Great Ways To Save Money And Turn Green Hunt

What's it about?

MoneySaving doesn’t always go with green issues (cheap flights springs to mind) but often going green saves you serious cash. Whether it's water meters, using less gas & elec or even getting energy saving grants.

What do I want to you to do?

So I wanted to tap MoneySavers' collective wisdom for your top tips to save money by going green.

Click post reply to give your tips
Martin Lewis, Money Saving Expert.
Please note, answers don't constitute financial advice, it is based on generalised journalistic research. Always ensure any decision is made with regards to your own individual circumstance.
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  • Ken68
    Ken68 Posts: 6,825
    First Anniversary First Post Energy Saving Champion Home Insurance Hacker!
    Not sure if this counts, but FORAGING saves me £2 a week, and the produce is free, and not flown halfway round the world.
    I'm thinking of blackberries, sloes, hazelnuts, apples and so on. Not available to everyone, and not sure of the urban equivelent and make sure it's legal, quids in.
  • Morrisons are selling Phillips Low energy light bulbs (60 and 100w) for 39p each. So cheap bulbs and save electricity.
  • Get rid of your electric guzzling tumble dryer.

    Ive been without mine for a year now and have noticed the difference in my bills. :D

    Admittedly its more difficult through the winter but my cupboard under the stairs has a boiler in it so i put clothes on an airer over night and by morning they are dry.

    Good for the environment and good for my pocket. Win win situation :T
    Make £10 a Day Feb .....£75.... March... £65......April...£90.....May £20.....June £35.......July £60
  • Green Metropolis is a great website that allows you to sell your own second-hand books & buy from others - good for the environment & the bank balance ! ( )

    Freecycle is a national network of local groups which are all about passing on your unwanted items to someone else, to avoid sending items to landfill when they still have useful life. And of course, getting items you need for the home for free is handy too ! Visit for details of local groups.
  • NafUk
    NafUk Posts: 85 Forumite
    Even if you do not have a water meter: if it's yellow, let it mellow, if it's brown, flush it down.
    Turn off lights, including outside lights.
    Walk or cycle to work.
    Compost in your own garden: don't use the brown council bins - free compost and less pollution and lorries (if everyone did it).
    Don't fly - long term money saving on environmental costs for our children and people in poorer countries who suffer immediately from climate change.
  • TFN
    TFN Posts: 6 Forumite
    I am biased as I fit them for a living, but in my opinion the best long term way of saving money and going green is to fit a solar (water heating) panel. It will save on fuel costs and CO2 emmisions.
  • harryhound
    harryhound Posts: 2,662 Forumite
    "Hound Hovel" started life in 1928 as a shack. Like topsy it has grown since then and now is a 150 sq meter bungalow.

    Some of its walls are solid 9" "Durox" (225mm foam concrete looks like aero chocolate) - I know I built them.

    The hovel has a pod built on the back in the 1970's, when grants were given to people without kitchens and bathrooms; this sticks out 11' and is 17' across (3.350 x 5.220). This is a brick-2"cavity-block standard wall, that would have been built under the supervision of the local authority.

    The rest of the building was (re)-built by an early retired man, who died in the effort. He appears to have made it up as he went along. I have discovered some walls built of 4" clinker "breeze" block laid on its side:rolleyes: and clinker-cavity-clinker, but with a narrow cavity, more like 1" than 2" (and sometimes appearing to have been built without the use of a level or plumb line:rolleyes:)

    The whole structure is pebble-dashed to hide the sins of its builders.

    So I am not the ideal candidate for a semi trained, self employed, commission only, salesman; pretending to be an "energy" consultant.

    As well as my misgivings about how to get an experienced person to give me a quote; I am totally confused by the complex structure of "subsidies" in this market.

    Though in my 60's, I don't think I qualify for the up front cash subsidies available to those on benefit or at risk of "fuel poverty". However there are generalised "subsidies" in the form of obligations put on power suppliers (I have no mains gas) and in the form of VAT rebates.

    The whole situation seems a bit like the mobile 'phone market, where the only thing one can say is what ever deal you get; it will turn out to be not the best deal you could have got.

    But the difference, when filling your cavity, is that you are stuck with your wrong decision.

    Does anyone have recent experience or up to date knowledge of the market or local knowledge of good firms in the Essex market? Can you point me, and the rest of us, in the right direction?


    PS I also need to upgrade the insulation in the loft from 4" - 6" to 11"; and it is a big loft. This is a job I can do myself BUT here again there are subsidies floating about, so there is not much point in doing it myself if some other operative is subsidised to do it for me?
  • Sometimes the old ways are the best ways...Take a hot water bottle to bed rather than leaving the radiators on in bedrooms.
  • Yes to solar panel - I've had mine for about 5 years & it's just brilliant.
    Haven't had a tumble dryer for years - clothes dried outside when possible then into big airing cupboard to finish off or hung on the long brass bar over the stove. I don't iron much either.
    Got rid of dishwasher, but realise that for those with children & working full time it may be too much of a wrench.
    Economy 7 with timer switches for washing machines (& dishwasher if you must).
    I think that hot water bottles are one of the world's best inventions - I use an old whistling kettle & empty the water from the bottle to reheat each time. With a water meter you learn these things!
    Wash car with water from water butts.

    There are loads more.

    What I'd really like to do is find some workable low-tech way of using rainwater to at least flush loo & if possible use for washing machine too, but that may be too ambitious. There are patented rain harvesting systems with underground tanks but they are extremely expensive - there must be simpler ways. It just seems daft to me to use expensive treated water to flush down the loo. Any ideas anyone? :think:
  • Couple of points re insulation help while on benefits:

    Seems to me daft that, having several years ago had the Local Authority install 4" loft insulation, on the upgrade I could not have the further 6" "owing to Health and Safety Regulations" ~ something about not having 7ft 6ins. clearance. When the roof is pitched, how can anyone have 7ft 6ins clearance? I was incredibly disappointed.

    However, one person did give me a great idea for behind the radiators. Buy those car window heat reflectors from the local Pound shop (actually 99p) and stick them behind the rads with double sided sticky tape.

    Another idea for a really hot summer with southfacing windows ~ even if they are double glazed ~ buy 1" thick white expanded polystyrene sheets and cut to fit the window. Sit on cill and keep in place with elastic. Makes a wonderful triple-glazing and the light still gets in. I bought two panels of 4ft x 10ft and one went in the sitting room window, the other up against the front door.

    Oh, and check the timer for your Economy 7, if you have it. Don't take it for granted that it is always in the middle of the night. For example, you don't want to set your washing machine for midnight when the timer is not going to come on until 4am.

    Bosch do a small sized washing machine for single people, or did a couple of years ago, half the depth of a normal machine. Basic but v. good, saves water usage.
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