New Year low carbon diet
Whilst the tips below are based on things you can do in Wotton and the surrounding area, the following list from Centre for Research into Demand Energy Management shows the top-10 biggest hitters, globally.
1. Heating the home - lower the heating thermostat 1-2 degrees
If you are able to, lowering the thermostat by a degree can help save on bills and your carbon footprint. Adding insulation to your home can also help retain warmth for longer.
If you're considering a heating controller or renewing your heating system, look for something that is not simply "on/off" but has proportional and integral (PI) control. PI control effectively learns how long it takes your home to heat up and cool down and then trickles heat in small bursts, rather than long blasts. Doing this will consume less energy than allowing the home to cool down significantly and then warm it up again.
2. Get a smart meter from your energy provider
Many of our supporters and core team tell us how surprised they are to see which activities within the home use most energy and how to save energy without making big changes. A smart meter can also help you identify 'energy vampires' - white goods that aren't using energy as efficiently as they could be.
"Get a smart meter to help you work out which activities use more energy and how you can reduce that. Cleaning our air source heat pump filter has saved us £1-£2 per day." - Jenny, Tresham
3. Switch to a truly green energy provider
Not all energy providers have the same green credentials when you check their small print. Luckily, Which? have done the hard work for us:
4. Run high energy consuming devices (dishwasher, washing machine) at off-peak times
The national grid's carbon intensity varies greatly. Sometimes the grid uses more renewables, other times we need to resort to burning fossil fuels. Switch on high energy consuming appliances at off-peak times when demand on the grid is lower and energy being generated is likely to be greener. If you're interested, you can see the daily grid carbon intensity on the GreenTime app.
5. Switch to LED lightbulbs and remember to turn lights off when you don't need them
6. Look into retrofitting your home to make it more energy efficient
You may find the Green Homes Grant scheme (which has been extended to March 2022) helpful if you have plans to make your home more energy efficient. Money Saving Expert site has a good overview of the scheme:
7. Cook with lids on pans, boil the kettle to heat the water
1. Buy only the groceries you need, and reduce food waste
Wrap have a great website full of recipes to help reduce food waste. https://lovefoodhatewaste.com/
2. Eat less meat and dairy
Eating more plant-based meals and reducing meat intake is one of the easiest and cheapest ways to protect our climate, to help stop deforestation and save water, too.
3. Shop local, buy seasonal
Print out a calendar of what's in season if it helps.
4. Share surplus (or benefit from) food that would otherwise have gone to waste using the Olio app.
Keep an eye on Wotton Noticeboard (Facebook) for regular food freebies that would otherwise go to waste.
1. Replace one car journey a week by walking or cycling
2. Continue to work from home after lockdown, if you're able to
3. Club together with neighbours to do one shopping run rather than many
4. Holiday closer to home after lockdown
The biggest savings can be made by cutting down (or completely avoiding) flying. Esepcially when you consider that taking one return flight generates more CO2 than citizens of some countries produce in an entire year: (https://www.theguardian.com/environment/ng-interactive/2019/jul/19/carbon-calculator-how-taking-one-flight-emits-as-much-as-many-people-do-in-a-year)
1. Plant a tree with us, or at home
Give us a shout if you'd like us to keep you in the loop about tree planting, or if you need tips on how to plant at home.
2. Create a pond and grow pollinating plants
RSPB have a great article about creating a wildlife pond.
3. Compost if you can
4. Litter pick if you're out for a walk
Photo by Ian Turner
1. Fast fashion is out, shop second hand
2. Join Wotton Area Freecycle on Facebook, or support the circular economy by giving things away for free when you no longer need them.
3. Borrow, rather than buy, something when you can
4. Consider air miles when you're shopping
5. Recycle things and don't send them to landfill
Horsley recycling centre has lots of recycling options for everything from small electricals to used car oil.