How to save energy and water at home
Every day, a home might waste many litres of fresh water – and let energy fly out of the window. But there’s no need to flush your money down the drain. You can look at your household habits in a different way to both cut your utility bills and to reduce the strain on precious resources.
Saving energy is saving money
You can use less energy – and cut your bills – with a fresh look at your lighting, heating and home appliances.
LED light bulbs, for example, use up to 85% less energy and last 20 times longer than incandescent bulbs. To easily lower your heating costs, you can use insulating blinds or thicker curtains when the temperature drops.
What about that power-hungry tumble dryer? When you can drip-dry on a rack instead, your clothes suffer less wear-and-tear into the bargain.
Of course, electrical appliances are modern-day essentials but the newer models, rated AA+ or higher, are very energy efficient. And, if you want to think big, home solar can reduce your electricity payments, as well as your carbon emissions.
How to use less water – without even trying
Of all the water in the world, less than 3% is fresh. So, the careful use of it makes sense – financially and environmentally. Happily, some modern products can do the water-saving for you.
For example, a pressure-compensating aerator is standard across the whole IKEA range of taps and showers. This reduces the amount of water coming out – by up to 50% in some bathroom taps – but keeps the flow at the level you want. So, you use less energy to heat it, even more when the tap has a cold-start function.
Today’s dishwashers and washing machines usually have an ‘eco mode’ option that’s highly water- and energy-efficient. In fact, a fully-laden dishwasher on this setting will use less water than if you were to do it all by hand.
Save some for the plants, too
A typical home can save many litres of water each day, simply by turning off the tap while you brush your teeth. Or by washing your salad in a bowl instead of under running water. You can then give this water to your houseplants. And while you wait for the shower to warm up, you can collect the water for the same purpose.
Fresh water may be an expensive resource – but rainwater is free to collect for use on your garden. (If you wait until sunset, you lose less water through evaporation.)
In warmer weather, you can chill your tap water in the fridge so that you don’t have to run the tap to cool down first. Of course, not everyone in the world has drinkable water on tap. So, perhaps those of us that do ought to value every last drop.