Go Green Cheap
Going green at home shouldn’t have to cost you an arm or a leg. Try out these six energy-saving ideas and do your part for the environment without burning a hole in your pocket.
BIG WINDOWS, THICK CURTAINS
Many homes these days come with sliding windows and this means you end up utilising only half the opening the room actually has. Switch to casement windows for better ventilation – it utilises the entire opening, allowing more wind into your home thereby keeping it cool without the use of air-conditioners.
Frame your windows with blackout thermal curtains. These are now available in a large variety of colours and design, and will certainly go the mile when it comes to saving energy. Draw the curtains on a hot sunny day to keep the heat and light out. Your home will feel cooler and using a fan should already save you from the sweltering heat outside. Should you decide to flick the air-conditioner on, it will also consume less energy to cool the room.
PAINT IT GREEN
There are tonnes of paint options available these days but few are green variants. Choose to colour your home with eco paints that are low in volatile organic compounds (VOCs) as these harmful airborne chemicals lead to air pollution and global warming.
Eco paints like Nippon Paint’s WELL series now come in a large variety of colours and are often easy to maintain, without requiring frequent touch-ups and recoating. If you opt for quality eco paints, you save on resources incurred through repainting and help prevent air pollution. That’s two thumbs up!
KEEP THE PRESSURE ON
Like a good pot of soup for dinner? Soups however, take hours to boil and consume a lot of energy and time. Switch to a pressure cooker or a thermal cooker and you’ll save energy and spend less time sweating over the stove! A pressure cooker boils a pot of soup in less than two-thirds the time normally needed.
Alternatively, opt for a thermal cooker. It cleverly retains and uses the heat garnered when boiling to keep the food cooking. You’ll save up to 80 percent of energy.
PULL THE PLUGS ON HOT WATER
We all need some hot water some time during the day but do you really need it instantly? For that matter, do you honestly need to keep two cups of coffee on the warmer for hours? Hot water kitchen taps, electric air-pots, warmers and the likes of these keep liquids hot all day so you can have it instantly but this also means they guzzle energy (and your money) round the clock.
Instead of burning energy to keep the temperature, boil water and use a thermos flask. A good thermos flask can keep temperatures for about six hours. Keep your coffee in an well-insulated tumbler and enjoy it over the next couple of hours – all without burning precious energy.
ALWAYS LOOK FOR THE TICK
Yes, we all love the little ticks of approval. You’ll love them more when you realise how these ticks save you money and help you save the world. The ticks are found on the National Environment Agency’s (NEA) Energy Label, which is stuck only on models that have been registered and rated by NEA. Use the label as a guide when purchasing electronics – the more ticks there are, the more energy-efficient the appliance.
THE MORE DOORS THE BETTER
Looking for a big fridge? Choose one with several doors. Each time you open the door, the fridge loses its temperature and consumes energy to bring its temperature back down. The larger the door, the more it loses its temperature. Pick fridges with separate doors for its individual compartments. That way, you open only the small section you need and the fridge keeps its cool.
KEEP YOUR CLOTHES COOL
With nanotechnology and all sorts of anti-bacterial detergent available these days,
you don’t really need to wash your clothes in hot water. Choose to use water of regular temperature to wash your clothes instead of warm or hot water. Refuse to use a dryer. Sunning your clothes keeps it crisp and fresh-smelling without shrinking them or burning excessive energy.
Cover photo courtesy of Kristina Schneider