As you’re restricted to what you can and can’t do in a rented property, you may be wondering what can you do to reduce your energy usage.
Whilst there are the more known ways to be sustainable such as recycling, which we’re sure you’re already doing, there are plenty of other things you can be doing that are perhaps not quite as widely recognised or actioned.
We’re here to help you with a few sustainable living tips and tricks to cut those costs and those co2 emissions – it’s a win-win!
1. First thing’s first – ask your landlord.
If there are certain aspects of your rented property that you think could be more efficient, speak with your landlord. It’s not guaranteed they will or can do anything, but if you don’t ask, you don’t get. Even if it’s as small as getting a smart meter installed – this will allow you to see exactly how much energy you’re using and where you can make changes to reduce your consumption and costs.
2. Report repairs
Remember, if it’s something that isn’t working as it should, it’s your responsibility to report it just as much as it’s your landlord’s responsibility to repair it. That dripping tap? It may not be bothering you, but every drip is costing you money and your landlord will want to repair a small job before it becomes a big problem.
3. Show some love to pre-loved furniture
If you are new to renting and are due to move into a new, unfurnished place soon, or have just done so recently, have you thought about how you’re going to furnish it? Second-hand selling sites and charity shops can have some fantastic pieces of furniture and appliances that are almost like-new at just a fraction of the price.
4. Join a community
Scout around for local groups and become part of the community. How does this help save money and the planet, you might ask… well, they may offer the possibility of sharing the use of certain items that aren’t regularly used. A lawnmower for instance. Or even board games – giving you a fun-filled games night without the need of turning the telly on.
5. Smell the flowers
Throwing in quite a peculiar tip here – many people like the use of plug-in air fresheners to give their home a cleaner feel, or dehumidifiers to help with condensation and mould. But an alternative to these energy-zapping appliances is house plants. Many plants serve a purpose as well as looking pretty around the home. If you do your research you’ll find plenty of plants that will act as a natural air freshener or help reduce mould.
6. Grow a green thumb
Sticking with the theme of greenery – growing your own fruits and vegetables is a sure-fire way to save money on your food shop and reduce the amount of single-use plastic used. If you don’t have the outdoor space at home, look at renting an allotment. If you go down this root and find you still have copious amounts of potatoes even after making homemade chips, jackets and mash – well, sharing is caring as the saying goes. You may even find yourself having weekly swaps with your allotment neighbours, which will help reduce food waste, a big contributing factor to co2 emissions.
7. Meal prep for the week
On the subject of food – think about what and how you’re cooking. Meal plans are not only a great way to prepare a shopping list and stick to a budget, but they can also help you figure out what you’re going to cook and when. Try batch cooking, separating meals into portions that can be easily reheated, using less energy than cooking every night. This saves the planet, your money and your time!
8. Switch on? Switch off
We, of course, can’t skip the most talked-about tip to reduce your energy bills – turning off appliances at the plug. To help make it easier and quicker for turning off multiple appliances, make use of adaptors such as a 4-gang – with one simple flick of a switch, the amount you’ll save will soon add up.
9. Utilise the power of the sun
Solar-powered gadgets are becoming all the rage these days. From lights for the garden and portable battery banks to security cameras and even kids toys, you might be surprised at what has now been adapted to use solar power.
10. Make smarter changes
On to the final tip and the more practical side of things, let’s take a look at the changes you can make around the house to be kinder to your wallet and the planet:
- Take a look at how many lightbulbs you actually have in your rooms. Create that cosy feel with a lamp on in the corner of the room rather than switching on that chandelier style light that uses 4 lightbulbs. And remember – make sure all your lightbulbs are energy-saving bulbs.
- Don’t just buy that sausage dog draught excluder because it looks cute. Other areas that can cause draughts are: the windows – thick curtains can help here; open chimneys – block up if not in use; floorboards – although the varnished floorboard gives an authentic look to a room, you can help keep the heat in by putting rugs down.
- Move your sofa or chest of drawers away from your radiator. You could even go the extra mile and use radiator heat reflector foil sheets to help reflect the heat back into the room.
- Think about your water consumption. Do you really need to fill the kettle for one cup of tea? Invest in a low-flow showerhead. For those allotment and garden lovers out there, a water butt is a great piece of equipment, collecting rainwater throughout winter, and allowing you to water your garden or allotment throughout summer at no extra cost!
- Put your washing machine on before going to bed – some energy suppliers offer tariffs with ‘off-peak’ prices for electricity, so if you have an Economy 7 or Economy 10 tariff, you can sleep soundly knowing you’re using less money to wash your clothes. Not only that, but it will be ready for you to hang out first thing in the morning and will be dry by the afternoon – provided it’s a breezy sunny day!
We hope you’ve found these tips and tricks useful and can start taking steps to save your well-earned pennies for a self-indulgent treat day! Go on, you know you want to.
If you’re looking for a new place to rent, contact us to see if we can find the right place for you.