Tuesday 11 November 2014

Welcome to My Igloo

As lovers of both the environment and saving money, we try not to overheat our home. Last year, we managed to get to December without putting the heat on. Our old house was well insulated, and had a working fire in the living room so we could warm up the room on particularly cold evenings. We were jumpers, snuggled under blankets, drank lots of tea and, most importantly, aclimatised.

This winter, we’re in a new house. This one is not yet insulated, it’s drafty and has a conse
rvatory that seems to let in an endless supply of cold. We haven’t used the heating yet, no doubt when we do we will discover it doesn’t work. We’re holding out, trying to go as long as we can before putting it on. Because once it’s on, that’s it, it will stay on for months simply out of habit because we’ll be used to feeling snug. Right now, I’m used to wearing thermals, and that’s ok.

As someone who is worried about climate change, I think it’s important to reduce the amount of heating we use each year, and certainly the amount of energy wasted. We will be getting the house insulated to try and ensure it is an energy efficient as possible, so that when we do eventually give in and turn on the heating, we will still be saving energy.

This house is currently not very eco friendly, and there are lots of things we can do to reduce its impact on the planet. We’ve already made some small but important changes that have boosted our green credentials. When we moved in, the dishwasher plumbing was hot water, meaning that every time we washed our clothes, we used a lot of hot water. I assume this was a throwback to the days when washing machines needed hot water, but it meant the clothes came out hot which was very weird.  It also meant we kept running out of hot water, meaning we had to heat up another tank, wasting yet more energy. We’ve now switched things around so that the washing machine has only cold water running to it.

We’ve also installed a dishwasher, which though they were once thought of as an unnecessary energy indulgence, now actually use less water than washing by hand. Saving water is another important step you can take to reduce your impact on the planet. Thanks to our teeny tiny bath, we also tend to favour showers which is another great way to save water.

I always turn the tap off whilst brushing my teeth, rather than letting it run continuously. When Ebony was younger, I was so proud the first time she stood at the sink to clean her own teeth, turning the taps off just as I do. Children definitely do learn from observing, rather than being nagged. It made me realise just how much she takes in of my daily routine, without me even noticing.

What steps do you take to minimise water and energy consumption in your home?

* This post was written in association with Happier Homes.

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