Friday, 28 June 2013

Cheap and Easy Tips For Being Eco-Friendly At Home

I always try to do my bit to be green.  I am a committed recycler, my family all have a vegetarian diet where a lot of what I cook is made from scratch and I use a lot of eco-friendly products in my home.  So I was very interested in this campaign with Andrex Eco.

Andrex Eco is working with eco-designer Oliver Heath to educate Brits about the little things we can do to help us live sustainably.  A recent survey showed that 48% of us want to be more eco-friendly but don't know how, so this campaign offers top tips making being eco-friendly cheap, easy and fun!

We have been challenged by Andrex Eco to adopt Oliver's tips that make eco-living easy in the home.  We were also sent some eco-friendly products to help us on our way.

green living

Here are Oliver's tips and how we have adopted them into our lives:

1:  Switch to low energy LED light bulbs that last for 50,000 hours!  That will definitely save money on the electricity bills.  All our bulbs have been switched to the low energy kind that last for 15,000 hours.  I love not having to change them all the time or having them blow out like old bulbs used to!

2:  Fit draught excluders to doors and windows ready for winter and prevent 15% of your home's heat loss.  As we are in a new build home, it is all double glazed and insulated so we don't get draughts.

3:  Start a compost heap for green waste, kitchen waste and cardboard.  By next year you'll have fertiliser to feed your flowers, fruit and vegetables in the garden.  Growing your own is a green activity that will save you money too.  We have started to grow fruit and vegetables this year so rather than using our Green Bin we will get our own little composter and have a go at making our own fertiliser for next year.

4:  Buy Better!  It's simple to switch your buying habits and purchase products that contain recycled material or that are recyclable.  Products like Andrex Eco toilet roll are great quality but made to be more environmentally friendly.  It is soft and strong, made from 90% recycled fibre and 10% natural bamboo.  Buying products like this can make a big difference!


5:  Cut down on the hot water you use and you will save three ways - by lowering your water bills, and the cost to heat and dispose of it.  Using a Shower Timer is a fun way to save water and energy costs.  the kids will love the challenge of a 2 minute shower!  I turn the water off when I lather the shampoo in my hair or when I'm shaving my legs.  It saves water and also maximizes the use of shampoo and shaving gel as it's not just being instantly washed down the drain.

save water

6:  Make the most of natural light by opening your curtains and keeping window sills free from clutter.  Not only is natural light free, it is also psychologically uplifting.  Since making over our bedroom and switching heavy, dark curtains for blinds, I have loved the effect of natural sunlight in my bedroom.  Changing dull, matt paintwork for golden, gloss has also made our room feel lighter and airier.

7:  Plants look good and keep your home healthy by absorbing CO2 and toxins.  Ferns, ivy and spider plants are great.

8:  Don't forget to recycle bathroom recyclables like loo roll tubes, shampoo bottles and deodorant tins.  Keep a recycling bin in the bathroom so no-one forgets.  We have installed this green pedal bin so nothing ends up being disposed of in the wrong place.


9:  Source vintage or upcycled furniture and accessories for your home rather than buying new.  Pre-loved items can add such character and are unique. Search charity shops or antique fairs for bargains. Look out for eco-friendly gifts such as this beautiful vintage tea-cup candle made with eco-soy wax from Jasmine Orchard Styling.  Using candles is such a lovely thing to do and they are a free source of both heat and light.

eco-friendly gift

10:  Share things you no longer want or need.  Try Freecycle or other online communities to pass on unwanted things or donate to charity shops.  Use libraries to borrow books instead of buying them. Join communities where you can share skills, products or services.  Sharing things has a real feel good factor and can save money too.  If you want to make a little extra cash look out for local For Sale Mart pages on Facebook or try Music Magpie or Ebay.  Keeping things that are still useful away from landfill is so important!


We have enjoyed following Oliver's tips, especially using the two minute shower timer which is shaped like a frog!  It really appeals to the children.  The Andrex-Eco toilet paper really is an excellent buy.  The quality you expect from Andrex with the added bonus of knowing you are buying a more environmentally friendly product.

Here are a few of my own tips for being eco-friendly:

Take re-usable cloth bags to the supermarket instead of using their plastic bags.

If you do use supermarket carrier bags be sure to re-use them at home as bin bags.

Install a Hippo Water Saver in the cistern of your toilet and save water everytime you flush.

Use refillable tubs and drinks bottles for the kids' lunchboxes instead of buying individually packaged portions of food or cartons of drink.  It saves cash too!

Invest in Eco-Cloths which allow you to clean with just water.  For tough jobs use a vinegar/water solution.

Grow your own salad leaves and herbs in a tub outside the kitchen. So easy to do!

It really isn't that difficult to go green.  With kerbside recycling there is absolutely no excuse not to recycle green waste, glass, tin, paper and plastic.

Collect rainwater in a butt for watering outdoor plants on those rare dry summer days.

If you read magazines, pass them on to friends and family to read too.  Many doctor's/dentists surgeries will be grateful to have them in their waiting rooms.

Teach the kids from a young age to recycle and save energy and water where they can. Show them that it can be fun!  They are tomorrow's adults.  Lessons they learn while they are young will become good habits for the future!


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