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50 Free Ways To Use Less Energy And Save Money

1. Close the curtains – Windows aren’t as insulated as walls, so draw the curtains and keep the cold out. Don’t let the curtains drape over the radiators and draw the heat out of the room.

2. Turn the thermostat down – Drop your home’s temperature by just one degree and the Energy Saving Trust reckons you could save up to £65 a year on energy.

3. Keep the radiators clear – If you have the space, try to avoid putting a sofa in front of the radiator as this blocks the heat from the room.

4. Put a shelf over your radiator – If you have high ceilings then adding a shelf just above the radiator can help deflect warmth into the centre of the room.

5. Put on a jumper – Finally, of course, there’s the old-fashioned ‘use less’ approach. Don’t expect to wear a T-shirt in the house in December, add a jumper, run the heating for an hour less a day and see if you notice.

6. Turn off the lights – Get your family in the habit of switching off the lights when they leave the room.

7. Ditch the ‘standby’ button – By turning equipment off instead of leaving it on standby, you could save as much as £86 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

8. Only charge until the battery’s full – Avoid leaving phones on charge unnecessarily, it can still waste energy.

9. Check your TV brightness – The factory settings on TVs are often too bright for homes, meaning you’re wasting energy. Experiment with a lower setting.

10. Buy a laptop not a PC – If you’re in the market for a new computer, a laptop typically uses around 85% less energy than a new desktop machine, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

11. Defrost the freezer – Make sure your freezer is running to its maximum efficiency by regularly defrosting it.

12. Cut food up smaller – By reducing the size of your food, you reduce the time it needs to cook.

13. Stuff your freezer with newspaper – If there are empty drawers in your freezer, try filling them with scrunched up newspaper. It’s better insulation and will help it use less energy.

14. Cook in batches – One way to fill the freezer is to cook batches of food and freeze portions. This can also use less energy.

15. Plan ahead – Save energy by defrosting food overnight in the fridge instead of microwaving it.

16. Avoid putting hot food in the fridge – Let it cool down first or your fridge will need to use more energy to stay cool.

17. Keep the fridge door closed – Teenagers are the worst for this! Encourage your family to only open the fridge door to remove or replace things, not browse.

18. Plan your kitchen carefully – If you have space, keep your fridge or freezer as far away from radiators as possible.

19. Only boil what you need – Get in the habit of only boiling as much water as you need – it can help to keep the kettle empty and measure water in using a mug. Be careful to cover the heating elements though.

20. Avoid flooding veg – The same goes for boiling vegetables; just use enough water to cover them so you don’t boil water unnecessarily.

21. Choose the right pan – If you use the right sized pan for your booking ring, your food will cook faster.

22. Boil in the kettle, not the hob – If you need boiling water to cook with, use the kettle and not the hob as it’s more efficient.

23. Position the pan right – Don’t waste energy and risk a burn by letting a pan sit wonkily on the hob.

24. Switch the oven off – Depending on what you’re cooking, consider turning off the oven before the timer goes off. Lots of food will keep cooking as the oven cools.

25. Use a steamer – By using a steamer with several compartments, you can cook more than one vegetable using just one pan.

26. Keep the oven door closed – Don’t linger with the oven door open, you’ll use more energy as it replaces lost heat.

27. Fix drips – Leaking taps waste water and leaking hot taps waste energy.

28. Shower, don’t bath – It’s faster and cheaper than a bath.

29. Shave time off your shower – If everyone in your home cut their shower time by two minutes a day, you could save £20 a year according to E.ON.

30. Use your plug – Don’t just run the tap while you need hot water, it’s a waste of energy. Put the plug in and use what you’ve got.

31. Don’t crank up the water temperature – Set your thermostat to 60°C, that’s fine for a hot bath. Scalding water on tap is wasteful and could be dangerous if you have kids.

32. Fill the machines – Don’t run your washing machine or dishwasher half empty, make sure it’s full and use an economy programme if it has one.

33. Use the sun – When the weather is dry, hang wet clothes outdoors rather than on the tumble dryer. It doesn’t need to be hot to dry clothes quickly.

34. Don’t drape the radiators – It’s so tempting to hang clothes on the radiators to dry but this makes the boiler work harder and costs more.

35. Clean your filters – If you do use a tumble dryer, make sure its filters are regularly cleaned so it’s operating as efficiently as possible.

