Guest Post: Being eco friendly makes good financial sense
We are all aware of the threat of global warming and the effect that climate change will have on the planet in the decades ahead. As a result many individuals are concerned enough to search for effective ways to help protect the environment, in their daily lives at work, at home and when travelling. There are ways and means that can really help to reduce everyone’s negative impact on the environment with just some basic lifestyle changes. A bonus is that by doing this we can all save ourselves some money.
Being eco friendly when out and about
Leaving the car in the garage and walking, cycling and opting to use public transport are all good for the environment; harmful emissions are reduced as is the use and cost of fossil fuels. However, some car owners have no choice but to use their vehicles if they reside in a rural area and public transport is not available. However, those drivers can also help by driving differently in order to reduce fuel consumption and the impact of CO2 emissions. Progressing smoothly through the gears and a light foot on the accelerator are essential as this reduces fuel consumption dramatically. When replacing a vehicle consider purchasing a hybrid or electrically powered car. These are still somewhat pricey so alternatively consider a smaller car that is more fuel-efficient.
Another useful tip to reduce fuel consumption is to ensure that tyres are at the correct pressure (many cars have a recommended eco tyre pressure). Also, avoid pre-heating the car’s interior, as this is wasteful; only use the air-conditioning when really necessary. Remember that leaving an engine idling causes air pollution, so switch off the ignition if it seems likely the car will be stationary for a while, such as when in a motorway tailback.
Try not to carry unnecessary items in the car boot or interior – the extra weight will affect petrol or diesel consumption. Similarly, rooftop luggage carriers loaded with goods changes the car’s aerodynamics, creating more air resistance when travelling and as a result uses more fuel.
Recycling household rubbish has a positive effect on the environment and the local authority will collect card and paper, plastic bottles, glass, tins and garden waste, whilst others – including charity shops – will take second-hand clothes, shoes, spectacles and even old mobile phones.
Reducing the household’s spend on utilities can help avoid wastefulness and also save money. Water, gas and electricity prices have all increased quite dramatically over the past few years so it is in everyone’s interest to reduce the amount used. Dishwashers and washing machines should always be full before being turned on – this will ultimately cut the number of cycles run in a normal week. Showers use less water than baths, as do toilets when fitted with dual flush controls. Use a toilet displacement bag in the cistern, which reduces the amount of water used to flush.
The cost of gas or oil central heating can be reduced if the thermostat is turned down just a couple of degrees. If you have an old boiler consider replacement with a high efficiency model.
Reduce electricity bills
Using energy-saving appliances and light bulbs and switching off lights when leaving a room can make real savings. Many washing machines have a time saver or a quick wash option and using this with a low temperature wash is perfectly adequate for a normal load of laundry. Use a tumble dryer sparingly; if the weather is good hang washing outdoors to dry.
By switching your supplier lower electricity prices can be found, but it is essential that overall consumption be reduced wherever possible.