7 summer jobs that help reduce waste all year
Want to make your future self happy? Ease yourself off the sun lounger and tackle a few of these waste-busting household jobs one summer weekend...
1. Descale the kettle
Hot drinks aren’t exactly at the top of most folks' wish lists on sunny days. Use this break in the regular tea routine to get your kettle back up to full energy efficiency with a decent descaling.
You can buy non-toxic descaler sachets for this purpose, yet plain old white vinegar is a frugal alternative. Pour around 250ml of white vinegar into the kettle, followed by the same amount of tap water. Boil, then leave to sit overnight. In the morning, remove the lid and pour out the limescale flakes from the top of the kettle along with the vinegar solution. Reboil the kettle with plain water to remove any residual vinegar. Sparkling!
Plain white vinegar is a frugal alternative to commercial descalers
2. Tune up your bike
How’s your bike? Ready to go or sorely in need of some TLC? Don’t let sticky gears, a slow puncture or a rusty chain leave your bike languishing in the shed and you resorting to the car instead… remove the excuses and get that two-wheeled, emissions-saving beauty tuned up!
While dropping your ride off at a local workshop is an easy way to go; learning your way around a bike can save you some serious cash in the long run. The bike maintenance tutorials on Youtube cover pretty much everything anyone could ever need to know.
Bike maintenance tutorials on Youtube cover pretty much everything you need to know
3. Install water-saving gadgets
Set and forget! With a Save-a-Flush bag in the loo cistern, aerators on kitchen and bathroom taps and a flow regulator on the shower hose, the average family can save something upwards of 180 litres of water, each and every day.
Water-saving gadgets can save the average family more than 180 litres of water a day
4. Reorganise your kitchen cupboards
When’s the last time you saw the back of your kitchen cupboards? If the memory is growing dim, then why not foil potential food waste by booking yourself on an exotic kitchen cupboard safari? Time to take on the Back of the Cupboard Ingredient Challenge!
Foil food waste by checking over your kitchen cupboards for items that need using up
5. Check the pressure in your car tyres
Underinflated car tyres are a drag… quite literally. With more rubber in contact with the road, the engine has to work harder to overcome the extra drag and resistance, increasing your car’s fuel consumption and emitting more pollutants into the air. This handy Youtube video explains how to correctly check your tyre pressure.
Underinflated car tyres increase fuel consumption and carbon emissions
6. Hoover the coils behind your fridge freezer
Did you know that the fridge freezer accounts for up to 10% of a standard home’s energy usage? And if the cooling coils behind the appliance get dusty or dirty, then it will need to draw up to 30% more energy to keep running to temperature?
With the ambient temperature up in the 80s and 90s at times during the summer, getting our fridge freezers working efficiently should be up there on our to-do lists. Fortunately, it’s a simple task to dislodge dirt with an old clean brush and then hoover it up.
Dirty coils will leave a fridge freezer drawing up to 30% more energy to run as usual
7. Install a water butt
Let’s agree to stop wasting fresh drinking water on our garden plants!
By attaching a water butt and diverter hose onto a convenient downpipe, the average household in the south-east could harvest around 600 litres of rainwater even during the relatively dry month of August – wow! That’s more than enough to keep a pond topped up and a small-to-medium garden well-supplied.
As usual, Youtube has us covered for all of our water butt installation needs.
Even during a dry August, you could collect around 600 litres per water butt on average