Households are responsible for a majority of the country's energy use. This energy is mainly produced from burning fossil fuels, which release damaging emissions including carbon dioxide that contributes to climate change. Excessive consumption of water every day means natural water sources are strained and levels often fall in waterways. You can make a big difference in your home simply by making a few small adjustments to your routine.
- Switch off all lights and electrical appliances when not in use – your TV left on standby can still use a quarter of full power.
- Choose energy-efficient appliances and light bulbs.
- Let clothes dry naturally rather than using a tumble drier.
- Keep lids on pans when cooking to prevent your cooker having to work extra hard.
- On average using a gas oven costs a quarter of the price of running an electric one. Switch to gas if you have the option.
- Fix dripping taps – they can waste up to 13 litres of water a day.
- Don't leave the tap running while you clean your teeth.
- Take a shower instead of a bath.
Save Wood and Paper
- Return unwanted mail and ask for your name to be removed from the mailing list.
- Always use both sides of a sheet of paper.
- Use e-mail to stay in touch, including cards, rather than faxing or writing.
- Re-use envelopes.
- Always recycle paper after use.
- Share magazines with friends and pass them on to the doctor, dentist or local hospital for their waiting rooms.
Reuse and Recycle
- Use washable diapers instead of disposables if you can.
- Recycle as much as you can – if there are no recycling facilities near you, contact your local council.
- Give unwanted clothes, toys and books to charity shops or garage sales.
- Use mains electricity rather than batteries if possible. If not, use rechargeable batteries.
- Use a solar-powered calculator instead of one with a battery.
- Store food and other products in ceramic containers rather than foil and plastic wrap.
Reduce Waste and Pollution
- Dispose of old appliances – particularly refrigerators with units containing CFCs – responsibly. If in doubt, contact your local council.
- Choose environmentally friendly cleaning products containing plant extracts that degrade quickly when washed down the drain.
- Put sanitary waste and wrappings in the dustbin, not down the toilet.