It’s Joy’s and Rebecca’s Thrifty Green Thursday day!

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Thrifty Green ThursdayI’m really honoured to be taking part in Joy and Rebecca’s Thrifty Green Thursday this week and supporting their venture to combine ethical, green living with frugality.

They are asking for simple ways in which families can save money while going green. With expensive hybrid cars and solar panels, it’s great to focus on ways in which we can protect the environment AND our bank balance!

There’s nothing new under the sun as it were, but it’s great to be reminded of all the ways in which we can make savings both big and small.

So to start the ball rolling this week, here’s some back-to-basics figures. The ones we might know about but have since forgotten. You might be able to give yourselves a pat on the back for some of those changes you’ve already made, or it might remind you of some of the most fundamental ways in which we can save money and reduce our carbon emissions.

1- According to the Energy saving trust you can save around £120 per year by installing cavity wall insulation. People in receipt of certain benefits can get help with the costs of installation. Check out Warm Front to see if you can get help.

With cavity wall insulation, your home will also stay COOLER in the summer, which means less air conditioning to keep the temperature indoors comfortable.

2- 270mm of loft insulation can save you a massive £155 per year! Installing loft insulation is straight forward and can be done as a DIY job in a weekend. It will payback in just 2 years so is well worth the investment.
Keeping your home warm is probably the last thing on your mind in the middle of summer, but now is a great time to do it!

3- We’re all aware of CFL, low energy light bulbs by now. Just installing ONE low energy light bulb could save you up to £7 and 26 kilograms of CO2 a year, or up to £60 over its lifetime. Multiply that all over your home and the planet and your wallet will be celebrating.
For an even better payback, check out LED lighting. There is no mercury in LEDs, which can be a hazard in CFLS and they last even longer than low energy bulbs. They are still a little lacking in choice and brightness, but are perfect for directional lighting, such as reading lamps.

4- According to Which? magazine, rechargeable batteries cost less than 1% of the cost of disposables. They’ve worked out that disposables cost 11p an hour to run and rechargeables cost just 0.06p an hour. It’s a win-win and a no brainer!

5- Experience the Good Life by growing your own food. Even if it’s a few herbs in a windowsill, salad leaves in a window box or tomatoes in a hanging basket, there’s nothing like eating fresh produce.

There are no air miles, no pesticides and virtually no cost, especially if you save your own seeds. If you don’t have the land but would like to have a go at growing things, you can contact your local council to sign up for an allotment. You’ll save money on gym fees too by doing your workout in the great outdoors instead!

See Russell’s beautiful container garden for inspirational ideas about growing food in a limited space.

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