We're all aware of the need for greater energy efficiency. To live greener and save energy whenever we can. But being aware of something and actually being able to do anything about it is very different. Especially when it comes to becoming more energy efficient. As individuals, we're a very small cog in a gigantic wheel. Nevertheless, if we all do our bit together we can make a big difference.
And being more energy efficient doesn't have to involve huge sacrifice. There are small things we can all do which collectively can have a positive impact on our environment. But what practical steps can you take as a tenant to make yourself live greener and your rental property to be more efficient?
By being eco-friendly you're able to make small but positive changes. In a rental, you can't make a huge difference to the property itself. The landlord will already have an Energy Performance Certificate but you take steps to personally be more energy efficient.
Here are some small steps you can take which all add up to a considerable energy saving. And of course apart from helping the environment the more energy-efficient you are the more money you'll save. So it's all win-win :
· Don't leave the lights on. It may be your grandparents’ favourite mantra but switching off the lights really does make a difference.
· Use energy-efficient light bulbs. Readily available and much cheaper than they were the best energy-efficient bulbs will pay for themselves in less than a year. Then it's all profit. Or rather money saved.
· Lower the thermostat. Just lowering the temperature by a couple of degrees will save lots of energy. Keeping a consistent temperature is far more efficient than blasting the heating on and then turning it down later on.
· Take a shower. No, not hygiene advice but a bath can use up to six times the amount of water than a shower.
· Mind the gap. Draughts from doors and windows can make you use more energy. Seal the gaps - those sausage type draught excluders are surprisingly effective.
· Unplug your chargers. Bizarrely leaving chargers in can soak up the energy. When not in use unplug them.
Recycling is a hot topic. And we should all try to do more. It is an effort to sort your plastics and food waste but it's worthwhile. Your rental will have a recycling bin along with the general waste bin. If not ask your landlord to provide one. Try and take the time to sort your rubbish into recyclable and non-recyclable waste.
If the council provides a food waste bin make full use of it. Alternatively, if you have a garden consider composting. It's easy to do. Many local councils will provide a composting bin free of charge. Or you can pick them up cheaply at any garden centre.
Food and fruit waste goes into the bin to create compost. Composting not only generates great fertiliser for the garden but also saves on the waste you dispose of. Another small win but an excellent example of how to live greener in your rental.
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