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Tips to warm you and your home (not the planet)

5th September 2016

Keeping snug inside can make autumn a little more costly for you and also our beautiful planet. We’ve teamed up with Do Nation to suggest some simple tips to keep your bills down and protect our planet this autumn.

1. Make a conscious cuppa

Getting cosy with a cup of tea, listening to the wind howl outside, knowing you’re safe and warm is one of life’s little pleasures.

But did you know? 30 million litres of water are boiled every day in the UK only to go cold again.

How can I help?
Boil as much water as you need for the cups of tea you’re making. If you’re making two cups, fill a cup twice before putting it in the kettle. You can also buy an energy efficient kettle. You can also buy an energy efficient kettle and power your kettle with renewables by switching to Good Energy. Switch now quoting ‘Pukka’ for a year’s supply of Pukka tea.

Why is it good for me?
You could save £7 a year from your electricity bills by only boiling what you need. Every little bit helps. It also saves time, meaning you get to enjoy your cuppa quicker.

Why is it good for the planet?
Reducing unnecessary boiling reduces wasted electricity which reduces easily avoidable carbon emissions. 

Changing your energy supplier could cut your carbon footprint by up to 50%. Good Energy provides 100% renewable electricity – every drop made from local sun, wind and rain.

2. Light the way

With little natural light left in the evening, we need to flick the switches on to see what we are doing when we enter a room.

But did you know? 90% energy is wasted as heat by a conventional light bulb.

How can I help?
Swap your old filament or halogen bulbs for low power and long lasting LEDs or energy saving bulbs to reduce your energy bills and your carbon footprint.

Why is it good for me?
Energy saving bulbs last 10 times longer than incandescent bulbs, and LEDs last a whopping 25 times longer, so they only need changing once in a blue moon. 

Why is it good for the planet?
Low energy bulbs use less energy to achieve the same level of brightness as conventional bulbs, which means less carbon heading up into our atmosphere. And it takes less energy to manufacture energy saving bulbs and LEDs too. An all-round win for the planet.

3. Calm the chill

As the cool autumn winds start to pick up, the last place we want to feel their chill is in the comfort of our homes.

But did you know? The bitter breeze sneaking into our homes on a cold evening is creating a UK-wide waste of energy of enough to heat 260,000 homes.

How can I help?

  • Windows: use either self-adhesive strips of foam or brush to stick around the window frame, it's simple and cheap.
  • Doors: use a trusty draught excluder to use at the bottom of doors. The keyhole and letterbox are worth covering too.
  • Skirting boards and floorboards: use a filler to block the cracks, by simply squeezing it into the gaps and neatly wiping off any excess.
  • Chimneys: if you have an unused or little-used fireplace, fill the chimney with a chimney balloon. Just remember to remove it if you do ever light a fire!

Why is it good for me?
Draught proofing will save you on average £55 a year. At a cost of about £100 to install it yourself, you'll make back what you invested within two years.

Why is it good for the planet?
By draught proofing your house, you could save 220kg CO2 a year.

4. Relax in the right temperature

Popping the heating on and getting snug on the sofa is the relaxing remedy you want at the end of a long day.

But did you know? If every household in the UK turned their heating down by 1°C, the carbon savings would be the equivalent of removing a third of the cars from our roads.

How can I help?
If you already have a thermostat, turn it down by just one degree. If you don't have a thermostat in your home, installing one is simple. The Energy Saving Trust has lots of information about different types of thermostats and provides impartial advice on how to heat your home efficiently.

Why is it good for me?
It costs nothing to turn your thermostat down; in fact, each degree will save you around £55 per year through fuel costs.

Why is it good for the planet?
Turning down your thermostat by just 1oC can save 230kg CO2 a year.

5. Eat seasonably

Living in balance with the food in season enables us to get the very best from our food.

But did you know? 95% of all fruit consumed in the UK is imported.

How can I help?

  • Check out what's in season before you shop - Eat Seasonably has great information on this.
  • Find your local food producers, using Big Barn's interactive map.
  • Sign up to a veg box.

Why is it good for me?
The key nutrients in your fruit and veg come from their stems; the longer the fruit is left on the plant, the more nutrients it is able to soak up. Seasonal produce is naturally picked at the peak of its ripeness, while goods shipped from the other side of the world will often be picked days before they are ripe.

Why is it good for the planet?
Powering hothouses and flying fresh fruit and veg around the world uses a lot of energy. By eating local, seasonal food you cut the need for either of these, slicing about 1.3 kg CO2 off each meal.

6. Keep snug and smug

When we are exposed to the cold we like to be wrapped up in a thick layer. Our lofts are no different.

But did you know? 25% of heating energy disappears through the roof of an uninsulated house.

How can I help?
Installing your own loft insulation can be done in a day, no matter how experienced you are at DIY. There are a lot of professional energy efficiency advisers and installers for you to choose from, go to the National Insulation Association website to find a registered installer in your area.

Why is it good for me?
The Energy Saving Trust estimates that insulating your loft will cost between £50 and £350 and save you about £175 a year on your energy bills.

Loft insulation is the single most effective measure for improving the energy efficiency of your home.

Why is it good for the planet?
If everyone in the UK installed the recommended 270mm loft insulation, we could save nearly £500 million – and 2.7 million tonnes of carbon dioxide every year, the equivalent of taking nearly 100,000 cars off the road.

By pledging to make at least one of these small changes that you don't already do you can really make a difference. Make a pledge via DoNation’s DoActions’ page and make a small change with a big difference.

As the great Mahatma Ghandhi once said, “Be the change you want to see in the world”.

Meet the author

Pukka Logo

I spend most of my time with one eye on the future. When you bring tomorrow’s challenges into focus you begin to demand a lot more from today! My job here at Pukka is to look for opportunities for us to do things in ways that will have maximum benefits to people, plants and planet. I live to spend time in beautiful nature – particularly blustery walks with my family along the Northumberland coast. And work to passionately protect it.