Tuesday, 1 April 2008

Five Ideas to Save Money and Go Green

If the economic downturn is hitting your wallet here are some easy ways to save you significant sums of money each year whilst also reducing your environmental impact on the world.

1.Stop buying bottled water
Water that sits in plastic bottles for months whilst being shipped around the world is not only a huge source of carbon dioxide emissions, it's also a waste of money. Bottled water has less checks on its purity and safety than British tap water. If you're worried about chlorine or impurities in tap water just use a water filter. In bulk filters cost only £2-3 a month, as much as a bottle of fancy mineral water! Also some chemicals leach into the water from the plastic.

2.No more washing powder and fabric conditioner
Household laundry is one of those great invisible sources of consumption and cost. Your machine may be costing you significant amounts of water and electricity if it isn't efficient. But what about the stuff you put in it? Cut your cost per wash down to 3p by using EcoBalls. Dry outside or on radiators. Use a full load, not lots of part loads, saves water as well.

3 Insulate
Whether it's hot water or heating think about how to make best use of it. Don't leave the hot water running in the kitchen sink whilst wiping surfaces. Wear a sweater inside so you don't need to keep the heating up so high. Use draft excluders and other insulation available at DIY stores to quickly and cheaply keep your home as warm as possible. The council can help with cavity walls and lofts. And dont heat the outside with patio heaters.

4.Get on your bike
Most car journeys are less than 2 miles, its often healthier to walk or cycle. Do you really need your car every day? You can save money by going Car-free. There are car clubs (if there's one in your area) or you can rent for as little as £30/day. If you really do need a car, try getting a smaller one or a hybrid. These will reduce not only your fuel bill but also your car tax as well as the car's emissions.

5 Buy an electric meter
Spending money on this will reduce your electric bills, as you become more aware of how much money is being wasted as devices a left on around the house. Soon after I bought mine I unplugged my freezer, I was paying lots to store food, when there are lots of shops around so no need to do this. Now some people cook in large amounts and freeze some for later, but I wasn't so off it went.

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