36. Use eco-balls – Adding eco balls to a tumble dryer helps the clothes dry faster by making gaps in the washing for the heat to circulate.

37. Wash at 30 degrees – Many modern washing powders work just as efficiently at 30 degrees as they do at higher temperatures.

38. Hang up worn clothes – Reduce your laundry pile by asking your family to hang their clothes up after wearing them, so they’re suitable to wear again.

39. Buy an efficient fridge – When you come to replace your fridge freezer, buy a highly efficient model. This could save you up to £36 a year according to British Gas.

40. Install radiator panels – Some people believe that attaching these to the wall behind radiators helps reflect heat back into the room. According to EDF this could save you up to £60 a year on your heating bills.

41. Exclude drafts – Adding draft excluders to your windows and doors could save around £25 a year on heating, according to British Gas.

42. Cover your keyholes – If you use letter box and keyhole covers, you reduce draughts even further.

43. Replace your bulbs – If you still have any old-fashioned light bulbs in your home, don’t wait for them to blow. Replace them with energy savers and start reaping the benefits – The Energy Saving Trust says that switching to an energy saver could save you as much as £45 over its lifetime.

44. Insulate your walls – If you don’t already have it, installing cavity wall insulation could save around £135 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

45. Fill your loft – The same goes for your loft – adding insulation could save you as much as £175 a year.

46. Insulate your immersion tank – Any insulation helps your home work more efficiently, and insulating your immersion tank keeps water hotter longer.

47. Buy a more efficient boiler – When you next come to replace your boiler, make sure it’s a highly efficient model. Changing from a G-rated boiler to a new A-rated condenser could save you £300 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

48. Clingfilm your windows – No, not actual clingfilm. You can buy clingfilm-like film from DIY stores for a couple of pounds. Securing it to single-glazed windows can reduce the heat lost.

49. Seal your floorboards – You can even insulate your floors. Most DIY stores sell tubes of sealant, allowing you to seal up gaps between skirting boards and the floor.

50. Monitor your energy – Knowing how much power you’re burning at any one time can encourage you to cut back, so fit an energy monitor.

Healthy Living and The Virility of a 19 Year Old

It was the rock band The Who that sang the lyrics back in ‘65 “Hope I die before I get old”. Look at them now though: Roger Daltry CBE will be 69 next year, and Pete Townshend (who wrote My Generation) is not far behind. I guess these guys never realised that age would catch up with them in the end. But as we enter our later years and begin to suffer from the aches and pains that long-term living brings us, its only natural that we start to look at ways that we can over come them. So that we may live a healthier life and perhaps eek-out a few more years on the latter end. I don’t think there is any silver bullet or magic potion that will make everything go back to just like it was in our twenties, but with balance and small changes to diet and lifestyle I believe that we CAN make changes to help us live a longer healthier life.

Mmmm Bacon…

The TV presenter and cancer survivor Lynn Faulds Wood thought that her condition was due to her excessive consumption of bacon in her earlier years. I’ve heard it said “It’s not so much what we eat, but what’s eating us, which is the problem”. I’ve been lucky enough to enjoy a vegetarian diet for most of my adult life although I try to err towards vegan as I prefer to avoid eating too much dairy products that can be high in saturated fat. Research suggests that we should not eat meat daily (certainly not at every mealtime) and also have a few days off each week. Rather much like moderating our alcohol consumption.

And Sit Around All Day…

Exercise plays a big part in healthy living too. I usually cycle for an hour a day, 4 or 5 times a week. I have a 16 mile route I sometimes ride hard and fast, or sometimes I take a slow leisure ride. Apart from the obvious cardiovascular fitness it brings it also gives me so time to relax and reflect. I used to meditate and I find gentle exercise can offer similar relaxation and invigorating qualities. But exercise does not need to be a slog in the gym or a long hard bike ride. The problem we have is that we spend so much of our time in front of a screen, sitting behind desk or behind ‘the wheel’ that regular gentle walk can offer huge benefits and help us shed a few pounds too.

Pills and Potions

There are also the supplements to our diet that are now widely available. Vitamin C is great for boosting the immune system and keeping colds and flu at bay, but I have also found that a daily shot of Aloe Vera Juice keeps my digestion in good shape, and my skin feeling healthy. Aloe Vera originated in North Africa and has been used as herbal medicine since biblical times. It is now grown commercially in Andalusia Southern Spain.

