Conserving energy

Energy Saving Week is here again! http://energysavingtrust.wordpress.com/ so we would like to encourage our readers to look into ways of keeping warm this winter whilst saving money and looking after the environment.

But before we start, let us ask ourselves ‘do we really need to have the heating on now?’

At the risk of sounding rather ‘un-cool’, we’re going to suggest the old jumper-and-hat look for the home, which can do the trick – at least until the cold hits hard and more vigorous measures are in order. Jumpers and hats can also help keep the thermostat down a degree or two when we do need to turn the heating on.

Or how about a daily exercise routine for the whole family? That would definitely keep everyone warm for longer! Here’s a brilliant example of exercises which have the bonus of aiding development: http://www.movementforchildhood.com/zoorobics.pdf

But when the clocks go back an hour over the weekend and the days feel positively shorter, there are still ways of keeping warm without spending a fortune, such as setting the boiler timer to half an hour before waking up for an hour in total. Then again 15 minutes before we come back home in the evening and the next 45 minutes to warm up the house.

At bedtime, we suggest swapping the heating for a bath with a few drops of warming essential oils (such as ginger, mandarin and marjoram). Tucking into a natural fibre duvet preemptively warmed with a hot water bottle will help conserve warmth for the night.

As for electricity saving and creating a greener, more energy-efficient home, there are many good ideas in this graph http://www.wickes.co.uk/pcat/EnergySavingTips

One of the easiest and most overlooked ways to save energy is filling the kettle only up to the mark that’s needed. Why boil a whole kettle to make only a cuppa? Although there is no evidence to support the old wives’ tale that re-boiled water ‘isn’t good for you’, we notice that hot drinks made with freshly boiled water do taste better. Why? Because of a higher oxygen content, we are told.

Another little gesture which will cost us nothing is turning off all appliances at the plug. On a recent fire safety visit, our local fire station manager reminded us that switching off the plugs also reduces the risk of electric fires. So do your family two favours and use the plug switches – they are there for a reason.

On a final note, we would like to mention the Lighter Later Campaign, which is working towards saving energy by adding one hour of daylight to the British day all year round. Their proposal, in detail, can be found here: http://www.lighterlater.org/benefits.html

By Maria Montoya

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