Eco To-Do List: The Top Five

February 18, 2014 11:00 am

It is so easy to become a ‘trendy sustainability’ victim – lecturing people on what they should be doing, and not quite hitting the mark yourself. Yes, it is sometimes overwhelming to think “eco” all of the time, but you must first rid yourself of the idea that offsetting your carbon emission by paying some company to plant trees is not going to cut it in the long-run.Radiator_op_blauw-wit-gestreepte_tegels

If we all thought about transforming five things in our daily lives, we would certainly be getting there. From the type of kettle you use or the type of light bulbs, this daily activity could reduce your ecological footprint a lot. Expanding to ten, and then fifteen things will eventually see you – yes you – become sustainable without the hippy (read ineffective) jargon.

1. Turn off when you are out

Whether out of the house, or just a room that you don’t intend on coming back into, switch it off! By ‘it’, I mean radiator(s) and lights. Fair enough, if you’re about to go to bed in an hour or so and want your bedroom heated so that you are not an icicle underneath the sheets – keep the heating on. But why is it necessary to leave lights on when you don’t use the room, or heat up a room with the door open? It is an environmental no-no, but also a financial one; according to uswitch, turning your thermostat down by just 1 degrees will save as much as £60 a year. It is crazy to think how many hundreds of dollars and pounds people lose because they are too lazy to turn stuff off. It will make an enormous difference on your finances and the environment – so if you know you’re guilty of the aforementioned, think about the money that you will save!

Another related way to reduce your environmental impact is to purchase and use long-life light bulbs. These last twice as long as their older, energy-guzzling counterparts and use a lot less energy. My electricity bill is wonderfully low now that I am using these – once again, a win-win.

2. Switch kettles!vkj318_2

Putting the kettle on, a very British saying, is actually one on the change. Ever since hot cup energy saving kettles, you don’t have to put a whole load of water on and wait for it to boil anymore. This innovation allows you to instantly (and I mean instantly) heat up water for only one cup at about a tenth of the time a normal kettle would take to heat. That’s time, money and energy saved; and for me, it has certainly been worth getting one.

3. Beauty products

I have been extremely pleased with using an olive oil cleansing system, as shown here, but with a twist – I add sea salt to the mix. Each morning, exfoliating with this has left my skin feeling soft and (almost) blemish-free (and this is a feat for me!). This is easily attainable and, thankfully, more affordable than all the sodium laureth sulfate-based products that cost more and do less.

4. Use all-natural cleaning products

Instead of buying that abrasive oven cleaner, why not try what you’ve already got in the house? Vinegar, lemon juice and baking soda are all brilliant cleaning products, which can be used for differing parts of your weekly clean. See here for more details.

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5. Put lids on those pans!

An obvious one, yes, but one that is not done as often as it should be. Putting a lid on your saucepan helps to heat food up much faster than with no lid, and of course, saves on your gas or electricity bill. It’s so simple, but makes a big difference!

So there you have it, five top tips to save money and become more sustainable. This is a solid starter list – give it a go!

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