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Sustainable living for beginners

By Laura Davies | Posted April 24, 2018

The world is changing, and the way we use energy is changing with it. Technological advances towards a more sustainable future mean that we can all do our part. From sustainable food and green homes to making smaller, green choices everyday – we’ll help you on the road to sustainable living.

Everyday sustainable choices

It's easier than you think to make small adjustments everyday that help the planet – rather than damage it.

Solar chargers. Not only are solar chargers useful for hiking or camping trips – but you can also use these at home. Power up with the sun and charge your phone or speakers with free, renewable energy.

Recycle. This seems an obvious point to be making but it's a good one! When possible, recycle everything you use – if you don't already have a dedicated recycling box in your house then set one up tonight.

Reuse, reuse, reuse. Use reusable cups for your morning coffee (rather than paper or plastic) as well as a reusable water bottle and lunchboxes. A lot of coffee shops offer money off if you bring your own reusable cup now as an incentive – great news.

Shop local. Buy local produce as much as you can. See if there's a veg market near your home or work and tell others – the more we share and encourage a move towards sustainability the more we'll all do it.

Sustainable eating

Produce less waste. Use leftovers in a new meal, eat as much as you can in your fridge and if something really can't be eaten, put it in the compost.

Eat lower on the food chain. Meat, eggs, and dairy products require more land, water, and other resources to produce than they return in food value. Eating more vegetable-based meals is more sustainable because they need less resources to produce.

Grow your own. Plant herbs and veggies in your garden. They look lovely and are low cost. Don't have a garden? Not to worry! You can grow herbs and other veg on window sills or why not try growing in an allotment?

Sustainable travel

Get on your bike. Cycling is good for your health and great for the planet too. Also, check if your work place offers a cycle to work scheme – this could mean a free bike for you.

Buses powered on coffee or sunlight. Yes, we know this sounds mad but these options really do exist. OK so there are not too many around just yet, but find out about your local buses and you may be surprised that there's a sustainable option for bus travel you never knew about!

Car pool. If you really can't give up the car for travel, why not carpool? There are a variety of apps (you can find some in our energy saving apps article), or you can just ask around your office.

Making sustainable choices at home

Compost it: Have leftover food you can't use? Make a home compost!

A brighter way to power your home. Generate your own electricity, save on energy bills and help the environment. Find out more about installing solar panels on your roof on our solar panel installation page.

Buy energy efficient appliances. Want to make smart energy choices for your kitchen and bathroom – discover how to use less energy and choose the best appliances with our guide to energy efficient appliances.

Monitor your energy use. With the HeatSmart® smart thermostat you can monitor and control your heating remotely – so you won't waste energy if you forget to turn it off as you leave the house.

Use non-toxic cleaners. Borax, vinegar, baking soda, salt and lemon juice are a few of the many natural alternatives.

Store rainwater. It’s clean, free, it’s great for your garden and it doesn’t take energy to pump it to your house.

Insulate walls and ceilings. Warmer in the winter and kind on your energy bill – insulation is a great way to save energy and money.

Fix leaky pipes. Even small leaks can cost you money. According to this article by This is Money, leaky pipes cost the UK more than burglary every year. Leaks are easy to repair and you'll save on bills and your water usage.

Looking for a low carbon tariff? We are committed to producing low carbon electricity, read about our sustainability plan on this page. Our Blue tariff range uses electricity 100% backed by low-carbon generation to help slow the effects of climate change. Check out our range of Blue tariffs on our tariff page.