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Six ways to be greener this summer

If you’re looking to be a bit greener this summer then there are plenty of ways to do so. If you’ve already made steps for when the cold temperatures do return – like getting boiler insurance – then now might be the right time to start thinking about a few other ways you can help the environment around your home. The good news is being eco-friendly needn’t take any of the enjoyment away from your summer days and in some cases could even save you cash. Here are a few ideas to try.

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Cooking with gas

If you love good food then a gas barbecue is well worth getting for those balmy days soaking up the sun in your backyard. Using propane is a much cleaner way of cooking your food than over charcoal and shouldn’t make your bangers and burgers any less tasty! Once you’re done you’ll probably need to give it a clean, but try and avoid products containing chemicals where possible. If you do need something to shift the grime then try to find a natural product, which won’t leave behind a nasty residue.

Keep the thermostat at a sensible level

After a winter so cold it saw most people’s central heating on much more than it was off, the summer is the ideal time to cut your energy usage in time for the next time the cold comes around. However, when the temperature rises it can be tempting to cool things down by turning on the air conditioning, if you’re lucky enough to have it. But restricting your usage – or taking advantage of the natural breeze outside your window – is a great way to save money and help the environment. You could even put the pennies saved towards boiler cover to make you’re still warm when it turns chillier.

Make your own compost heap

Summer is the perfect time to make your own compost heap. Doing this can save you from needing to pick up bags at your local hardware store or garden centre and makes good use of everything from vegetable peelings to grass cuttings. Why not take a peek at a guide to help you get started? Before you know it your borders will be blooming!

Cut out the plastic

If you’re having friends and family over for a barbecue or a buffet style lunch it can feel easier to just pick up some disposable plates. However, if you’re looking to be green its far better to stick to your normal reusable plates. If you’re running short and feel the need to buy in the plastic or paper kind then try to get some that you can add to your compost heap after use.

Watch your water usage

At this time of year you may feel a bit thirstier than usual and the same is true of your plants. But while it’s important to give them plenty of water to keep them healthy, you shouldn’t overdo it with the hose pipe or sprinkler. Instead use a watering can and – if you have the space – purchase a butt to collect rainwater. In the long term this could save you money on your water bills and help the plants.

Repel pests safely

If your garden suffers from pests such as slugs and snails then try to use more natural repellents, as opposed to pellets and other products that could do more harm than good. Instead, try shielding plants with a border of salts or egg shells or leave a little beer in a jar for them, as they find it more appealing than any plant!