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Reduce your own energy consumption

You can reduce your own energy consumption without living like a caveman and changing your quality of life. Reducing energy consumption is key. Why not reduce energy consumption of any kind, renewable or otherwise, if it doesn’t affect your quality of life and if it pays? There are a number of things you can do.

Here’s a list of simple things you can do immediately:

  • Turn it off when not in use (lights, television, DVD player, Hi Fi, computer etc. etc. …) Click here to find out which electrical items in your household are contribute the most to your Carbon Footprint
  • Turn down the central heating slightly (try just 1 to 2 degrees C). Just 1 degree will help reduce your heating bill by about 8%.
  • Turn down the water heating setting (just 2 degrees will make a significant saving)
  • Check the central heating timer setting – remember there is no point heating the house after you have left for work
  • Fill your dish washer and washing machine with a full load – this will save you water, electricity, and washing powder
  • Fill the kettle with only as much water as you need
  • Do your weekly shopping in a single trip
  • Hang out the washing to dry rather than tumble drying it
  • Car share to work, or for the kids school run
  • Use the bus or a train rather than your car
  • For short journeys either walk or cycle
  • Try to reduce the number of flights you take
  • See if your employer will allow you to work from home one day a week
  • Next time you replace your car – check out diesel engines.
  • When staying in a hotel – turn the lights and air-conditioning off when you leave your hotel room, and ask for your room towels to be washed every other day, rather than every day
  • Have a conservation mindset. Simply turn off the lights and other appliances that aren’t being used.
  • Buy energy efficient appliances when purchasing them, pay attention to the energy usage facts. It can mean a big deal to you in terms of what you pay over the long term.
  • Insulate your home well.
  • Get a home energy audit, many times there is a government incentive that pays or partly pays for this assessment, and the assessment can then tell you what to do that will give you the biggest bang for your buck, in terms of savings.
  • Turn the temperature inside your home one degree closer to the outside temperature. This can make a real difference.

The following is a list of items that may take an initial investment, but should pay for themselves over the course of 1-4 years through savings on your energy bills.

  • Fit energy saving light bulbs
  • Install thermostatic valves on your radiators
  • Insulate your hot water tank, your loft and your walls
  • Installing cavity wall installation
  • By installing 180mm thick loft insulation
  • Recycle your grey water
  • Replace your old fridge / freezer (if it is over 15 years old), with a new one with energy efficiency rating of “A”
  • Replace your old boiler with a new energy efficient condensing boiler
  • Travel less and travel more carbon footprint friendly.

As well as your primary carbon footprint, there is also a secondary footprint that you cause through your buying habits.

  • Don’t buy bottled water if your tap water is safe to drink
  • Buy local fruit and vegetables, or even try growing your own
  • Buy foods that are in season locally
  • Don’t buy fresh fruit and vegetables which are out of season, they may have been flown in
  • Reduce your consumption of meat
  • Try to only buy products made close to home (look out and avoid items that are made in the distant lands)
  • Buy organic produce
  • Don’t buy over packaged products
  • Recycle as much as possible
  • Think carefully about the type of activities you do in your spare time. Do any of these cause an increase in carbon emissions? e.g. Saunas, Health clubs, restaurants and pubs, go-karting etc. etc…