Saving energy & water
Reducing the energy we use for everything from lighting and heating our buildings to running IT and lifts is one of the easiest ways we can reduce our carbon footprint. The bonus is that is saves money too, and creates a more calming environment for you and your patients at work – and often at home too.
Saving energy and water at work
See the light!
Switch off lights when then aren’t needed. During summer months natural daylight is better for your mood and eyes so make sure you get the benefit and switch of electric lighting that isn’t needed.
Also if there isn’t anyone in the room make sure the lights aren’t left on – especially at the end of the day.
Office lights left on overnight use enough energy in a year to heat a home for almost 5 months!
Switch off the tech…
When you’re leaving your computer for a meeting, a coffee or your lunch break, switch your computer to ‘Hibernate’ and turn off your monitor. Even in standby machines are drawing power from the grid which is completely wasted.
Double check at the end of the day that any possible electrical appliances – computers, printers (where possible), photocopiers etc are all switched off too.
Keep your cool…
A shared workspace is hard to get just right for everyone in terms of temperature. But if you are overheating in summer or too cold in winter adjust your heating settings or give your facilities team a call so they can look into what can be changed for you.
Avoid using portable heaters which can confuse thermostats and make it more difficult to heat work spaces effectively.
Keeping blinds closed during the hottest part of the day will help keep your workspace cooler in warmer weather.
Using windows and doors to help manage the temperature of your workspace can help reduce energy use. In summer where possible open windows for to cool the space, and in winter keep doors closed to keep the heat in.
Sometimes in winter over enthusiastic heating can create an uncomfortably warm work environment; don’t be tempted to open a window and let all that heat go to waste. Instead ask your facilities team to manage the temperature on the thermostat if you don’t have access to do it yourself.
Think about the space you work in
Putting items in front of radiators such as desks or filing cabinets will block the flow of heat. Keep radiators clear and this will let air circulate and heat your workspace more effectively.
Use every drop
Staying hydrated is super important for your mental and physical wellbeing. Bring in a refillable water bottle and ensure you top it up twice a day to ensure you meet your ideal water intake.
It’s also important to avoid waste water, so when you are filling up your water bottle, or washing lunch dishes if you notice a dripping tap, report it to facilities so we can get it fixed.
Did you know that dripping taps can waste around £700 each year in water usage.
If you work at a site with green spaces, ask facilities about installing a water butt, to help harvest rain water so when we’re in a drought you can still care for your green spaces and enjoy them.
Check out our podcast with Southern Water for more water saving ideas.
Saving energy and water at home
You can save £££’s and have a calmer home space by thinking more about the energy you use.
- Save over £43 a year by using your kitchen appliances more carefully
- Save up to £150 a year by switching off around the home
Tackling dirty laundry
Your washing machine may have an eco wash mode,but if it doesn’t then use the cycle at 30 degrees to ensure maximum efficiency in terms of how much energy it takes to heat the water. Your clothes will get just as clean; plus many laundry detergents are optimized to work well at this temperature now.
The weather can help!
In warmer drier months use outside space to dry laundry and save on using a tumble dryer. Whether you have a washing line, or a drying rail you can hang things outside and let the sun and wind do the work for free.
When it’s wet, you could try investing in a dehumidifier, they use less energy than a tumble dryer and also won’t create wear and tear on your clothes. Hang the washing in a small space on a drying rail and plug in the dehumidifier, good ones can have your washing dry in a couple of hours and you won’t be creating a damp or mold problem by drying indoors.
In need of a cuppa
If you like a cup of tea or coffee in the morning, make sure to only fill the kettle with the water you need; it takes more energy to boil a full kettle which if you’re not going to use it a waste of electricity and money.
When you’re done, wash up in a bowl when you’ve got a few dishes to do rather than wash individually under a running tap so you’re not heating water that is literally going down the plughole. Or you could invest in a dishwasher, they usually have an eco mode, and so long as you are putting them on with a full load they can save both water and energy.
Turn off lights and other appliances when not in use. Swap bulbs for energy savings ones too.
Have a listen to our podcast with Brighton and Hove Energy Saving Co-op for more ideas on saving energy at home.
For even more ideas for saving energy (and money) at home check out these links:
- Try the Energy Saving Trust’s home energy check.
- Look for government funding for home energy improvements here.
- Buy energy efficient appliances – some helpful guidance from Sust-it here.
Water-wise at home
Did you know you don’t need to use water for brushing your teeth? True fact – it is better if you don’t!
You can also save bath water and use it to water the lawn, it won’t do it any harm and if you have a water meter at home it will save on your water bill.
Take shorter showers (can you make it in 2 minutes??) and swap one bath a week with a shower, which uses up to two thirds less water.
The average person uses 150 litres of water a day – that’s enough to fill two whole bathtubs!
How big is your flush?
If you have a dual flush toilet, save the big flush for when it is needed. You will save litres per flush.
If you have a standard flush you can install a water saving device in your cistern. Ask your water company for help. Most water companies offer free water saving devices such as hippo bags to put in your toilet and shower timers. Sussex water is generally supplied by the companies below.
South East WaterSee how much water you use with this water calculator or for more water saving ideas visit Waterwise.