What Are The Greener Options For Charging Your Phone Or Tablet?


Image via Flickr creative commons from markguim

Gadgets can suck up a fair bit of energy over their lifetime and it is unsurprising that more and more people are looking for ways to reduce their energy spend and bring down household bills at the same time as doing their bit for the environment. The good news is that there a number of ways that you can be more environmentally aware when it comes to charging up your gadgets such as smartphones and tablets. Charging them is easy, especially when you have covers from the Snugg UK that allow easy access to all of the ports. What is not so easy is remembering to be green – here are a few helpful tips!

Think carefully before charging overnight

One of the best and probably one of the simplest ways to save money and energy when it comes to charging gadgets is to make sure you think carefully about when you do it. Something that many people do is charge their smartphones and tablets up during the night when they’re not in use. Unfortunately today’s gadgets don’t actually take that long to charge up and so they remain plugged in and drawing down electricity even after they are fully charged. While you’re very unlikely to notice a spike in your electricity bill from doing this now and again, it’s important to remember that you are wasting electricity which is not only costing the environment but also hurting your wallet.

Don’t leave your charger plugged in at the wall

Taking appliances off charge once the batteries are full isn’t the only thing you’ll have to remember. It’s also important to make sure that you have turned off the charger at the socket once you’re done. Even if the device has been unplugged, a small amount of electricity can still be used by the plug. Cut out waste – turn it off.

Go for a timer

If you really don’t have the option of charging up your tablet or phone in the daytime or during the evening, then consider investing in a device to cut off power after a set period. It is possible to buy low-cost outlet timers that will automatically turn themselves off and stop drawing down power after a fixed period – perfect if your device will only take four hours to charge but you’re going to be in the land of nod for eight hours!

Harness the power of the sun!

If you’re not too keen on drawing down power from your home’s electricity supply then how about harnessing the power of the sun and getting some juice for free. It is now possible to buy solar-powered phone and tablet chargers that will drink up the sun’s rays and then dispense it into your gadgets when you’re ready. This type of device can be great for when you are travelling and don’t have a mains power source handy, or alternatively, is just a fab way of staying powered-up without harming the environment. Everyone wins!

How to Make Sure your Home is Properly Insulated


Image via Flickr creative commons from Red Moon Sanctuary

If your home is not properly insulated, you could be using about half of the heat your boiler is producing. Lost heat is wasted money and rather than having to turn up the thermostat on those long, cold winter nights, make sure you’re properly insulated. There are many ways this can be done, a lot of this is DIY, other times it can be done as part of more extensive work such as with a loft conversion from Econoloft.co.uk.

Proper insulation can save you hundreds of pounds a year, and over time will soon pay for itself. At the same time, the size of your carbon footprint will plummet significantly. Your first port of call should be the doors, fit a few draught excluders around the house. This will probably not help with retaining heat everywhere besides the external doors. But if you are sitting in the living room with a fire on, it will stop head disappearing in the cracks between the door and its frame. Don’t forget to add a trim to your letterbox.

Next, make sure the windows throughout your home are well insulated. Beyond the obvious double glazing, the cracks in the corners, between window and frame can be a place for hot air to escape. The best way to check for this is run the palm of your hand around the window – without touching it. Feel for the bits of cold air. The weaker parts can be bunged up with sealer or putty. If you don’t have double glazing, it is definitely something you should investigate. It is a little more expensive, but will pay for itself sooner than you think.

Keeping your house insulated can also be as simple as changing little habits. Close your curtains as soon as it gets dark, or sooner. It may seem insignificant but they can act as an important barrier between you and huge heating bills. For added protection, invest in curtains with a thermal backing.

One of the best ways to save on your heating bills is with loft insulation. You can reduce your carbon footprint by a huge one tonne a year. You don’t even need an expert to come and do it for you – most of, if not all, is DIY. When you see homes in winter following snow, you will notice there will be a few which lose the ice from their roof almost immediately. This is a sign of how effective proper loft insulation is.

Choose between man-made insulation and natural fibres such as sheep wool. The former is cheaper than most other alternatives and the most common material is fibreglass. If you opt for sheep wool, prepare to pay a little more. The cost is worth it as this wool is much more effective at keeping heat in than anything made by a human being.

Finally, take a look at your boiler. If you have a water tank makes sure it is not left exposed to the elements. You may think it is fine sitting in the middle of your house, but it can still lose a lot of heat. Wrap it in an 8cm think jacket – these can be bought from most DIY stores and will pay for themselves in around six months. They will cut heat loss by around 75 per cent.