April 22nd is Earth Day, a global holiday in support of environmental protection. In 2023, more than a billion people around the globe are expected to participate in fundraising, protests, clean-up events and more in the name of ecological activism.
One easy way to join them is to make some simple changes to reduce your home’s carbon footprint. Reducing the amount of water and energy you use at home won’t only help you reduce your environmental impact, you’ll also save money on your bills.
We’ve collected some of our favourite – and simplest – tips for greener living below.
Easy ways to save energy at home
Many energy-saving tricks take just a few minutes. Spend an hour on Earth Day making some of these changes and see a drop in your energy bills and carbon footprint.
Set your freezer to -18°C. This is the recommended temperature for storing food safely, but some freezers can be set as low as -24°C. A freezer set at -24°C will use 25% more electricity.
Do a standby sweep. Turn off anything that’s been left on charge or on standby. The Energy Saving Trust estimates the average home spends more than £55 on power for devices that aren’t being used.
Drop your thermostat. If you haven’t adjusted your heating since the winter, it’s a good time to start turning it down. A typical household could save £100 a year by lowering their heating by 1°C.
These are some of the quickest changes you can make to save energy, but we have lots more tips – 72 in all. Read 72 ways to save on your energy bills here.
Save water this Earth Day
Using water efficiently helps the environment in two ways, reducing the amount of clean water you waste and the gas or electricity you use to heat your hot water. There are some straightforward changes you can make at home that will cut your everyday water use.
Fix that dripping tap. A heavy drip can waste more than 5000 litres of water a year, and depending on the taps you have fitted fixing the problem might be as simple as adding a new washer.
Use cups of water left out overnight to water plants rather than tipping them down the sink.
Turn off your tap when you brush your teeth to save up to 12 litres of water every time.
For more ways to save water at home read our 15 easy water-saving tips.
Keep temperatures – and your electric bill – low this summer
While we’re still enduring the temperamental weather of British springtime, summer – and the now annual UK heat wave – is just around the corner.
Between powering fans and struggling fridges, energy bills can climb during warm weather even when your heating gets switched off. Here are our top tips for keeping cool without it costing the earth.
Use your windows and curtains carefully. Close your curtains while the sun is up and then crack the windows open when temperatures drop in the evening to circulate cool air.
Take advantage of the warm weather to save energy in other places. Dry laundry outside if you have space, and defrost food before cooking to save energy in the oven.
Your freezer is most efficient when it’s full. Fill up any gaps with empty bottles full of water, once they’re frozen you can use them as on-the-go ice packs.
For more suggestions, check out how to beat the heat without breaking the bank here.
Read more about water and energy in the UK: