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Here are some tips to help you be greener, save money by reducing petrol consumption and electricity consumption.
If you're going to be out of a room for more than 3 minutes, switch the light off. An empty freezer costs more to run than a full one, so keep your freezer full. Friends Of the Earth (UK) say: avoid leaving fridge doors open. Each minute the door is open uses three minutes of energy to cool down again.
Standby Is Not Off
Powering a computer monitor accounts for 80 per cent of a computer's energy consumption and contributes to a third of the electricity used in a modern office. Switch them off, when not in use. Alan Meier of the Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory in the USA did research in Florida and Japan, and found that standby power accounted for as much as 10% of household power-consumption. Mobile phone chargers use power whether or not they are in use, so unplug your charger when your phone has recharged.
Check Your Tyre Pressure
Under-inflated tyres mean your engine has to work harder, so you use more fuel. But don't over-inflate your tyres as this is dangerous.
Use Less Petrol
Driving at 80 mph rather than 70 mph uses 10-15% more fuel (UK Energy Saving Trust). It could also save your life and stop you being fined for speeding. At 70mph you could be using up to 9% more fuel than at 60mph and up to 15% more fuel than at 50mph. When the engine is idling you're wasting fuel and adding to CO2 emissions. If you're likely to be at a standstill for more than 3 minutes, simply switch off the engine. (UK government advice, ActOn02)
Air-Conditioning In Cars
Use car air-conditioning sparingly - running air-conditioning continuously will increase fuel consumption significantly.
Fat, Oil And Grease
Fat, oil and grease poured down the sink can block drains and sewers. Wipe plates with kitchen roll before washing. Put fat from roasting and frying in an old tin/can and place in the dustbin, or better still give it to the wild birds to eat once it’s solid.
Reusing is better than recycling. If you can’t reuse it yourself, there is probably someone who can. Check out your local freecycle group www.freecycle.org.
On average we throw away a fifth of the fresh food we buy. Buy wisely and save money and help the environment. Also shop on a full stomach – you’re less likely to buy food you won’t eat.
Recycle Bubble Wrap
Often small art and craft outlets are very happy to take clean bubble wrap from you, which they can use to wrap the goods they sell.
Eat more vegetarian and vegan food. It's good for you and for the environment. Cows, sheep and goats produce methane, one of the main greenhouse gases.
Having a shower instead of a bath can save about 40 litres of water. Better still, shower with a friend and save even more water.
Shopping locally isn't necessarily more expensive than shopping in a supermarket, if you add in the cost of getting there, and all the additional stuff they tempt you to buy that you don't really need.
Save Money And Still Keep Warm
When it's cold outside, draw curtains and blinds in all the rooms of your house, not just the one you're in. According to the UK Energy Saving Trust turning your heating thermostat down by 1ºC could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent, and unless you’re illor old you probably won’t notice the difference.
When buying anything wooden, look for the FSC symbol. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is an international network to promote responsible management of the world’s forests.
Help birds by putting nest boxes in your garden - 1.5 metres to 5.5 metres (60 inches to 220 inches) above the ground and out of reach of cats. Avoid prevailing winds, direct sunlight and sites facing south.
Cats & Birds
If you have a cat that likes to catch birds, keep it in at dawn and dusk. Don’t hang bird boxes from a branch that a cat can climb along. Also avoid fences or dense hedges where cats may be lurking.
Dripping taps can waste up to 4 litres (8 US pints) of water a day.
Travelling On A Bus Or Coach?
Sitting on the same side of the bus as the driver can increase your exposure to air pollution by 10 per cent. Sitting upstairs on a double-decker bus also reduces your exposure to air pollution. (Dr Roy Colville, senior lecturer in air pollution, Imperial College, London)
Going On Your Holidays?
If you are going to somewhere exotic check out www.stuffyourrucksack.com to see if you can take something to help a school or local charity.
Charities can often make good use of foreign coins and bank notes, even ones not still in circulation.
Many charities can sell torn clothing for industrial rags, but check with them first.
Reduce your impact on the environment by using Ecoballs, the detergent substitute. Great if you have skin problems too. Setting your washing machine to 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees could save more than 40% of the energy used on the wash.
Cleaning Your Teeth
Turn off the tap when cleaning your teeth and save water.
A typical microwave oven uses more electricity for its digital clock than it does in heating food. Switch off costly stand-by mechanisms.
"Too many people spend money they haven’t earned to buy things they don’t want, to impress people they don’t like.” Will Rogers
Be Happy Now!
How much do you have to have before you'll allow yourself to be happy?
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