Thursday, 25 February 2016

Five quick ways to save energy

Linking up with Ashley for Five Favourites... hop on over to see what everyone else is up to!


I know, I know, we've heard it all before. Turn off appliances, switch off the lights when you leave a room, etc. etc.

Here, for a change, are five quick tips you may not have come across.

1. 


Mothers of littles: you know how it is. You go to make yourself a hot drink. You set the kettle to boil, but whilst that's happening, someone takes a tumble, or whacks someone else over the head with a plastic dinosaur, or tries to draw on the baby with permanent marker. By the time you remember you were making a drink, the water's gone cold again, and the cycle starts over...

My husband actually came up with this solution for me: boil the kettle once, early in the morning, and fill up a Thermos for the rest of the day. That way, when I go to make a cup of tea, I can just make a cup of tea. Getting to drink it before it gets cold is a whole 'nother matter, but hey, we're making progress, right? 

As a bonus, doing this has dramatically reduced the number of times a day we have to boil the kettle, and kettles are, to use the French term, energivores (why do we not have this word in English? WHY, internet? WHY?).

2.  This is the only thing standing between me and a tumble dryer. Well, that and the fact that we don't have space for one in the house, and the electrics in the garage are decidedly dodgy. It's basically a heated airer which speeds up drying time. With three children under five and a husband with a manual job, we generate a lot of laundry, so the DrySoon is a real godsend on rainy days when I can't hang the washing out (i.e. 90% of the year. This is Northern England, people).

3.
How do I love thee? Let me count the loads...


 Another laundry one: play "beat the washing machine". We often find ourselves having to pre-rinse things (particularly dirty nappies - we're that kind of family). When you launch a rinse cycle on most washing machines, it isn't just a rinse cycle, and the machine will go on to spin the items. Spotting when the machine has finished rinsing so we can stop it from spinning stuff that's about to be re-washed anyway has become a bit of a game in our house.

4. Have your groceries delivered. I know this isn't an option in all areas, but we live within the delivery area for 6 different supermarkets. They often have introductory offers with money off your first shop and/or free delivery, and our preferred supermarket has delivery slots from just £1. A delivery van out doing the rounds consumes much less energy than if all of those customers drove to and from the store. Also, it means I don't have to do battle with the kids in the middle of the aisles. Win-win.

5. Plan your cooking. Not long after I graduated, I was living in a house-share with three others, and our gas was on a card meter, meaning that if the card ran out, we had to go to the shop down the road and pay for a topup. Let's just say we were very, very conscious of how much energy we were using! I got into the habit of having the oven on once or twice a week, and planning all my meals from there: preparing things in advance to reheat in the microwave, doing one batch of baking a week and freezing things to defrost at a later date, and so on. Thankfully, we no longer have a card meter, but I still try to optimise oven usage as far as possible.

How about you? Any tips?



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