Small changes to make your home more eco-friendly

House with green door

By George Charles, Money-Saving Expert at

By making sure your home is more eco-friendly, you will not only be helping the environment, but also your own bank balance. Here are some of our top tips for making sure that your house is running as efficiently as possible.

Reduce, reuse, recycle

The first thing to consider is whether or not you might be overbuying when doing your food shops. If you notice that some items are regularly being thrown away, buy smaller portions on your next trip to the supermarket or, where you can, freeze the leftovers before they go out of date.

Water bottles and plastic containers can be washed and reused. If not, all homes have recycling bins and it's good to be clued up on what can and can't be recycled. Many areas in the UK now offer blue bags for additional recycling and smaller bins for any food waste than can be used for compost.

Turn it down or off

When it comes to turning the heating on, ensure you're only heating the rooms in use; turn off the radiators in the rooms not occupied. Likewise, you can also turn the thermostat down so that not as much electricity is being used, or you can light some candles instead and allow the room to warm up naturally.

This can be applied across many areas of the home; for example, you can turn the oven off five minutes before your meal is fully cooked and the heat in the oven will continue to cook your meal. Remembering to turn off the lights when you leave the room is also a handy little tip.

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Maximise your energy

If you do want to have the heating on, there are many ways to ensure that you're getting the most out of what's being used. You can put tinfoil behind your radiator to reflect the heat behind back into the room, you can use draught excluders at the base of your doors to ensure the heat stays in the room and isn't escaping and you can also ensure that no soft furnishings are placed in front of the radiators themselves, preventing them from absorbing the heat.

Grow your own food

The back garden is the perfect space to create a small vegetable patch; green beans, potatoes, tomatoes and more can be grown at home, you just have to be patient and ensure the plants are well tended.

Unplug everything

These days homes have TVs, computers, set-top boxes and all sorts of gadgets that need to be plugged in to be used, but they don't need to be switched on when they're not in use. Just because they're off and not being used, doesn't mean they're not using energy because they're turned on at the wall.

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Reduce your water output

Whether it means choosing to take a short shower over a long, drawn out bath, or even washing all your fruit and vegetables in one bowl instead of under a running tap, reducing your water usage will save on your bill and benefit the planet.

There are many other small changes that can be made around the home, but this is as great a place to start as any.

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