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Top tips for a greener home

We could all do a little more to protect our planet. Making just a few small tweaks to your lifestyles can make a big difference to the size of your carbon footprint. If you're keen to go green, the first place you should look to make changes is at home.

Not only will making your home more eco-friendly bring benefits to the environment, it could also save you money in the long run. So, here are some ways to be kinder to the planet, without it costing the earth.

Get smart

Tech is marvellous for making our lives that little bit easier. In the home, smart meters can help you to be more energy efficient and slash your bills. With a smart meter installed, you can see what you're using in real-time, so you make smarter decisions when it comes to saving energy. Get one now and get ahead – the government has called on all gas and energy suppliers to make sure every home has a meter installed by 2020.

Worry about water

Statistics show the average person in the UK uses 150 litres of water every day, which is probably more than you thought. There are many tricks for keeping water usage to a minimum, such as:

  • Turning the tap off when brushing your teeth.
  • Fitting a 'hippo' device to your toilet so every flush uses less water. This saves around 1,460 litres over 12 months.
  • Using an eco shower head and shortening time spent showering (an eight-minute shower uses around 60 litres of water).
  • Investing in a water butt to collect rainwater for watering the garden.
  • Always running the washing machine and dishwasher with full loads.

Make the switch

LEDs are more energy efficient and cost-effective than regular lightbulbs. Swap out all bulbs in your home and you could save around £35 a year on your electricity bills – other things that'll help include:

  • Always turning lights off when leaving a room.
  • Being conscious of how many lights you have on – do you really need three lights on in the living room?
  • Using smart sensors and timers so your lights only come on when you need them.

Find out about government freebies

Did you know some homeowners qualify for free boilers and loft insulation? This initiative forms part of the Energy Company Obligations (ECO) scheme and is available to people who receive tax credits, are receiving certain benefits, and have an income of £16,190 or less.

If you qualify to receive these freebies, a shiny new boiler will cut CO2 emissions and could lead to savings of up to £320 a year, while cavity wall and loft insulation could amount to savings of £450 – but you need make sure it's right for you.

And some quick-fire, creative ways to be more green…

  • Keep your fridge out of direct sunlight, otherwise it has to work harder to keep cool.
  • Snuggle up to your favourite, furry friend – 13% of people cuddle their cats or dogs to keep warm!
  • Compost scraps from the kitchen to cut down on household waste.
  • Finished baking? Switching the oven off but keeping the door open creates a super toasty kitchen!
  • If it's time to replace your old washing machine, buy one with an accredited Energy Star rating.
  • Open blinds during the day – sunlight will pour in and help heat up your home.
  • Host regular house parties during winter. Each person generates the same amount of warmth as a 100-watt heater!

Follow these tips for a greener home and a cleaner conscience. And if you have any advice of your own for living more sustainably, share it with us!

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