Hints and tips
Fridges and freezers
- Site your fridge and freezer in a cool (but not very cold) position.
- Don't leave the fridge door open and make sure the seals are tight.
- Keep your fridge temperature setting between 3°C and 5°C - settings lower than this are wasting energy.
- Don't overstock your fridge. Make sure it is no more than three quarters full, allowing cool air to circulate more easily.
- Clean the condenser coils at the back of the fridge - if dust builds up it can waste up to 30% more energy.
- If buying a new fridge or freezer choose a really energy efficient one - check Sust-it and the European Energy Label - A+++ is the best.
- Switch off machines at the mains when not in use, don't leave them in standby mode.
- Repair things when they break rather than throwing them away.
- Check the energy consumption of any new products you are thinking of buying, including how much energy they use on standby, and choose the lowest.
- Go for a smaller TV screen.
- Invest in a wind-up radio.
- Fix dripping taps - one dripping tap could fill a bath in a week!
- Don't leave taps running when brushing your teeth or washing your hands.
- Install a water meter to help you monitor water use - free of charge from your water company.
- Showers use much less water than a bath - typically 30 litres compared with 110 litres - but power showers can use as much as a bath.
- Use a bowl if you only have a small amount of washing up.
- Dishwashers use a lot of energy and water so only use them when they are full and use energy/water saving options if possible.
- Wait until you have a full load before using the washing machine.
- Use a cooler temperature when washing clothes - modern detergents are designed to be effective at 30°C or 40°C.
- When buying a new washing machine or dishwater choose one that is both water-efficient and energy-efficient.
- Get a water butt to collect rainwater for your garden.
Flooring, furniture and furnishings
- Consider repairing and restoring items rather than replacing them.
- Look for second-hand items in charity shops and auctions.
- Join Freecycle.
- Consider the environmental impact of new items before buying them.
- If buying cork tiles make sure they are not PVC coated, or buy unsealed ones and seal them yourselves.
- Ask suppliers and retailers about the environmental impact of their products and their policies regarding chemical pollutants, the environment and social responsibility generally.