- Green Technology
Fun Tips on Boosting Home Energy Efficiency
Bad Bubble Bath
You know that bubble bath you used to luxuriate in? It wastes energy, wastes bubbles and makes your skin wrinkled if you linger too long. So no more of those for you.
Instead, get yourself a bucket, stand it outside and collect rainwater. Then after the rain has stopped, take the bucket inside, stand over it with a flannel and give yourself a wash-down. Not only will you save your money and the planet, but you’ll feel very virtuous.
Better yet, next time it rains, just strip off, and run outside to the back garden or yard for a shower.
(For alternate tips for wusses see opposite the blue box towards the end of the article.)
Get rid of your washing machine. That will save the environment loads of energy and you loads of money. You can give up that expensive gym membership with all the extra exercise you will be getting.
And there’s no cheating allowed, so don’t think you can head off to the launderette and feel virtuous. (We British couldn’t even if we wanted to since launderettes are a thing of the past, with about one per 1000 square miles.)
So dig out that old washing board and start scrubbing.
What do you mean, you haven’t got one, and you don’t even know what one looks like? Here’s a picture, and if you can’t find one to buy, go make one.
Just for you, not one, but two washing boards
Besides boosting your home’s energy efficiency and getting yourself a work-out at the same time, another advantage of washing by hand is that your clothes will last longer, so saving you even more money, and saving even more of the world’s resources. This is because you’ll wash your clothes less often. Okay, you might smell a bit, but who cares?
You do? Well then, get creative with your clothes-wearing and pop a tee-shirt on under your sweater. Tee-shirts take less time and effort to wash than sweaters and you’ll need the sweater to keep warm in winter, since you will also be turning down the heating. (But that’s another tip and I haven’t finished this one yet!!)
Did I hear you whining, but how do I wash the bedding? I can’t do the sheets by hand!
That’s what you use the bath for, now that you are no longer destroying our environment, and your skin, by steeping in it. Plus, think how strong you’ll be after wringing all those sheets out. Then you take your (dripping) sheets outside and hang them over your washing line to dry.
What are you whining about now? It’s raining? Well then, get an inside clothes drying rack or one of those pull-out lines to hang over the bath.
(Serious aside: electric tumbler dryers are the biggest users of energy in the home; see alternate tips for wusses for more info.)
Should there be a photo for Tip Three?
Cut your home off from the grid and use your poo to create fuel to power your central heating boiler. Truly, it’s possible, and happening, if not quite on a domestic level yet. Here’s just one of many articles I found. Human waste used to create green fuel
(Does it smell? I’ve no idea, but my guess is probably.)
Since you’re now off-grid and using you-know-what to heat your home, you’ll want to insulate it thoroughly to keep fuel usage to a minimum. After burning your you-know-what, you might be left with some ash. A builder once told us that ash is a very good insulator and it poses no fire-risk, since it’s the residue left after the fire. Victorians scattered it between floors, so I suggest you do the same. (Does it smell? I’ve no idea, but my guess is no, since it’s been burned.)
If you are going to keep yourself warm by looking like a big baby, you might as well go all the way and get a onesie with a monkey print.
Copy the teenagers and get a onesie. You thought these were for babies? Think again. Adult (or almost adult) versions of the baby all-in-one pajamas are all the rage with teenagers to wear while slobbing about at home. They keep you warm, so you can turn down the heating. So what are you waiting for? I’ve even included an Amazon capsule for you, so order one now.
And that ladies and gentlemen, are my tips for now. I hope you enjoy wearing your baby-outfit, while living in your poo-fuelled house, while bathing in the rain, while – actually I’ve just had a brilliant idea – you could go into the rain, while wearing your onesie and get both you and it washed at the same time. Onesies are made of polyester fleece so will dry in no time.
Products to boost your home’s energy efficiency.
This film is easily added to your window and could save you energy all year round. In winter it provides insulation and keeps your home warmer, and in summer it and reduces glare from the sun in, so keeping you cool.
This shower head gives you plenty of force, but with less pressure, and saves 40% energy and water over a standard shower head.
With this drying rack you can dry your clothes inside without using an energy draining tumbler drier.
This outdoor washing line takes up little room in your garden and your clothes will smell gloriously fresh if dried outside. (Known in the UK as a ‘whirly.)
And if, by any chance, you don’t like the suggestions above, please read my:
Alternate Tips For Wusses.
Take Showers instead of Baths.
Save bubble baths for when you feel especially low or stressed, and have a shower instead. Fit a low flow showerhead or shower restrictor to give you a clean while still staying green.
Experiment to find the minimum wash cycle and temperature that gets your clothes clean. However, don’t overdo this. If anyone in your household has asthma or other respiratory problems, wash bedding at 60°c. This temperature kills 100% of house dust mites, a main cause of allergy. Likewise, if someone is ill, wash at a temperature high enough to kill off any infection. (If you end up washing clothes twice because the temperature was too low, you aren’t saving energy or money, so be discerning.)
Whenever possible hang washing outside to dry. Tumbler dryers are the biggest user of energy in any household. Either use a washing line or what we in the UK colloquially call a “Whirly”. (Technically known as a rotary dryer, see the Amazon capsule for an illustration.) If it’s impossible for you to dry outside, then use a clothes-drying rack to dry inside. As this produces condensation, be sure to open a window. However if it’s too cold to open a window, the condensation produced will require more heat to evaporate, and, according to green thing Wiki, then it’s time to use your tumbler dryer, as it becomes as energy efficient as drying on the rack.
Compost your kitchen waste to use in your garden. (Just to be totally clear: kitchen waste means your vegetable and fruit peelings.)
Insulate your home. Wool is a natural insulator that is now widely used instead of the hazardous fiberglass previously used. A well-insulated house means you can turn the thermostat down in winter and yet it stays cool in the summer without the need for air conditioning. You can further, and very cheaply, insulate by adding a tinted film to your window. These help keep warmth in during winter and reduce glare from the summer sun, so boosting your home’s efficiency all year round.
Wear appropriate clothing for the weather. This might mean turning the heating down in winter and wearing extra clothing. Natural fibers such as wool, cashmere or silk are breathable and keep you warm. So pop on a cardigan or sweater. In summer take your work suit off when you get home so you don’t need the air-conditioning so low.
Now, that was all easy wasn’t it?