We’ve all seen how you can save energy and water by making large impact changes, like washing with full loads, not using standby’s on electrical devices and taking a shower etc. But even if these actions are possible, what do you do next to save a bit more?
Well you could go an make some major investments, like solar thermal, solar PV, windpower, ground/air source and/or rainwater harvesting. Any of these will cost serious £!!
I’m not in the position to make costly changes and I do feel that I do most of the main things right as outline above on in numerous blog posts, but I try to think of new small ways that when added together can make a real difference.
1) When I boil the kettle, I also only boil just enough for what I need, but crucially I refill the kettle with another cups worth of cold water. That way the cold tap water can be partly heated from the residual heat in the kettle.
2) When filling the sink for the morning wash ‘n’ shave, I always put the plug in first and run only the hot water. This way the initial cold water will add volume and the hot water will be slightly cooled to the required temperature.
3) When recycling food jars, I add a little water and close the lid and shake the water around. You’ll be amazed how little water is required to wash the jar/bottle.
4) Take the time to measure the amount of water you use in your steamer (for vegetables) if you use one. I cut down by over 50% by doing some trials.
Whilst these won’t save the earth by themselves, if like me you’ll enjoy the challenge of trying to use a little bit less of something each time and you might be able to “train/educate” all the family to come and join in. Maybe, just maybe these small savings will add up enough to buy your next eco-saving improvement.
More on cooking
For the last two years I have switch from a gas oven to a more efficient halogen one. Not only do these save time because the cook at least 20% faster than conventual cookers, they save vast amounts of energy. Firstly the units are quite small and so pre-heating is virtually unnecessary and secondly the fan ensures rapid transfer of heat. The downside perhaps is that you can’t batch cook as you might with a larger oven.