m sure, is energy efficient lights consume much less energy and can potentially save you money. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) are common and cheap (compared to when they first came out) although some people don’t like their ‘warm up’ period to reach full brightness. LED lights are a more recent entry to the market and while they are more expensive (for now) they offer immediate light for less energy.
However, watch this space because researchers at MIT claim they have come up with a way to make incandescent light bulbs significantly more efficient. Traditional light bulbs would waste 95% of their energy while these new bulbs use a type of crystal around the filament to reduce waste, making the bulbs 40% efficient. Compare this to LED bulbs that are only 14% efficient.
Again, you might be thinking ‘no duh’. But you’d be surprised how much energy is wasted on heating you don’t need. If you have rooms you don’t use (e.g. guest rooms, your children’s old/soon-to-be room, your home gym [am I right?]) then there’s no need to heat them. Also, don’t leave windows open while the heating is on.
Take a minute to see how you feel in your house, as well. Are you feeling particularly warm? Could you afford to simply wear another layer of clothing? Lowing your heating by 1.5°C can save 10% on your heating bill. You might want to consider getting a smart thermostat for your house so you can better control your energy consumption.
Don’t just ‘standby’ and let your energy consumption go up! See, that was a pun because leaving things on stand wastes energy. Smart, right?
Standby is the mode your electronic devices are set to when they want to conserve power when not in use, without having to sacrifice the time it would take to turn the computer off and on.
Unplug or turn off your devices at the home because leaving them on constitutes for a surprising 10% of your overall energy use. You may want to invest in a standby saver which turns your devices you set to standby off. The most common devices left on standby are TVs and mobile phone chargers, so turn them off when not in use. Be wary though because some devices are meant to be left on, such as satellite and digital TV recorders.
It’s also worth considering that many newer devices are designed to stay on standby, and turning them off and on regularly throughout the day can decrease their lifespan. For TVs, games consoles and computers, you may wish to turn them off overnight, or if you’re not planning to use them for a few hours. At the very least, don’t leave your electronics on full power when they aren’t in use!
Shower yourself with savings
Let’s be fair, baths are rubbish. The temperature is never correct, it’s impossible to soap ‘certain areas’ and at some point the bubbles will go and you’ll suddenly notice that layer of filth bobbing on the surface. That layer serves to remind you that a) you’re gross and b) you’ll still be gross when you get out because that filth is set on sticking to you.
Having a shower instead of a bath can save you as much as 400 litres of water every week. If you don’t have a shower in your house for any reason, then you can still manage your energy consumption with your baths. How many times have you had to wait for the bath to cool down before getting it? Or watched the water go down the overflow drain? Managing how much water – especially hot water – you use will have an impact on your energy bill.
Those are Coreco’s top five ways to save energy in your house with little-to-no effort. There are many other ways you could help the environment and save money that we fully recommend, from insulation to compost piles to minimising usage of your drier, but you should start with the easy ones that require less energy from you. Your energy is important too, you know.