50 Top Energy-Saving Tips

With environmental concerns rising and the credit crunch making everyone much more money conscious, there really has been no better time to start saving energy. We have put together 50 energy-saving tips that will help you reduce your carbon footprint and your bills. Remember, by introducing even just small changes into your lifestyle, you will make a difference and lay the foundations for a greener Ireland.

At Home

1. Turn off all appliances when not in use. And that means unplugging them as appliances continue to expend energy even when on standby.

2. Make baths an occasional treat rather than an everyday event. Take showers instead; they use much less water.

3. Run your washing machine at a lower temperature. While 30 degrees water will wash clothes every bit as effectively as at 40 degrees, less energy is used to heat the water.

4. Dry clothes on a rack or clothes line rather than in a tumble dryer - clothes dried in the open air smell fresher.

5. Turn down your heating by even just one degree. Do the same for your water thermostat.

6. Don’t waste food. Food production uses an alarming amount of energy so you should only buy food that you will eat.

7. Avoid opening the over door whilst cooking as it can lower the temperature by 30 degrees each time.

8. Turn off lights when you leave a room.

9. Insulate your home to prevent heat loss - you’ll be a lot cosier in winter time.

10. Use energy-saving lightbulbs - they will last so much longer than the old tungsten bulbs.

11. Introduce a compost heap into your garden and put all vegetable peelings and leftovers on it.

12. Minimise the use of pesticides in your garden.

13. Turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth - you’ll save an astounding amount of water.

14. Recycle paper by putting it into the green bin or re-use old newspaper as packaging.

15. Buy cleaning products that do not contain hazardous chemicals - there are ranges on the market nowadays that are kinder to the environment.

16. Where possible, use rechargeable batteries.

17. When entertaining, use porcelain cups and plates, rather than the paper variety.

18. Run the dishwasher and washing machine only when they are full and preferably only once a day.

19. Only fill your kettle with the water that you need - it will save energy and boil quicker.

20. Recycle glass - it’s a highly effective way to reduce air pollution.

21. Keep curtains closed at night as it helps to keep heat in.

22. Fit your boiler with a lagging jacket - it will keep your water hot for longer and save money.

23. Replace old windows with new, properly insulated windows that will prevent heat from escaping.

24. Use reusable containers to store leftover food rather than wrapping it up in tin foil or cling film.

25. Leave grass clippings on the lawn; they are a great natural fertiliser.

At Work

26. Print on both sides of the paper.

27. Do not print emails unless it is absolutely necessary.

28. Recycle paper in the office – there are plenty of companies that will take away your shredding bin and recycle the contents.

29. Use recycled paper for all your printing needs.

30. Drink your morning coffee from a porcelain cup rather than a disposable cup.

31. Turn off your computer when you leave the office.

32. Work from home - even just one day a week will save the pollution caused by the commute.

33. Share car journeys where possible - car pools are a great way to cut CO2 emissions and will lessen traffic on the roads.

34. Recycle printer cartridges and use non-toxic ink.

Lifestyle

35. Use your car less. Cars are big offenders when it comes to CO2 emissions and even if you leave your car at home for even just two days a week, you will make a significant difference. Just think what cycling or walking to work will do for your waistline!

36. Drink tap water rather than bottled water as a staggering 90% of plastic water bottles are not recycled.

37. Go shopping with a reusable bag rather than buying plastic bags each time.

38. In restaurants, take one or two napkins rather than a handful. At home, use cloth napkins that can be washed and reused rather than discarded after one use.

39. Try to buy food from closer to home. Supermarkets are full of exotic fruit but many of these fruits have flown thousands of miles to reach your trolley. Planes release massive volumes of CO2 so try to choose the food that has been produced closest to your doorstep.

40. Plant a tree - trees are one of the best ways to absorb C02.

41. Buy second hand - bicycles, toys, furniture and clothes are the among the items widely available from second hand shops and classified ads.

42. Read the newspaper online rather than the printed version.

43. Recycle your old mobile - there are plenty of schemes which will find a better cause for an old handset than ending up in a landfill.

44. Keep your car healthy - a healthy car will emit less pollution and properly inflated tyres use less fuel.

45. Get your car washed professionally rather than doing it yourself in your driveway; it’s much more economical with water.

46. Reduce the number of flights you take each year. A ferry and train combination may seem longer but can work out quicker as you don’t have to check in ridiculously early or suffer delays.

47. Use e-tickets where possible - most airline companies provide this facility.

48. Opt for electronic rather than paper statements - check bank balances and pay bills online.

49. Check out the energy labels on new appliances before you buy them - an A or B rating is best.

50. Use environmentally friendly, disposable nappies that will not end up in landfill.

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