By Beds SU Sustainability Team
Tuesday, 2 May 2023
As a student, one of the last things you want to worry about is how much energy you are using at home. Fortunately, there are simple steps you can take to become more energy efficient, to help the environment and your finances. The Green Age, the UK’s foremost energy saving advice portal, created and share many resources and guides to help increase the knowledge surrounding energy efficiency for students. This top ten list takes inspiration from here.
Tip 1 - Use natural light.
Taking advantage of natural light during the day is one of the easiest and most cost-effective ways to save energy. Keep your blinds open and your curtains drawn back to allow natural light to come in. Not only does natural light save money but it’s also better for your health. Natural light can help regulate your circadian rhythm, which affects your sleep and overall health.
Tip 2 – Unplug.
Make sure to unplug any devices and appliances when you’re not using them. Even if they’re turned off, they can still be consuming energy, this is known as standby power or “vampire power”. Unplugging electronics such as a phone charger, hair curlers and an iron can save money on your energy bill and reduce your carbon footprint.
Tip 3 - Invest in energy-efficient appliances.
Look for energy-star rated appliances when you need to replace one. This will help you save money on your energy bill in the long run. This includes energy efficient light bulbs, air fryers, microwaves, toasters and even TVs.
Tip 4 - Take shorter showers.
Taking shorter showers can help save energy and water. Try and keep your showers under 10 minutes and turn off the water while you’re lathering up or shampooing your hair. By taking shorter showers you can reduce your water consumption and help preserve this valuable resource.
Tip 5 - Change your lightbulbs.
Swap out your lightbulbs for LED or CFL bulbs. These bulbs use less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs and last much longer so that over time you’ll spend less money on replacements. Additionally, energy-efficient bulbs produce less heat than incandescent bulbs which can help reduce your cooling costs during the summer months.
Tip 6 - Turn off the lights.
When you’re leaving a room, make sure to turn off the lights. This is an easy way to save energy and it helps to lower your energy bill. If you still want a source of light candles are a great alternative but remember to blow them out before leaving the room and never leave them unattended.
Tip 7 - Take public transportation or walk/cycle.
Instead of driving your own car, try taking public transportation or carpooling. Public transport is typically more energy-efficient than driving a car, which means it produces fewer greenhouse gas emissions. Walking and cycling are also emissions-free and can help you stay active and healthy. Additionally, by using one of these methods you can save money on petrol/diesel, car maintenance and parking fees. As a student you can also apply for a student railcard which offer you a third of travel and for students studying in London you can apply for a Student Oyster card, offering savings on your journeys.
Tip 8 - Use cold water when doing your laundry.
When you’re doing your laundry using a washing machine that can be connected to cold water instead of hot, is a great way of saving energy and money, as well as being gentler on your clothes. If you live in rented accommodation, it is worth checking the model of your machine or speaking with your landlord to see if it can be switched over if currently running off the hot water mains. Most new machines do run from cold water, so they are frequently installed.
Tip 9 – Turn off the heating and use a heated blanket.
Heating a home requires a lot of energy but by turning off the heating and using a heated blanket you can reduce your energy consumption and once again save money. Additionally using a heated blanket can be much more comfortable than heating your entire home as you can customise the temperature to your own preference as and when you like, and it will change within minutes.
Tip 10 – Use a dishwasher instead of washing up.
Dishwashers are designed to use less water than washing dishes by hand which means they can help you save water and money on your water bill. Many modern dishwashers are also designed to be energy efficient and help save time and effort.
These are just a few tips on how to be more energy efficient. By following these simple steps, you can help reduce your energy consumption and do your part to help the environment. If you would like to find out how much you know about saving energy, money and carbon emissions at home, feel free to complete the Energy Saving Trust Quiz
You can find more articles on how to be more sustainable here.