From little acorns mighty oak trees grow. We are all aware that protecting our environment to preserve its wonderful natural resources should be at the top of our to do list, and as the saying goes great things really do come from small beginnings. Here are a few ideas that can easily be adopted in our homes to help begin making more of a sustainable lifestyle and reduce environmental impact.

  1. Unplug electronics from ports overnight

Devices and gadgets have become a fundamental part of modern living. But how many of us are guilty of shutting down our laptops but leaving them plugged in? Most electronic devices keep on drawing electricity even when you turn them off. In fact, the Energy Saving Trust estimates that consumer electronics alone (that’s things like laptops, TVs and games consoles) account for around 19% of total electrical use in the average household, or 9% of your energy bill. Wet appliances (anything that uses water like your dishwasher or washing machine) are thought to account for 25% of an average household’s electrical use and 15% of total energy bills, while cooking, cold appliances and lighting accounts for 19%, 16% and 16% of the average household’s electricity use.

Gadgets and appliances that are always plugged in are constantly adding to your electric bill. It is called phantom power use: Even when not turned on, these devices are using power just by being plugged in. Think about appliances in your home that you are able to unplug. For example, if you only really use your microwave once a day to heat your porridge, it would be worth the extra effort to turn it off until you use it again – that digital clock flashing away means it’s using energy. So, if you don’t use your microwave to tell time, go ahead and unplug.

Chargers are another drain on the power grid. From our phones and laptops to our electric toothbrushes, those chargers are adding to your electric bill every minute they are not actually charging. So, when you are not actually charging anything or your device has reached 100%, unplug it from the wall.

TVs and other entertainment devices are the worst culprits in terms of energy consumption. Think of all those LED lights flashing at you from the TV, PlayStation, DVD recorder and the like. They are all wasting energy. We are not suggesting that you unplug everything every time a show ends, and you go and make a cup of tea, but it would be a good idea to unplug them at night-time, or when you leave for work in the morning, or even just when you go away on holiday would make a difference.

  1. Change the light bulbs in your house

Changing for a CFL  or LED light bulbs allows you to use less electricity and replace them less often as they last much longer than regular light bulbs. A simple swap but extremely effective.

  1. Set your thermostat a little lower during winter

The average UK household is setting its thermostat to 20°C, a degree higher than the Committee on Climate Change recommends in the battle to combat climate change. Heating your home uses a lot of energy and while we don’t want you to sit shivering uncomfortably, research by shows that by turning your thermostat down by just 1°C could save you as much as £80 a year. It means the 17.7 million households setting thermostats above 20°C could save £1.4 billion if they turned the temperature down just a single degree and donned a jumper instead. That’s a lot of conserved energy to be had.

Reducing the amount of energy we use by making some (or all) of these small changes will go a long way in making our households more energy efficient and in turn, save the planet for future generations to enjoy. If the team at Maintracts can help you achieve your energy efficient goals in anyway, please give us a call. Maybe you have a dripping tap that needs sorting to reduce your water consumption? An old boiler that isn’t functioning properly causing you to vamp up your heating higher than you would like? Or maybe it’s time to upgrade your boiler – whatever you need, our plumbing and heating engineers are here for you.