Energy Issue: Friends of the Earth? ; There Are Plenty of Easy Ways to Conserve Energy. They'll Save You Money, Help Reduce Carbon Emissions and Make You Feel Good about Yourself. So Isn't It Time We Did More of Them?
Wingfield, Caroline, The Independent (London, England)
HOW TO SAVE THE PLANET
ON THE HOME FRONT
Turn your TV off at the set. The stand-by mode can use as much as 60 per cent of the energy used when switched on.
The tumble-dryer is the most energy consuming appliance in the home - hang your clothes to dry.
Eco-logic "one-touch" controls for taps, showers and baths let you run hot and/or cold water for a predetermined time or to a selected level; the in-built timing devices save water and energy. Contact www.eco-logic.uk.com (0121 603 1331).
Turn your thermostat down by 1C and you will save 10 per cent off your heating bill and reduce greenhouse emissions.
We lose 50 per cent of heat through walls and loft spaces, so insulate your roof, walls and pipes, and you could save up to 20 per cent on your heating bill. It costs around pounds 250 to install roof insulation, but it will have paid for itself in 2-3 years.
If everyone in the UK installed cavity wall insulation, we would cut carbon dioxide emissions by 9 million tonnes - enough to fill 51 million double-decker buses.
Double glazing halves heat lost through windows - a cheap trick to make your window draughtproof is to tape polythene across the frames. Heavy curtains work well, too.
Condensing boilers with heating controls are the most efficient, converting 88 per cent of fuel into heat compared with 72 per cent for standard boilers and saving up to 12 per cent on heating costs.
Pulp, Pink Floyd and Atomic Kitten might not be in your record collection, but they could help save the planet. Future Forests, sponsors of this year's Brit Awards, aims to make the world carbon neutral. They replant enough trees to offset the carbon dioxide released through making records and CDs. Your lifestyle for one month equals two trees, a wedding in the UK (with 75 guests) equals four trees, one return flight to Sydney equals five trees.
Lighting is responsible for 7 per cent of carbon dioxide emissions in the UK. Reduce consumption by switching lights off every time you leave a room.
Energy efficient lightbulbs cut energy wastage by three- quarters. They are not cheap but use a quarter of the electricity and last 12 times longer. Visit www.get ethical.com or www.foe.org.uk. If every household did this we would save enough energy to power the lighting used in 2 million homes for a year.
Get your candles out - have a moody dinner party and save electricity. Use natural beeswax candles that biodegrade and are smoke-free.
Install solar panels on your roof. The Big Brother House and the Sainsbury's petrol station at North Greenwich both have them. It costs from pounds 8,000 for a one-bedroom house and from pounds 24,000 for a three-bedroom house. Guaranteed for 30 years, they provide most of your domestic electricity. Visit www.solarcentury.com (0870 735 8100).
EAT, DRINK AND BE SPARING
When you make a cup of tea or coffee boil only the amount of water you need.
A slow cooker uses little more energy than a lightbulb - and food loses less of its vitamins and flavour. Steamers and pressure cookers are also economical.
Recycle your glass - 600,000 tonnes of glass was recycled in the UK last year - saving enough energy to power every primary school in the UK for a year.
Your fridge doesn't need to be any cooler than 3C - otherwise it is wasting energy. Make sure the condenser coils on the back are dust-free, if not energy consumption increases by 30 per cent.
Get an energy-saving fridge, it uses one-third of the energy of pre-energy-saving fridges. Only use a washing machine when full, on economy cycle and never above 40C.
Three out of four cans on supermarket shelves are steel and are 100 per cent recyclable. It takes 350 times more energy to make cans from raw materials than it does from recycled cans. …