I thought I would kick-start our ‘Electric’ week with some basic hints and tips and ideas for using less electricity, many of which I am sure you all know, but there might be the odd gem in there!
And again, I really would love this to be an inter-active process, and you guys to share your best ideas too, so please do leave comments below 🙂
- Wash at 30C-we do this for pretty much everything, and I wouldn’t say we walk around looking grubby (others may disagree…)
- Wash less! We are just coming out of the other side of the very messy baby/toddler stage, where every outfit gets covered in snot/sick/food/grime (adult and small alike), and I got into a habit of routinely chucking all the Small’s clothes in the wash at the end of every day. But actually, sometimes, they don’t need washing-especially things like t-shirts that may well have been hiding under a jumper all day. This was a revelation to me!
- Use an eco-setting if you have one on your washing machine, and on your dishwasher
- Only wash full-loads, of clothes or dishes (don’t get them mixed up)
- Ditch the dryer!
Tumble dryers are the second biggest energy consumer in the house, after the fridge. I feel slightly smug in saying that we have never had a tumble dryer. That is with two small people in the house, and pretty much constant use of washable nappies for the last 5 years. I get ridiculously excited when I can hang things outside, but otherwise we have a clothes horse in residence in the spare room, and the majority of things dry in 24 hours
- Don’t iron. Just don’t.
Think of not only the energy you will save, but also the hours (years) of your life! We are lucky in that hubby wears polo shirts to work, otherwise I guess we (he) might have to iron shirts, but seriously, the rest of it-leave it! By the time you get to work/school, the creases have either dropped out, or you are looking rumpled anyway from your commute
- Switch to energy efficient lights-ideally LEDs-there is a whole post on this coming up if you can bear the wait
- Switch things off standby. Some machines seem to not ‘allow’ you to do this, but there are gadgets you can get that mean that you can (more to come on this later in the week)
- Turn the bl**dy lights off! That is my constant cry at the moment…
- If like us you have solar panels, make the most of the sunshine, and try to use your appliances in the daylight (we were told by our supplier that one of their customers even goes as far as boiling their kettle when the sun is out, and then filling a thermos to make tea in the evening 🙂 )
- Did you know that if you change the background colour of your mobile screen display from white to black it saves something like 50% of the energy (I have made that figure up as I can’t remember what I was told, but it was a significant amount). I know this because I was told by an ‘O2 guru’ who was sorting out something else on my phone. And he did it for me, so don’t ask me how you do this (try Settings…)
- Unplug your phone charger from the wall when it has finished charging-hubby’s phone has a little alarm that sounds when it is charged, to remind you to unplug it
- As and when old appliances break, replace them with A-rated ones (not sure how easy it is to find A-rated appliances secondhand, or whether their efficiency decreases over time..?)
- Go au-naturel and let your hair dry naturally
- If you have an older style freezer that frosts up, defrost it (and this is from someone who hates defrosting the freezer)
- I read on the fabulous Moral Fibres blog, that reducing the brightness setting on your TV can save you up to £8 a month. That is insane. I mentioned this to hubby and his response was “yeah, I did that years ago, our TV is on the Eco-setting”. Our TV has an Eco-setting? News to me! Well done hubby 🙂 Worth checking if yours does too!
There must be loads more innovative ideas-I don’t care how ‘out there’ they are-hit me with them! (Do I need to remind you there is a Race to win here…?!)