Small actions, big change: 10 tips to lower your energy usage

We are the first generation to know we are destroying the world, and we could be the last that can do anything about it. - WWF

This Think Green Week it’s time to consider how you can be a part of the change. Although it may not be obvious, there is a direct connection between your energy use and the environment. By taking small steps to reduce your energy consumption, you can help contribute to a healthier and happier planet.

We've all read those tips on how to save energy, from switching off lights behind you to washing your clothes on a cool cycle … but do they really help that much?  The answer is, yes!  So, we’ve pulled together our top ten tips on how be a little more sustainable in your everyday life whilst living with us at iQ.

 

Boil what you need

We know for certain a hot brew or an instant coffee is a student necessity to fuel those endless essay-writing nights. Quick tip - when boiling the kettle, try to only fill it up with the water that you need. It actually costs 3x times the price of gas to boil water, so boiling excess water over time definitely adds up!

 

Unplug your appliances

If an electrical item doesn’t need constant power, try to unplug it. This goes for anything from fairy lights to laptop plugs and phone chargers. A lot of people leave these plugged in until we need them again, which actually wastes a lot of energy!

 

Thaw food

Instead of defrosting your leftover pasta in the microwave, take it out of the freezer earlier and let it thaw out. Not only will this save you cooking time, but it will also help reduce the amount of heat it takes to fully cook.

 

Stick on a jumper

Not to sound like your parents, but this is a must. Instead of cranking up your thermostat first thing, pop on a hoodie or invest in some fluffy slippers. For extra ‘keeping warm’ inspo, head to our Instagram to check out how to make your own knitwear.

 

Shut the door

It might sound obvious, but you can save a lot of energy by just shutting your door behind you. Whether you have just popped to Asda and left your bedroom door ajar or are chatting with your flatmates through an open door, try to remember that this fluctuates your heating or cooling’s continuous flow.

 

Wrap or cover food

For anything fresh you put in the fridge, try to keep it wrapped. When foods release moisture, your fridge’s compressor has to work harder to keep the fridge cold. Investing in some reusable silicon food coverings is a great way to a) keep your fridge power at an optimum level b) is a cheaper/sustainable alterative to cling film.

 

Hang dry clothes

Try to hang dry some of your clothes that take a lot of energy to dry e.g jumpers, sheets and towels. Dryers are notorious for using lot of energy. In the summer, put your clothes horse closer to the window to allow your sunlight to dry your clothes.

 

Switch your lights off

Before you leave any room, just flip the light off. This is pretty self-explanatory.

 

Buy energy star appliances

Look out for the energy star when you buy any new electrical item, whether this is for a new pair of GHDs or a laptop.

 

Check out energy saving apps

Nowadays there is an app for everything, and the constant advancement of technology makes it easier for us to track, change and reduce our energy consumption. Downloading energy saving apps is a great way to be in the know of how much energy you are using. Apps like My Earth and Apple’s Energy Cost Calculator, work out the carbon emission from your everyday items and provide tips on how to lower your carbon footprint.

 

We hope some of these tips will give you the inspiration to think a little greener. Although your own energy saving changes may seem insignificant, small steps become great leaps when multiplied by 7 billion.

Have you got any other energy saving tips? Share your favourites on social by tagging us with #iQThinkGreen or check out our Think Green page.

 

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