There are lots of things that we can do to save water and energy, but many of us put them off because we don’t have the money for a hybrid car, the time to take a course on permaculture, or we don’t know where to start with making major green renovations to our homes.
But sometimes, our behaviour is so automatically ingrained that we don’t even think about it, so we miss great opportunities to save energy.
Here are my top ten quick, easy ways we can all save energy every day, without investing in any special products or making any major changes to our schedules.
Before you flick on the light-switch… check if the curtains are open.
Before you turn on the fan/heater/air-con… check if the windows and doors are open/closed.
Before you turn on the oven… take a second to consider: is there anything else you can throw in to multitask (bake some potatoes, roast some veggies, or whip up a tray of baby food)?
Before you run the washer/dishwasher… is it full? Could you wait until a few more things have been loaded? And on that note, before you bung laundry in the tumble dryer… is it sunny out? With our glorious sun, it almost always makes sense to hang your clothes rather than tumble them.
Before you walk away from the TV/computer/sound system… have you switched it off? At the wall? Appliances still use 10% of energy when they are in “standby” mode, according to the green book.
Before you toss that thing in the trash… can it be re-used? Recycled?
Before you flush… assess the damage. Is it really worth 5-6 litres (or more) of clean water, or can you let the yellow mellow? (And while we’re in the bathroom, remember not to let the water run while you’re brushing your teeth!)
Before you leave the house in the morning… have you turned off the geyser?
Before you reach for the car keys… could you use a nice walk?
Before you put that item in your shopping trolley… is it made from sustainable sources? From where has it been transported? Is it heavily packaged? Is there another product on the shelf that might be a greener choice?
What are your favourite water- and energy-saving tips?