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Who needs new year’s resolutions? Try our 13 easy ways to be more green in 2013 instead

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Because having an amazing year doesn’t have to cost the Earth….

Champagne Toast

By Briony Samuel

Happy New Year! 2012 is well and truly over and with 2013 now upon us it’s time to start thinking resolutions. Joining the gym, ditching unhealthy food and quitting smoking are all popular promises made and forgotten within the first week of January.

Never fear, however, because here at Global Cool we like to make our resolutions a bit more easy to keep! Gym-dodgers and chocolate-lovers alike can join in with our easy-peasy steps for a greener 2013, and not only will they ensure that you do your bit for the planet, but they will also save you a whole wad of cash too…

Toothbrush1) Turn the tap off when brushing your teeth
One of the most common ways we waste water is by leaving the tap running when giving those pearly whites a scrub. With the bathroom tap flowing at about two gallons a minute, you could be wasting up to eight gallons a day just brushing your teeth (eek). By turning the tap off instead of leaving it running, you’ll be saving loads of water and cash (which will certainly give you something to smile about)!

Sewing2) Revamp and repair old clothes
Instead of throwing out clothes that are a bit worn, why not try and repair them, or even better update them! Keep a box of buttons and make sure you add to it every time you get a spare button with a new piece of clothing, so when a button falls off, you’ll have loads to choose from. Get creative and see if you can adapt old clothes into new styles. Not only will your green antics make you feel good, but you’ll also have clothes which are completely unique to you!

TV3) Don’t stand by and watch your energy bill grow…
It takes a few seconds to turn your TV off fully and will save you a lot more money than you think! Research has shown that ensuring all of your appliances are not left on standby can save you up to £86 a year. So what are you waiting off? Hit the switch and watch your energy bills drop too. Turning your TV completely off rather than leaving it on standby might be a pain in the arse (given that you have to actually get up out of your chair to do it), but it will save you loads of cash and help preserve your TV for longer.

Kylie Minogue4) Keep it cool (turn down your washing machine)
By washing your clothes on a 30 degrees or less, you will be saving around £15 a year. Your clothes will still be washed effectively, so there is no reason not to crank down that temperature! For a few more reasons to wash at 30 (including how it can help you look as good as Kylie Minogue) read on.

TV Brightness5) Be bright (and turn down the brightness on your screen)
Turning down the brightness on your TV and laptop screen will not only save you money on energy bills, but will also ensure that your laptop battery lasts longer when you’re on the move. Most laptops have a buttons at the top of the keyboard to do this, so hit the button and save energy now. New research has even found that you can save up to £100 a year just by turning down the brightness of your TV!

Winter Jumpers6) Wear woollies (and turn down the heating)
We know it’s tempting to whack the heating onto a tropical setting during the cold months, but turning your heating down by just one degree knocks 10% off your bill every time, meaning you could save yourself a nice wad of cash. Instead, wrap up warm in winter woollies and save the sauna for a day trip to a spa that you could buy with all the money you’re saving. And if you want some winter jumper inspiration we have just what you’re looking for.

Public Transport7) Ditch the car
Instead of driving to work, why not ditch the car and take public transport instead! Not only is it good for the planet, but you’re not behind the wheel, meaning you’re free to read, text, use apps or even take a quick nap (just make sure you don’t miss your stop). We’ve been harping on about the joys of public transport for donkey’s years now so why not join our gang in 2013.

Cycling8) Get on your bike!
Instead of jumping in your car for countless short journeys, why not try cycling? 2012 was the year of cycling thanks to Bradley Wiggins, so let’s try and make sure the Wiggins Effect continues into 2013. Not only will you save money on petrol, you’ll also be getting lots of exercise, a toned bum and saving the planet at the same time. Start off by riding your bike round to the shops, and as your fitness levels increase, so should your stamina. This year, Tour de Sainsburys, next year Tour de France!

Mobile Phone9) Switch your phone charger off at the wall
Did you know that around 95% of the energy used on phone chargers is wasted energy? Shockingly, only a tiny 5% is used actually charging your phone, the rest comes from when that greedy charger is left plugged in at the wall, mindlessly guzzling energy. By unplugging your phone charger after use, you will save yourself a pile of money, and what’s more it can be dangerous leaving it plugged in. If you do just one thing differently this year, make it this!

KeepCup10) Buy an eco-friendly coffee cup
There are now plenty of eco-friendly hot drink cups available on the market. If you’re buying a coffee on your way to and from work 5 days a week, that’s a lot of wasted cups and cash! You wouldn’t use a new mug every time you make a drink at home, so why should it be any different when you’re on the move? These reusable KeepCups will be accepted by most hot drinks vendors, and you can enjoy your drink knowing that your cup won’t be added to the every growing mound in landfill!

Recycling11) Recycle, recycle, recycle
It’s something we’ve been going on about for ages, but recycling really does make a HUGE difference. If every UK home recycled just half of its waste, nasty emissions would fall by a massive 6 million tonnes a year! Do your bit, separate food waste, plastics, glass, cardboard etc., put them in the relevant bins, and voila! Most areas have limited garbage collection now anyway so by separating your rubbish you won’t be left with smelly bags outside your house for a fortnight.

Lightbulb12) Turn lights off when you leave the room
Hitting a switch requires a very minimal effort on your part, but will save a whole lot of energy and cash. It’s such a simple change to make and will definitely make a difference with your energy bills at the end of the month. Try to encourage everyone you live with to do the same and treat yourselves at the end of the year.

Food13) Don’t throw away food
Instead of buying loads of food on a whim, plan your meals for a week so you only buy things you need. Make sure you’ve eaten before you go to the supermarket, because hunger=overspending. Don’t be swayed by anything that seems like a good offer. Are you really going to eat three quiches by the end of the week? By being more sensible, you can avoid having to chuck out loads of food because it’s gone past its use by date, as well as saving plenty of cash.

frankensteinHere comes the science bit…

GC articles show you lots of ways to live greener. Find out more now…

/ Be a winner (not a binner) /
/ Turn up the style (not the heat) /
/ Love the trend (not the spend) /
/ Do it in public (not the car/plane)/

Main image: viking_79.  Eco cup: KeepCups. All other images PA Images.

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