This week’s tips and activities during lockdown are money saving, planet friendly ideas. See what you could save below.
- Ignoring food ‘best before dates’
- Do the washing at a lower temperature
- Change your light bulbs
- Switch to green energy
- Save water
- Turn down the thermostat
Ignoring food ‘best before’ dates – saves up to £700
The average UK household throws out £700 of food every year partly because we stick to ‘best before end’ dates. You can safely ignore ‘best before’ dates on most foods as they only show when the product is past its best quality. Experts recommend you examine and taste-test food past its ‘best before’ date to check it is good enough to eat. But don’t ignore ‘use by’ dates on meat, fish and dairy products, as this could lead to food poisoning. Find recipes for the ingredients you have available through the Supercook website or download the app.
Do the washing at a lower temperature – yearly saving around £10
Your washing machine will clean just as effectively on a 20c or 30c cycle but it will save you around £10 per year, according to green energy supplier Ovo. Most normal washing can be effectively cleaned at 20c as long as any stains are pre-treated and the washing is allowed to dry thoroughly, preferably outside. Only heavily stained cleaning items need washing at 40c to 60c.
Change your light bulbs – save about £55 by replacing 10 bulbs
Although energy- saving LED bulbs still cost more than traditional ones at about £3 each but they last two or three times as long and cut your bills. If you still have old lightbulbs, you can swap them for 7W LED bulbs which emit the same light as a 60W traditional bulb. The Energy Saving Trust estimates you will then save around £2 per bulb per year because they need changing less frequently, plus at least £35 per year off your electricity bill. And you can pick LED bulbs in Poundland saving even more.
Switch to green energy – save up to £289
Many green energy companies, which use wind, solar and other renewable energy, offer competitive deals. Based on 2019 prices, a family in a semi-detached home could save £289 a year with Octopus, or £282 per year with Pure Planet, compared to a standard variable tariff with EDF Energy. Big Clean Switch specialises in quotes and switching to green energy.
Save water in the shower – save up to £185 a year
The average shower in the UK lasts 8 minutes and uses about 60 litres of water. You can save on your heating bills and water if it’s metred. Try having five minute showers; use a less powerful setting and don’t leave your shower running. An eco-showerhead could also you save water, energy and money if you have a mains water or power shower. They cost as little as £15, but could save a family of four £70 per year on energy, plus £115 per year on water bills, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
Turn down the thermostat – cut up to £75 off your heating bill
Nudging your thermostat down by just one degree can save 340kg of carbon dioxide from going into the atmosphere every year — and cut £75 off your heating bill. The Energy Saving Trust has some energy saving quick wins.