21 October 2013 | News and features | Back to Blog

It’s easy being green (when you know how)

Want to make your home more environmentally friendly but not sure where to start?

Here are some simple ways to reduce your impact on the earth (and some of them will also reduce the impact of utility bills on your wallet. Win!)

RecycleSeparate your recycling from your general waste and reduce landfill while helping to conserve natural resources, save energy and reduce carbon emissions. In Tower Hamlets, collect recycling bags from Idea Stores across the borough or visit the council’s website to have them sent home. If you need help with this, contact Lizzie or Ben.

Keep the warm in with draught excluders – Fake double glazing with window insulation film. Stick to the window frame and heat with a hair-dryer to make it nice and tight. If your doors are draughty, try using draft excluder tape. These foam strips will block up the gaps between the door and the frame and stop warm air escaping. Both of these products are cheap and effective, available online or from hardware stores for under a tenner.

On a similar note, save energy and cash by turning off radiators in infrequently used rooms.

Turn off the lights and other unused appliances – Cut down your electricity bill and reduce your carbon footprint by turning off lights, appliances and chargers when you’re not using them. Even on standby, the amount of wasted energy adds up!

Wash your clothes with cooler water – Most of the energy used by your washing machine goes into heating the water. Lots of washing powders and liquids are now specially designed to clean at a cool 30C. Turn down the temperature and reduce the cost.

Turn off the tap while you brush your teeth and fill a bowl to wash the dishes – You can save a huge amount of water simply by turning off the tap! Save around 8 litres per day for tooth brushing alone, even more for washing up.

Use green, low-phosphate products to clean body, home and clothes – Be kind to the fishes! A mixture of vinegar and bicarbonate of soda is surprisingly effective for cleaning blocked pipes. Pour both in, put in the plug and blockages will be pushed out. Cheap, effective and better for the environment than the chemical alternatives.

Use LED light bulbs – Bright, extremely long lasting and mercury free, they’re also 300% more energy efficient than fluorescent lights (and about 1000% more efficient than incandescent lights).

Flush less water – Install a device in the cistern of your toilet that displaces the water and reduces the amount of water used for each flush. If you have any problems with your plumbing, this may not be for you. Buy one here:http://www.hippo-the-watersaver.co.uk/

Stop your junk mail and save the trees – You could save 1.5 trees a year simply by stopping all the junk mail that comes to your house. Find out how by visiting The Citizens Advice Bureau online.

Say no to plastic bags – Reduce landfill by using reusable bags. Hang them by the front door so you don’t forget to take them.

Use rechargeable batteries – Save yourself time and money by using rechargeable batteries. Super convenient and more earth friendly than regular batteries.

Grow your own vegetables and herbsInvest in a tomato grow bag or turn a window box into a herb garden and keep stocked up without the carbon footprint.

Good luck and happy green-ing!