How much money do you spend on fuel and power each week? According to MoneySmart, it changes based on your life stage and who you live with – single people under the age of 35 spend the least at $162 per week. Married couples with older children (between 14 and 24) spend more than double that amount at $380 per week. That’s a large expense for something that could be almost nil.
It’s easy to cut costs with environmentally friendly changes.
It’s easy to cut costs with environmentally friendly changes. The following tips will help you to have an environmentally friendly summer, doing your bit for the planet and also saving money along the way.
1. Be smart about your laundry
A big money-sucker is your laundry cycle. If you regularly wash in hot water, you might as well be throwing money in along with your washing liquid! Up to 85 per cent of the power used in a wash cycle goes to heating the water according to the Worldwatch Institute.
Wash in cold water wherever possible (i.e. unless you have an enormous, greasy stain to get rid of). Then, instead of throwing everything in the dryer, hang it up on a clothesline. The hot Australian sun will work almost as quickly.
2. Stop driving to work
Some people have to commute in their cars, but for those who don’t, try catching public transport or riding a bike. If you live close enough to your workplace, you could even walk! Your fuel costs will be significantly less and you’ll be getting some exercise in at the same time. A leisurely bike ride for 30 minutes could burn up to 150 calories (but this will change dependent on your weight). If you take the cycling more seriously, 30 minutes at a high level of work will burn almost 600 calories!
If you’re trying to save up for a big family holiday or you want to move house, cutting out fuel expenditure is a great way to squirrel away a little more money into your BOQ savings account.
3. Turn off and unplug
Cut down on power usage by completely shutting down your laptop or home computer when you go to bed. Even in sleep mode, your devices use power when plugged into the wall or a charger. There’s no point in leaving everything on when you’re asleep anyway!
Shutting down your desktop computer is the most important power saver in this section. A desktop uses approximately 600 kilowatt hours per year when used for eight hours per day. That could equate to around $160 in energy costs every year.
4. Recycle responsibly
This one won’t save you money unless you live somewhere you have to pay for rubbish bags, but it’s still significantly better for the environment. E-waste recycling is easy and safe. Plus, around the summer season when celebrations are at a yearly high, you might have a lot of glass and plastic bottles to dispose of. Don’t throw these in your regular trash as they’ll just end up in the landfills.
Plastic and glass don’t break down quickly when left to their own devices.
Plastic and glass don’t break down quickly when left to their own devices. They require energy (like what is applied to them at a recycling plant) so they can burn away, break down and be reused. Sitting in a landfill, they’ll just take up space and sit there for many years before any natural decay occurs.
5. Make the most of the summer sun
Get outside while you can, turn off the TV, walk away from your smartphone, and play some outdoor games with your family. You won’t be using any power while doing so, and therefore you’ll be saving!
Even better, use the natural light for as long as possible in the evenings before turning on your house lights. Just an hour a day of saved light use will add up over a year, and you won’t have to change your light bulbs nearly as often. Just 365 hours without house lights per year equates to approximately $162.50 in savings per year (based on the average power use in Australia).
Save the planet by going green. It’s not as hard as it sounds, and by following some of these tips you’ll be doing your bit. For more information about environmentally friendly changes you can make, or for help with what to do with your savings, get in touch with BOQ today.