Little changes can make a difference. Here are 17 suggestions to reduce your carbon footprint or energy use around the home in 2017 to leave the planet just the little bit better off for the next generation.
There are lots of changes you can make to your home or habits to reduce the impact you have on the planet this year – some can also save you money. Here are some great ones to add to your own green resolutions for 2017.
- Fit a heated towel rail timer. Who doesn’t love a warm cozy towel but your towel rail doesn’t need to run 24/7. Fitting a towel rail timer is a small job but needs to be done by a professional so next time you need an electrician ask him to bring a timer to fit at the same time.
- Check your hot water cylinder temperature. Many homes have their hot water cylinder set at too high a temperature which is unsafe for young childrenand uses more electricity than you need to. 55 degrees at the tap is recommended.
- Avoid single-use shopping bags. We get handed so many shopping bags and at best they get used just once more as kitchen bin liners. Keep reusable shopping bags in your car ready for unexpected supermarket trips there are also nylon compact ones available.
- Retire your beer fridge. Modern fridges must meet Minimum Energy Performance Standards so, depending on its age, your old beer fridge may cost more to run than your main kitchen fridge. Either retire it completely or only switch it on when needed for special occasions.
- Change to LED lightbulbs & downlights. Incandescent bulbs turn much of their energy into heat rather than light and are notorious for blowing on a regular basis. Reduce your power usage and frustration by switching to LED bulbs or LED downlight fittings. (Read more)
- Avoid buying water/soft drink by making your own. Buy reusable drink bottles and a water jug with a filter to give you great tasting water and add natural flavours of your own. Think of all the bottles & money you’re saving.
- Take shorter showers and/or use water efficient shower heads. Water heating is another major power user in your home. It’s estimated a one minute reduction in your shower time will save $80 per year and a more water efficient shower head could save $150 or more per year. (Source: Energywise.govt.nz)
- Add or top-up your home insulation. Space heating accounts for the largest portion the average home’s power bill. Check the type and level of insulation in your ceiling since some settle over time - if it’s below the joists you’ll need a top-up. Insulation keeps you cooler in summer as well as warmer in winter. (Read more)
- Hang laundry outside to dry whenever you can. A clothes dryer costs around $1 per load (Source: Energywise.govt.nz) so changeable weather aside, drying your clothes outside saves money and reduces damp and humidity in your home. (Read more about humidity & ventilation)
- Walk to work or the shops. Every trip to work or the local shops doesn’t need to be by car..If you’re close enough then take the opportunity to reduce both your carbon footprint and your waistline. Can you commit to reducing by 2-3 trips per week?
- Use full laundry & dishwasher loads. Many appliances have half-load type programmes/options but usually are more energy & water efficient with full loads. Just wait a little longer till it’s full.
- Defrost food in the fridge instead of the microwave. Just a little planning ahead means you can avoid defrosting food in the microwave and (slightly) lessen the chilling required for your fridge.
- Reduce standby power usage. Standby power is the electricity consumed when your devices aren’t actually in use. Each device able to be activated with a remote control or with glowing lights when idle is using electricity to no benefit.
- Use “delayed start” on your appliances to shuffle your power usage if off-peak rates are available. Even if no off-peak rates
- Fill your kettle from the cold tap and only fill as much as you need.
- Check your tyre pressure every month. Good tyre pressure combined with smooth accelerating can reduce your fuel bill by 20%.
- Shop by the stars. Consider the energy and water efficiency of your purchases by checking their energy and water star ratings. Also think about the reliability and expected life of appliances and whether they can be easily repaired or are destined for the landfill after a short time.
For more ideas on how you can reduce your energy and resource use visit www.energywise.govt.nz
If you'd like to look at insulation, energy efficient heating, LED downlights or ventilation systems and moreto increase the energy efficiency and health of your home, or not sure what your need to save on energy use, then contact us for your free personalised Home Energy Plan including a no-obligation quote.
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