Phantom’s eco tip: Ten Easy Green New Year’s Resolutions

Eco tip 10 - New Years Green Resolutions copy

This week’s eco tip is from Green Living Tips. On the eve of Valentine’s Day, New Year and the resolutions you made may well be long forgotten, but there’s no reason why you can’t have another go at starting some new habits. Especially when they’ll benefit both the planet and your pocket!

1. Shut off the lights when you leave a room

This one is really easy to implement. How many times have you left a room with the lights and TV on, not to return for an hour or more? By making a concerted effort to keep the lights on only in the rooms that you are in, you will become a more energy conscious household. You will also see a reduction in your electricity bill.

2. Use electricity during non-peak hours

Find out from your service provider when their peak and off-peak hours are, and if possible run your larger appliances such as the dishwasher, washing machine, etc. during off peak hours only. By reducing your energy consumption during peak hours you will also be putting less pressure on the energy system as not as many people consciously use electricity during non-peak hours.

3. Close the tap while brushing your teeth

There is no need to leave the water running while you are brushing your teeth. Wet your brush beforehand and then turn off the water until you have finished. It might not seem like a big deal, but turning off the water while you scrub those pearlers will add up in the long run.

4. Reduce your shower time by three minutes

Again, three minutes might not seem like a lot, but it all adds up. Think about the volumes of water just pouring down the drain. A wind up timer is a great reminder that you need to start toweling off. Another way to save water while showering is to turn the water off while you soap yourself, and then switch it back on when you’re ready to rinse.

5. Eliminate the use of paper towels in your house

Paper towels are a big source of paper waste in many households. Instead of using paper towels, why not consider paperless alternatives such as old clothes cut up, or even actual towels that you can just wash and reuse time and time again. Not only will this cut down on your paper use, it will also save money!

6. Reusable shopping bags

Reusable bags have to be one of the easiest ways to cut down on your waste. The average family goes grocery shopping at least once a week. Think about all the plastic and paper you’d eliminate by taking your own bags instead of using the throwaway ones you get at the till. Leave the bags in your car so that you don’t forget them when you go shopping. Keep one bag aside for your fresh produce items, so that you don’t have to use a whole lot of small plastic bags for your loose fruit and veg. Weigh the items and then store them in the separate bag so they don’t get bruised. Stick the bar code stickers on the bag ready to hand in at the till.

7. Turn down the heat by three degrees in winter and the air conditioner up by the same in the summer

You’ll be pleasantly surprised to see what a difference three degrees can make when you get your electricity bill at the end of the month. Try it out for a while and then compare your bills to the year before during the same period. This might mean having to wear a sweatshirt in winter and something a little skimpier in summer, but these are small sacrifices when you consider how much money you’ll be saving.

8. Support farmers’ markets

Find out where your local farmers’ markets are and make a point of going once a week to pick up everything you need. The prices are often more affordable, but more importantly, the food is fresher and locally grown. You will be supporting local farmers instead of someone on the other side of the country (or world), where the fruit and vegetables have been covered with pollution and dirt during their travels in the back of a truck.

9. Check your house for draughts especially around doors and windows

Not only will you increase the value of your home by doing these improvements, you will also see a decrease in your heating bill/cooling bill every month. Depending on the season, all those gaps are allowing the hot air in or out. And of course, there’s the issue of creepy crawlies squeezing themselves in too! The best way to check is simply to feel your way around the doors and windows on a windy day. If your fingers feel chilly then you need to make your way down to Builders Warehouse for the necessary DIY bits and pieces.

10. Grow your own spices

In spring and summer we’re spoiled with an abundance of fresh herbs and spices. Whether you buy them at the farmers’ market or grow your own in the garden, why not carry this through in winter by growing your own herbs and spices indoors? All you really need are a few extra pots to line up on your kitchen windowsill. It’s definitely worth the effort!

The Phantom Forest Team

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