• banner-1.png
  • banner-2.png
in Blog

There are of course lots of ways that you can make some very simple changes to your home and your lifestyle that will enable you to use less energy, and by energy we mean gas and electricity rather than your personal mental and physical energy!

In this guide which is one of a very large number of different articles and guides that will be worth you reading through if you want to start cutting back on how much you are having to spend each month on your energy costs, so please read on and make sure you put into place some of the following changes and keep more of your hard earned money in the process too.

Long Life Light Bulbs – Energy efficient light bulbs are now readily available and you will find the price of those light bulbs have reduced in price too recently. There are two major benefits of using long life light bulbs, the first is they will last longer, and additionally they do tend to use much less energy that the older styled light bulbs.

Many stores now sell a large pack of long life light bulbs and offer a large discount for doing so, and as such be on the lookout for those bargains they will in turn save you even more money over the long term. Because these are items you can purchase in bulk, wait for a good sale! 

Turn Off Devices – Some recent studies have revealed that some electrical devices can use just as much energy when they are on the standby mode than they use when they are switched on and fully operational. With that in mind you should get into a habit of actually turning those devices off or removing the plugs from the sockets when you go to bed.

You will be amazed at how that little step can save you a large amount of money over a year, and with that in mind have a chat with everyone in your home and make sure that they stop using the standby mode and turn off their electrical devices instead, as yourelectricity bills will fall when they do.

Light Switch Timers – If you have children then you will not need us to tell you they can often leave lights switches on in rooms they are no longer in and that in turn will slowly but surely increase your electricity bill!

You can now buy timers for your light switches that when pressed and activated will turn off those lights after a period of time chosen by you, so that may be worth looking into if the kids keeping the lights on all over the house is driving you mad!

Lowering Your Central Heating – One simply move that can save you a small fortune over the long term is by lowering the heat setting on your central heating, even reducing the heat down a degree or two will make a huge difference in regards to the amount of energy you use, which will in turn see you saving more money.

In fact, most people will not physically feel any difference when the heating is turned down a degree or two so you will not be sitting there shivering!

Shower Instead of Having a Bath – One thing to consider if you are also on a water meter is that having lots of regular baths can not only increase your energy needs in regards to heating up the water for your baths but you will also be using much more water than you would if you showered instead.

With that in mind do consider cutting back the number of baths you have and instead have a shower instead!

 

If you want to learn more about energy, why not visit the official energy UK website?

in Blog

The cost of energy can soar in price one minute and then ever so gradually lower in price, but it is always the increase in energy prices that you will notice as they tend to happen much more regularly than reductions in the cost of energy!

There are a huge number of people now seriously looking at ways that they can reduce their energy costs, and it is very true to say that there can be some huge savings to be made, if you know what to do and where to go.

If you are interested in reducing your energy costs, then the following guide will certainly be of interest to you for we shall be taking a look at ways that you can do just that. Whilst not every single one of the ways of saving energy may be instantly available to you, there are many things you can do to get your energy costs down to a low a price as humanly possible!

Shop Around for Suppliers – The one thing that everyone can do initially to get the very best deal for their energy supplies is to shop around for the suppliers of their electricity and gas supplies. There are however lots of different tariffs that you can sign up to and half the battle is knowing just which one will suit you best.

There are of course lots of websites and apps that you should consider using to make sure the price you are paying for your energy needs are as low as is possible, however do be wary of locking yourself into a long term energy contract as you may lose out of the price of gas or electricity drops in value lower than the fixed costs you have signed up to.

Insulating Your Home – Another way in which you are going to make some very significant changes in regards to how much energy you do use is by fully insulating your home. That will include things such as loft insulation, double or even triple glazing and also cavity wall insulation.

However, the cost of getting your home fully insulated can be huge, but be aware there are still a range of grants available to help you do that, and as such contact your local council or the Citizens Advice Bureau who will be able to point you in the right direction of where you should be looking for such a grant.

Monitoring Your Energy Usage – There are also a range of very unique gadgets that you can now buy that will show you in real time just how much energy you are using at any one time in your home.

Those devices use smart technology to display the cost of the energy you are using at any time of the night or day, however just be aware that you may become obsessed with looking at those devices and then trying to get the current cost of the energy you are using down to the bare minimum, but that is certainly not going to be a bad thing!

Energy Saving Appliances – There was a time when you would have had to pay a premium when you wanted to buy new appliances for your kitchen for example that were completely energy efficient, however fortunately nowadays you will find all electrical appliances will display how much energy they use and any additional energy saving benefits those appliances offer.

So when you are next looking to renew your cooker, fridge or freezer or even you washing machine or tumble driver always make a point of asking the sales assistant just how much energy those appliances use, and opt for the ones which use the lowest amount of energy.

Solar Panels – As you drive around the UK one thing that you are going to notice is that there are lots of homes now that have solar panels attached to the roof of those homes, and there was recently a huge push and lots of financial incentives to get people to put solar panels on their homes.

However, there have been some major cut backs in regards to grants available to people signing up to have solar panels on their homes, but those people who do have them will find that they are paid for any unused energy they produce by something known as a feeder rate.

