Top Energy Saving Gizmos and Gadgets
Most of the measures that you can take to reduce your energy usage are relatively expensive or affect your lifestyle in a big way. Getting loft insulation, solar panels or a new energy efficient boiler can cost thousands and giving you your car to rely on a bike could mean shopping and socialising in a completely different way. Sometimes, becoming energy efficient seems like a lot of effort and not a lot of fun.
So, it’s good to hear that some manufacturers are designing all sorts of gizmos and gadgets to help us save energy, some of which are interesting and could make you feel you are doing your bit for the environment without being too strict on yourself.
Standby SocketsHaving an electrical appliance on standby can use an awful lot of electricity while we are lulled into thinking it’s switched off. Modern appliances are better, but TVs, washing machines, dishwashers and music systems that are more than four or five years old could be an energy drain without you realising it. A simple but smart solution is to buy extra smart sockets that just plug into ordinary sockets.
When you plug any appliance into the smart socket and you can turn it off completely using a remote control. This is great when your plugs are all hidden behind cabinets or sofas – no more crawling around trying to switch them all on and off. At about £25 for three sockets, you can buy them every so often until all the sockets you need are covered.
Ethical Plant PotsNot all gizmos are high-tech. If you like annual plants in the garden and have a greenhouse, you can spend a fortune on plastic plant pots and trays, repotting plants as they get bigger until you can plant them out on the patio or in the garden. Using plastic adds to landfill when you throw the pot away and leaves a large carbon footprint behind because of the manufacturing process involved.
A simple, cheap and really ingenious solution is to buy a paper potter, which is a wooden mould that can make instant plant pots out of old newspapers. The pots are strong enough to keep the compost and plant in place, allowing the plant roots to grow in a well aerated environment. When the plants need planting out, just plant them in the paper pots, which then biodegrade. The root ball is undisturbed and the plants get off to a flying start.