Readers' Top Tips

Last updated: January 2016 



Readers' Top Tips

Here are a selection of our readers' responses to our survey on using home appliances energy efficiently, or doing without them.

Light bulb 

“I use a microwave rather than gas because my electricity is purchased from Good Energy. Look at energy usage and Ethical Consumer guidance when making new purchases.”

Rosemary Watson


 “I eat raw, so I have no use for a cooker or a microwave, although I do have a jug blender, a juicer and an electric kettle. I wash my clothes and bedding in a nice deep old sink using grated green soap, put a few drops of essential oil in the final rinse, and spin them before hanging them on the washing line. (If I could find a mangle I would use that instead.)”

Helen Banks, St Austel


“I collect wastewater from my washing machine to flush my lavatories, and to water the garden in summer (I use eco washing powder). I also force the machine not to do one of the rinse stages (it’s very old and has no eco setting). 

I boil up beans and wholegrains and put them into a thermos for 12 hours so by the time I come in from work they are cooked and need only boiling up in the pressure cooker with some veg to make excellent soup/stew.”

Sheila Peacock, Tadley

“Don’t have a freezer – use a dehydrator instead to preserve food. Uses very little energy and results don’t need special storage.”

Gemma Harris, London


“Sometimes when I run the hot tap, I collect the cold water that comes first and put it in the washing machine for the next wash. (I did it with the dishwasher until I realised that the first action is to pump out any residue water!)”

Colin Muddiman, Telford


“We are not very clean! So we wear clothes repeatedly before washing them.

Trying to find alternatives to a fridge and found company in Tywyn, Wales that makes a vaccine fridge for use abroad – trying to persuade them the develop a domestic version. Also keep looking for the development of drawer fridges – so far these seem very expensive.”

R Scott, Shrewsbury


“About to dispose of old tumble drier as I now use a dehumidifier to dry washing indoors when unable to hang up to dry outside-seems to use less power and keeps house free of condensation.”

Christine Whittaker, Manchester


“My main beef is: if parts wearing out, they are impossible to replace or ridiculously expensive. I want things that last for decades, not 2 years. Saves also on all that discard mountain. Why don’t manufacturers make things that last and go in more for bit replacements?”

Deidre Balaam, Perth


“Buy good quality, A rated appliances that will last. Repair whenever possible.”

Barbara Hulse, Milton Keynes


“Use bubble wrap over the food in the chest freezer which is supposed to slow down convection when you open the lid.”

David Farrar, Alnwick


“I try to eat fresh and seasonal food (trips to the allotment & local greengrocer) to reduce the amount of foodstuffs in the fridge.”

Simon Smith, Colchester



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