Pre-COVID, climate change was at the top of the public agenda; can we use the period of pause in lockdown to save energy and contribute to a healthier planet?
Soon after the UK announced lockdown, energy demand fell to an all time low. Offices, stores, restaurants, bars, leisure complexes and so much more were told to shut up shop overnight. Unsurprisingly, this had a huge impact on energy consumption.
And as society slowed down, the world gradually began to breathe again. The waters in Venice are clear for the first time in years. Animals are returning to their natural habitats. Nature is blooming in the most extraordinary way.
It’s been a side effect of the pandemic – and, of course, it is by no means the manner in which anyone would have ever wanted to experience environmental improvement.
But, could it be a silver lining that we cling onto and endeavour to turn into something good?
Like many of you reading this article, here at Buildpass we are spending more time than ever within the four walls of our home. This could easily lead to a spike in our energy use and, as a result, a big increase in bills. In addition, we know only too well how the makeup of our homes can affect our wellbeing (did you see our latest book review on this?), and so it stands to reason that now is the time to alter these spaces for the better.
We are by no means alone in this. With the majority of households still experiencing a degree of lockdown, the potential for a surge in home-based energy usage is huge.
Now is the time to mitigate any further damage and save energy, water and cash.
We are all responsible for contributing to a sustainable life after COVID-19.
All it takes is simple changes; subtle adjustments.
It isn’t about reinventing the wheel or investing in costly systems and tools. Just quick, easy to implement hacks. And we’ve got ten of them.
Reduce your carbon footprint from home and cut your bills in the process with our ten top tips.
- Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need.
Overfilling the kettle wastes excess water and requires more, unnecessary energy to heat it.
- Do not leave your TV on standby.
Hands up who’s been guilty of this before? Turning your TV off completely is a really easy way to minimise its energy use.
- Switch to LED efficient light bulbs.
Swapping over to LED light bulbs has the potential to save you serious bucks; the more you switch, the more you save!
- Turn your water down to 60℃.
60℃ is the minimum temperature needed to kill legionella bacteria. Consider reducing it to that; the cooler your water, the less it costs to run.
- Set your washing machine to 30 – 40℃ and try to dry clothes naturally.
Washing at a lower temperature enables you to limit CO2 emissions, cut energy consumption and, ultimately, save the planet. Plus, colder temperatures actually take better care of your fabric – win win!
- Do one less wash a week.
…and while you’re “doing your bit” with a lower washing machine temperature, why not cut down your amount of washes per week? Even just one less wash will make a huge difference on your water and energy usage.
- Spend 1 minute less in the shower.
There’s a lot of debate about the optimum shower time to tick the green box. Try making it just a tiny bit shorter; one minute can make all the difference.
- Draught proof your doors and windows.
Draught excluders can make a big difference to the heat capacity of your home and limit the need to turn on the heating. There are some great DIY tips to draught proof your home – have you given any a try?
- Turn your thermostat down and set timers.
The aim is to keep your home at a comfortable temperature – you can do this by using your thermostat controls efficiently and scheduling heating to go on and off when needed. This will reduce your carbon dioxide emissions and minimise those bills.
- Consider switching energy providers.
You may not want to dive into this one right now, but moving to a more energy efficient provider can save you hundred of pounds every year. But do your research – don’t always believe the hype. Be sure to choose a provider that genuinely does what they say on the tin.
However small, we all have the power to have a positive impact on our planet and reduce the mark our carbon footprint leaves.