Sustainability around the house


We all want to live more sustainably, and there is much we can improve in our day-to-day lives. Check out these 10 Sustainable Tips – there may be one or two you’ve been meaning to get around to!

1. Install a water efficient shower head

Standard shower heads can use up to 25 litres of water per minute, but a water-efficient one can get that down to 7 litres saving both water and the power it takes to heat and pump it.

2. Stop hidden heat waste

A litre or more of hot water will end up going cold in your pipes every time you turn the hot tap on, so avoid using small amounts of hot water if cold will do. You can scrape or rinse dishes with cold water.

3. Match your equipment

Ensure your kitchen pots and pans have flat bases that match the size of the cooking element, you’ll cook more efficiently and avoid heat waste.

4. Boil more efficiently

Put lids on your saucepans and simmer them gently instead of boiling vigorously, as each litre of water boiled away is wasted heat energy that can amount to a kilogram of greenhouse gas.

5. Get the right refrigerator

Buying the right fridge is not all about star ratings on the energy label – if your fridge is often quite empty then you are wasting energy by keeping large volumes of air cold that spill out every time you open the fridge door, letting in warmer air that needs to be cooled all over again.

6. Move your refrigerator to the right spot

To run at maximum efficiency, ensure good air circulation around the coils at the back of your refrigerator (if you have no coils on the back ensure the sides have good circulation too). Move fridges and freezers to cool spots out of the sun and away from your oven.

7. Turn your beer fridge off at night

A simple plug-timer can be used to turn your beer fridge off in the cold hours, and back on in the morning to ensure it doesn’t have a chance to warm. Your beer won’t go off or spoil the taste by going warm, but your fridge will use less power maintaining a cool temperature than working hard to cool it down again! Balance is everything.

8. Turn the TV off at the wall

The ‘off’ button on most home entertainment equipment – Televisions, DVD players, Radios – do not actually turn the power supply off, but put the device in a power-hungry standby mode so it is quick to turn on again. If power switches are out of reach, use a power board with individual switches for each plug socket. This goes for the kitchen too – your microwave may be generating more greenhouse gas over the year powering the digital clock than cooking the food!

9. Seal your doors

Hot draughts in summer, cold draughts in winter both force you to use more power to keep a pleasant indoor temperature – closed doors with even the slightest of movement in them can be responsible for a great deal of heat transference. Door seal tape is cheap, easy to install and long lasting – as are sweeping draught excluders attached to the base of your door.

10. Change of Season, Change of Routine

Every morning on hot days, close your doors, windows and curtains to block out the sun – when it cools down in the evening open doors and windows to let in the cooling breezes. You may find air conditioners, evaporative coolers and fans are rarely needed again.

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