What a feeder rate is, is a set amount of cash based on how many kilowatts of energy you feed back into the national grid, which over time will help offset the cost of getting those solar panels fitted in the first place.

Lower Your Motoring Costs – Another huge financial outlay for most people is the cost of running their vehicles, whilst admittedly the cost of diesel and petrol has been coming down recently you will still find running any type of vehicle can be expensive.

The only way you are going to be able to reasonably reduce the cost of your running cost of your car in regards to fuel costs will be to make fewer journeys in that vehicle.

However, many people now use their vehicles as a sort of pool car, and as such when they are going to work they pick up their colleagues and those colleagues either return the favour on different days of the week or pay a small contribution to the fuel used for those journeys.

One thing to note however if you do car share is that you will need to know that you are adequately covered by your insurance, as some polices will not permit you to use your car for car sharing purposes, however more and more of them now do.

For some additional ideas in regards to how you can reduce your energy costs please take a look around our website, as we have a huge array of additional guides and blog posts and articles that you will be able to make use of, so please do have a good look around!

in Blog

Many people are looking for ways of raising funds for charitable causes and at the same time doing so in as green and efficient way, well there is one way that you could earn a small fortune for your favourite charity and that is by recycling aluminium cans.

Now you may be wondering just how you can spot a can that is made from aluminium, well that has been made a lot easier recently as those cans will have a small logo on them which indicates that they are made from aluminium, however there is another way of checking and that is by getting a small magnet.

Unlike drink cans that are made from tin or steel, aluminium does not stick to a magnet. You will find there are quite a number of scrap metal dealers who are actively eager to buy stocks of empty aluminium cans and as such you should consider getting together with a group of people and saving up your empty cans.

One tip for storing those cans if you do end up with a large number of them before you ship them to the scrap metal dealer is to simply squash them!

The amount of cash you will be paid for your empty aluminium cans will of course vary depending on how many of them you have and who you decide to sell them to, however you will be amazed at just how much cash can be earned when a large group of people to make a concerted effort to save up their cans.

Another thing to keep in mind is that you could organise a day where a group of your friends or any member of any group you belong to go out and collect empty discard aluminium cans from the streets or any waste land local to where you live.

However, if you do opt to do so make sure you are doing it in a safe environment and that you get the permission from the land owner of any land or area you intend to scout around for empty discard aluminium cans.

You will find details of many recycling centres and scrap dealers throughout this website so please do take a look around it if you require any additional information regarding recycling any type of scrap metal then simply make contact with those recycling centres or scrap dealers.

tips for environmentally friendly home office
in Blog

Creating an environmentally friendly home office

Every year, more and more people are working from home. This could be companies that are finding that they can save on office costs by having employees work from home either part of the time or full time, or it can be self-employed individuals with a home office.

For those who are more interested in lowering energy costs due to price rather than lowering their energy costs due to environmental concerns, you may find more information on the official UK government website which explains the deductions you can make with a home office.

Why do people work from home?

The internet has allowed for people to work from home at a much higher rate. There are careers that simply did not exist twenty years ago. For example, some people make a full-time income from blogging, others have a copywriting or graphic design business, and some even make a career from playing online poker (including one of our more interesting staff writers here at green home design!).

What do these diverse jobs have in common? They all have expenses. And they all have a home office that impacts the environment. So how do you make your home office environmentally friendly? We have the tips and knowledge you need.

1.       Start with environmentally friendly office equipment

Millions of tons of office furniture gets sent to the dump every year. One way to have the most environmentally friendly office equipment is to use repurposed office chairs, desks, and other equipment!

If you want brand new equipment, choose a company that makes sustainability a top priority. This can include not only the materials that the office furniture is made of, but the way that the company builds their furniture. Does their head office function in a sustainable manner? How is the equipment built?

Although you are looking for sustainable furniture, never let your comfort come second. As someone working from a home office, you might need to write 10,000 words before a deadline, be registered in a twelve-hour online poker tournament, or have a client who is hounding you for that new logo design. You need to focus on your own comfort and health first.

2.       Use energy efficient lighting

Even though you can deduct much of your energy costs from your taxes as a self-employed worker, you still have an ethical choice. Using energy efficient lighting is more affordable than ever in our green-conscious age.

3.     .Pat yourself on the back – you already helped the environment

We just want to take a second to thank you for being someone who works from home. The fact that you are not contributing to negative effects on the environment associated with commuting to work is incredible. Way to go!

4.       Environmental doesn’t just stop at where you sit

If you are like us at Green Home Design, there is always coffee going and constantly tea being brewed. By choosing sustainable, environmental choices such as organic products (fair trade is good for other reasons as well), you are helping make a better world.

5.    Turn it off when you’re on break!

Sometimes you need a ten-minute coffee break, or a longer lunch break. Turn off the lights when you leave the room! This seems so simply, but is so often forgotten. For longer breaks, save your work and make sure that your computer is completely off.

We hope that these 5 tips can help you make your home office more environmentally friendly. Whether you are an online customer support agent, an avid blogger or a poker tournament grinder, you can always make a difference in the world by making sure you are working from a place of sustainability.