Unproven Poppycock

There are many claimed heath benefits of Aloe Vera. Aloe Vera has been used as an immune stimulant that aids in fighting cancers in cats and dogs, but treatment has not yet been scientifically tested in humans. There is also evidence that Aloe Vera may be useful in the treatment of diabetes and elevated blood lipids in humans, but again, little scientific research has gone into this.

You mean? You Drink The Stuff!

Aloe Vera is mainly known as an additive to skincare products. I was not aware until quite recently that you could buy the juice to drink as a supplement  The taste of Aloe Vera juice would be best described as ‘acquired’, though you can dilute it with water or other juice. The recommended intake is use 25ml once or twice daily – always read the label.

Aloe Vera is apparently also good for many skin conditions, and piles. Oh and as for virility, everything still seems to be working just fine!


Wikaniko Website Speed Update

The speed of the website has dramatically increased. Where the page loading time was taking around 15 seconds, it is now down to about 6 seconds. Anyone who was put off buying products or joining Wikaniko due to the speed of the website, might like to now reconsider and have another look.

So why was it so slow?

The website uses a complicated structure of loading content via database tables. The database tables contain thousands of entries that are searched, filtered and loaded each time a page loads. These calculations are made thousands of times every second, if there are repeat calculations being made, or if there is any error in the system stopping those calculations being made, the who system runs very slowly or in the worse cases, stops altogether. A number of technical issues have been discovered and resolved.


Ethical Income A Green Online Business Opportunity

An opportunity exists for those of us concerned about green issues. You can start your own ‘eco’ business generating an ethical income through the sales of eco-friendly household products and personal care items under the banner of a company called Wikaniko, pronounced We Can Eco.

Wikaniko have been trading as a catalogue company for over 5 years now, with most sales generated through their network of distributors. Early in September 2012, we saw the launch of the new website which has boosted both company sales and online sales opportunities for online entrepreneurs.

The way the business works is fairly simple

Distributors have their own replicated website.

Any sales generated via a distributor’s replicated Wikaniko website is credited to that distributor and commissions are paid in accordance with Wikaniko’s generous compensation plan.

Any new distributor joining Wikaniko forms part of the team of the distributor who introduced them. The distributor who introduces, also receives small commission on anything sold by their team, up to 8 levels deep. Over time distributors sales volumes can steadily build and generate a monthly income.

Distributors can also build their income from the personal sales they make. The retail price to the customer always remains the same whether they buy online or via a distributor directly. The distributor buys from their replicated website at the wholesale discounted price and supplies to the customer at the retail price, thus keeping any profits they make.

Prices are not high either. They are certainly comparable with other online companies and many goods are cheaper than what you would expect to pay in the shops. Items which Wikaniko distributors use are also enjoyed at wholesale prices.

The business itself is primarily about getting others to think a little bit greener and getting others to use greener products in their daily lives, thus reducing pollution and at the same time saving money, living a cleaner healthier lifestyle  and building an income for the future.

Grease Off Environmentally Friendly Kitchen Degreaser

Grease Off removes kitchen grease and other kitchen mess quickly and effectively. Suitable for work surfaces, ceramic tiles, sinks, cooker areas cooker hoods etc.

I tried using this product this morning and I must say I was well-impressed with the results on our stainless steel range cooker hob and hood. So impressed in fact, that I went on a bit of a cleaning binge and gave the sink and worktops a once-over too.

Astonish products are also environmentally friendly. Their products do not contain ingredients harmful to the environment.

Astonish products are cruelty free, BUAV and The Vegetarian Society approved. Astonish cleaning products are not tested on animals and neither do they contain any animal ingredients or animal derivatives.

Astonish is also British family run business who produces high quality cleaning products at its own purpose built factory in the UK. Astonish have a strong emphasis on supporting local suppliers and supporting the UK economy and local community.

Reduce Limescale & Use Less Chemical Cleaners

Many years ago, some good friends of ours introduced us to the power of magnetism acting as a de-scaler.

On their suggestion we installed a magnetic device on our incoming water supply. We found that having this device improved the taste of our water considerably and rarely (if ever), did we need to de scale our kettle. In fact many visitors to our home who are from out of the area have commented on how nice the water is round here, whereas people who live locally often complain how hard the water is.

