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15 green tips to save money and the planet

solar panel and wind turbine energy farmUnless you’re Superman, it’s unlikely you’ll be able to single-handedly save the planet from global warming. But that’s not to say you can’t do your bit. Making even the smallest changes will have a positive effect, not only on the environment, but on your pocket too.

Here are Confused.com’s top fifteen energy saving tips that could also save you money…

1. Super power!

Switch energy supplier to one that generates renewable electricity through wind, water or solar power. The more people who do so, the cheaper it will become.

2. No sweat

Turn your thermostat down by just ONE degree and you can cut your heating bills by up to four per cent. 

3.  Turn off

Switch appliances off properly. Left on standby, appliances such as TVs can sap up to 85 per cent of the power they do while in use.

4.  Free of charge

Once you’ve powered up your iPod or mobile, unplug them. Most gadget chargers eat up electricity even when they’re not in use.

5.  See the light

Switch off all the lights in rooms you’re not using - even the Queen does this!

6.  Flash bulbs

Use low energy light bulbs. They’re more expensive but can last up to 12 years. It is reckoned that if every household in the UK used just one energy saving bulb, enough juice would be saved to shut down a whole power station.

7.  Perfect protection

Cut your gas and electricity bills by properly insulating your loft space, cavity walls, hot water pipes and boiler. Eco friendly options include insulation blown in cellulose, sheep’s wool, recycled cotton fibres and foams like Icynene. You will notice a difference in your energy bills in no time.

8.  Third degree

Wash clothes at a lower temperature - ideally 30 degrees and air-dry them whenever possible.

9.  Pull the plug

Take a shower rather than a bath. You’ll save almost half the water and by cutting your shower time by just one minute you could save more than 2,000 litres of water each year.

10. Drink up

Enjoy a carbon-friendly cuppa. Kettles love guzzling energy as much as you love drinking tea or coffee. So, boil a cup's worth and no more.

11. Whizz-kid

Pay your energy bills online. Some estimates reckon that around 81,000 trees are felled annually just to make the paper required to send everyone in the UK their phone bills. Energy companies often give a discount for paperless billing.

12. Bag it

Use your own carrier bag. Each year, supermarkets hand out 13 billion plastic bags.

13. Go public

One bus can carry the same number of people as fifty cars. Tube carriages and trains hold even more.

14.  Great outdoors

Or even better…cycle or walk whenever you can. Not only will you save money and have trimmer thighs, you’ll give the planet a much-needed break from CO2 emissions.

15. Eco drive

If you are going to drive and want to use as little fuel as possible, take a look at Drive down your motoring costs.

*Savings and statistics sourced from Friends of the Earth, Global Cool, Green Consumer Guide, Green Matters and Green Peace