Short Term Changes You Can MakeA big part of saving energy – at home at work or during our everyday lives – is being able to recognise the changes that we can make to our lifestyles that will help towards creating a greener place to live.

Of course, there are different types of changes that we make – long term and short term. The long term commitments we make to combating climate changes might not necessarily benefit ourselves directly, but will benefit generations to come. Short-term changes are more immediately obvious and will make an impact on our lives now. In this article we look at what short term changes you can make here and now that will make your life a cleaner and greener one.

At Home

1. Turn off the Lights

Turning the lights off whenever you leave a room couldn’t be simpler really. Lights left on use energy needlessly and keep your energy bills high. By remembering to switch your lights off whenever you leave a room, as well as using natural light where possible by opening doors, curtains and windows, you’ll cut your bills and the energy you use.

2. Switch to Energy Saving Light bulbs

An energy saving light bulb uses the equivalent of £9 less in energy a year than a regular light bulb does. When you consider how many bulbs you have in the house, this quick and easy change can also help reduce your energy bills quite significantly, a change you’ll notice in your pocket.

3. Close your Curtains

Even tasks as simple as closing curtains in the evening and opening them in the morning can help save you energy. Closing curtains and blinds in the evenings helps keep the heat in your home and mean you’re less likely to need to switch the heating on or turn it up further. But you should also remember to open them up again in the daytime, as this will mean you don’t need lamps and lights on to light up a room; you can use natural light instead.

At Work

1. Leave the Car in the Garage

Travelling to work in a car is among one of the worst ways you’ll emit CO2 into the atmosphere and contribute towards climate change in a week. Leaving it at home and taking an alternative form of transport, even once a week, has an immediate benefit to the environment, as well as saving you on petrol costs. If you find that using public transport isn’t as bad as you thought it would be, try and increase the amount you use it further. Or you could arrange to work from home once a week and reduce your carbon footprint in that way.

2. Don’t Print

Ditch the printer and photocopier and work electronically rather than printing out hard copies of your work. This is a great way of changing the way you work and becoming more eco-friendly at the same time. It’ll actually help you to stay organised at work – electronic working means no reams and reams of paperwork to file and arrange once you’re finished with it. Or, if it’s essential that you print something out, print on both sides of the paper to reduce the amount you need to use.

3. Switch Off

Finally, when it’s the end of the day, ensure that you turn off rather than leave your PC and other equipment on standby. It won’t take any extra effort for you to do, but will reduce the amount of energy you’re using during your working day – simply select ‘shut down’ rather than ‘log off’.

Green Lifestyle

1. Support Local Producers

Shopping locally is a great way of supporting small businesses whose food or production miles are minimal. This helps you live a greener lifestyle without having to travel much beyond your doorstep to pick up all you need.

2. Reusable Bags

You should also stop picking up plastic bags every time you do your weekly shopping. Investing in a few ‘bags for life’ or canvas shopping bags will do the job for you each time, but you can reuse rather than throw away.

3. Offset your Emissions

Finally, if you’re able to, offsetting your emissions is a short-term solution to countering your carbon footprint. There are many services available that will calculate the amount of CO2 you emit during various activities and will donate your payment to renewable and eco-friendly projects around the world.