The initial outlay was quite high, but we have had this for 11 years now. If we were to total up the cost of all the kettle descaler, plus Viakal for the shower heads and other chemicals we would have used over all of that time, I am fairly sure we have made a considerable saving overall. But even considering the cost, these things are not always cheap! Bioflow Water Conditioner

One area though, where we were still getting a small build up of limescale was in the toilets, which means that every few weeks one of us needs to give them a good scrub or use some seriously strong toilet descaling cleaner. Since neither of us really enjoy giving the loos a good scrub, we decided to boost the magnetism on the toilet water by adding an Ecozone Magnoloo Descaler

Flushing harmful chemicals down our loos is a major hazard to the eco system so we try to use toilet cleaners as little as possible. For those who have soakaways or septic tanks, the impact is even greater.

The Ecozone Magnoloo Descaler keeps our toilets cleaner for longer as it stops the limescale from building up. We now use considerably less harmful toilet cleaners than we did before, and we still have a sparkly clean loo, well, most of the time…

They are actually quite cheap too!

What Everyone Can Do To Reduce Plastic Waste

There is a massive plastic soup of waste floating in the Pacific Ocean and it is growing at an alarming rate. It now covers an area several times the size of the United States.

This vast expanse of debris is in effect the world’s largest rubbish dump and it is held in place by swirling underwater currents. This drifting plastic soup of waste stretches from off the California coastline and across the northern Pacific, past Hawaii and almost as far as Asia and possibly down to Antarctica.

It is believed that more than 100 million tons of non degradable waste is circulating under the surface of the water.

This plastic waste is having a serious effect on the marine ecosystem. Historically, rubbish that ends up in the ocean has biodegraded, but modern plastics are so durable that that items 50 years old have been found in the north Pacific. Every piece of plastic that was manufactured in the last 50 years that has made it into the ocean is still out there somewhere.

According to the United Nations Environment Programme, plastic debris causes the deaths of more than a million seabirds every year, as well as more than a hundred thousand marine mammals. Even syringes, cigarette lighters and toothbrushes have been found inside the stomachs of dead seabirds, which were mistaken for food.

Plastic is believed to make up 90 per cent of all rubbish floating in the ocean. The United Nations Environment Programme estimated in 2006 that every square mile of ocean contains around 46,000 pieces of floating plastic.

There is also a risk to human health too. Billions of tiny plastic items from manufacturing are lost or spilled every year and they work their way into the sea. They act as chemical sponges attracting man-made chemicals such as hydrocarbons and the pesticide. Then they enter the food chain. What goes into the ocean goes into seal life and ultimately ends on the consumers dinner plate.

Some of the ways which consumers can stop adding to this problem is to take the following measures:

  • Use products in recyclable containers
  • Recycle and reuse
  • Avoid unnecessary use of plastic
  • Use degradable consumer goods such as d2w Life Controlled Plastic Bags.

Raw For Life DVD

Interested in raw food for health and life?

“Raw For Life ” is the ultimate encyclopaedia of the Raw Food Lifestyle and perfect for beginners and Raw Food enthusiasts. This two-disc DVD set inspires people with the Raw Food philosophy, the wisdom of eating a raw food diet, important medical facts and nutritional information.

We have combined the knowledge and expertise of doctors and nutritionists with testimonials from celebrities, athletes, professionals, and chefs who champion the amazing benefits of raw, vegan living foods. Our goal was to create a product that would empower people to take control of their health and happiness. In “Raw For Life”, you will find everything you need to transition to a healthier state of being.

The Health Benefits Of Epsom Salts

Epsom Salts are known to have some great health benefits

They can be used in a relaxing bath, as a face scrub and to improve hair volume. They can also help to remove splinters and reduce swelling of sprains and bruises.

Try soaking in a tub of hot water with a few cups of Epsom Salts as this may be good for relaxing muscles and drawing toxins from the body. This is because they are made from the mineral magnesium sulphate which is a sedative for the nervous system.

When magnesium sulphate is absorbed through the skin, such as in a bath, it draws toxins from the body, sedates the nervous system, reduces swelling, relaxes muscles, and is a natural emollient, and can be used to exfoliate, and much more.

Relaxing and sedative baths Soak in warm water and 2 cups of Epsom Salts.

Foot soak Soothe away aches, remove foot odour and soften hard skin by adding half a cup of Epsom Salts to a large bowl or foot bath with warm water and soak

Sprains and bruises Epsom Salts can reduce the swelling of sprains and bruises. Add 2 cups Epsom Salts to a warm bath and soak.

Splinter remover Soak affected area in Epsom Salts and it will help draw out the splinter.

Face cleanser To clean your face before bedtime just mix half a teaspoonful of Epsom Salts with your regular cleansing cream. Massage into skin and rinse with cold water.

Face mask Apply the mask to wet skin. Normal to oily skin, try mixing: 1 tablespoon of cognac, an egg, quarter of a cup of non-fat dry milk, the juice of a lemon, and half a teaspoon of Epsom Salts. Normal to dry skin: Quarter of a cup of grated carrots, a teaspoon of mayonnaise and half a teaspoonful of Epsom Salts.

Skin exfoliator Massage handfuls of Epsom Salts over wet skin, starting with feet and continuing up towards the face. Then rinse off.

Remove oil from hair Epsom Salts will soak up excess oil from hair. Add a cup of Epsom Salts to half cup of shampoo. Apply a tablespoon of the liquid to your hair when it is dry, then rinse with cold water. Pour lemon juice or organic apple cider vinegar through the hair, leave for ten minutes and then rinse again.

Remove hairspray Combine the following: A gallon of water, 1 cup of lemon juice, and one cup of Epsom Salts. Cover then set for 24 hours. The next day, pour the mixture into your dry hair and let it sit for 20 minutes. Then shampoo out as normal.

Hair volume Combine equal parts of deep conditioner and Epsom Salts and warm in a pan. Work the warm mixture through your hair and leave for 20 minutes. Then rinse.

Epsom Salts are a must – have for any family!

Note: Consult your doctor prior to taking an Epsom Salts Bath if you have high blood pressure, heart problems, diabetes, are taking digoxin, fluoroquinolone antibiotics, a tetracycline antibiotic, nitrofurantoin or penicillamine.

Take care Using Epsom Salts in a bath can make it very slippery. Be careful when entering and exiting the bath. Try placing towel in the bottom of the bath as this may help.

Be Astonished By Astonish

Some Useful Information About Astonish

Astonish Are Environmentally Friendly

Astonish products are environmentally friendly. Their products do not contain ingredients, which are harmful to the environment.

Astonish Are Cruelty Free And Also BUAV And The Vegetarian Society Approved Astonish cleaning products are cruelty free, are not been tested on animals and neither do they contain any animal ingredients or the derivatives of animals. Astonish does not use suppliers who test on animals either. All Astonish products are approved by the BUAV who are the global campaign to end all animal experiments as well as approved by The Vegetarian Society. You will find the Cruelty Free symbol on all Astonish packaging.

Astonish Are British Manufacturer And Exporter Astonish is a family run business. They are a manufacturer and exporter producing high quality cleaning products. They have their own purpose built manufacturing site in the UK. Astonish has an emphasis on supporting local suppliers for raw materials. This supports the UK economy, the community and reduces demands on transportation and therefore pollution. Astonish products are superb products and often cheaper than branded products.

Bio-D Green Ethical & Natural Household Cleaning Products

Bio-D offers a range of green ethical and eco-friendly cleaning products for the home and office

BioD  An independent family run business dedicated to promoting the use of safe and effective environmentally responsible hypoallergenic detergents made from natural ingredients.

Environmentally Responsible  All products have a minimum impact on the ecosystem in their use and the manufacturing. They are totally degradable and do not cause harm to watercourses and wildlife.

100% Vegan – Against Animal Cruelty  None of the raw materials used are tested on animals and neither are the products themselves. They do not contain any animal products. Bio-D are approved by The Vegan Society.

Renewable Recyclable  Wherever possible Bio-D uses plant-derived raw materials obtained from renewable sources. Packaging contains good levels of recycled materials and are recyclable too.

Bio-D products are effective in both use and cost

How to Beat Cancer And Other Major Illnesses The Natural Way

For those interested in health and nutrition, here’s something for free!

This astonishing, totally FREE, highly talked about ebook is available for you to download and read on your PC, or print out. Almost 90 pages of information, delivered in a unique style. If you are serious about being healthy, ridding yourself of illness, and/or getting back to a sensible weight, this is a must read. The feedback has been truly amazing.

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