1. Dry laundry outside
If you have the ability to hang out wet washing outside, let the sun and warm summer breeze do the drying for you.
If you don’t have access to an outside area, try using your dryer on a lower heat setting or only partially drying your shirts before letting them air-dry the rest of the way.
2. Check your fridge
Regularly defrost your fridge and freezer, as just a few centimetres of frost will make it work harder than it needs to.
While you are about it, check your fridge temperature. A fridge should operate at between 0 to 5 degrees C. Just a few degrees colder than necessary can increase energy consumption by up to 25%.
3. Eat light
Lighter summer food such as cold fruit or salads, tastes great in the hot weather.
Plus, you will save the energy you’d otherwise use cooking on a hot stove, and you won’t need to sit under a fan to cool down after either!
4. Pack a picnic
Summer is a great time for family get togethers and days out, but buying lunch at some attractions can give many people financial indigestion.
Make a picnic part of the fun, ask everyone to bring along something interesting, set out a rug and have a feast.
5. Make your own ice-lollies
It’s the little things that add up – so be prepared when grandchildren come to stay by making a batch of fresh fruit juice lollies instead of buying expensive ice creams.
Detachable lolly moulds can be filled with fruit juice, pureed fruits, coconut water or yoghurt; you could even get creative by making two colour lollies using a combination of fruits and juices.
For a host of ice cream and sorbet recipes, have a look at our fabulous recipe hub.
6. Ditch bottled water
In summer months you should definitely drink more water – but now is the time to get out of the habit of buying costly bottles and adding to the mounds of plastic already clogging up landfill.
Buy a sturdy water bottle or even a water filter, fill it with tap water and keep it in the fridge for a continuous supply of refreshing cool water.
You could even save on sugary squashes by adding your own fruit to flavour the water; invest in a fruit infuser bottle and add cucumber and mint for a refreshing treat, or lemon and ginger for something a little zingy.
7. Save water where possible
If you need to run the hot tap for a while before the warm water comes though, don’t let it swirl away down the drain – keep a few large empty milk bottles to hand under the sink, and collect the cold water to throw on the plants.
You can also use bath water to keep the flowers from getting too thirsty, or investing in a rainwater butt will help too – and as lots of plants thrive if they’re given rainwater instead of tap water, you might be rewarded with more vibrant blooms.
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8. Leave the car at home
Most car journeys are within two miles of where we live. In hot, dry weather there is one less excuse not to get your old bicycle out.
Make it a rule to use your bike when the journey is two miles or less, or even walk. Your bank account, your body and the environment will thank you for it.
9. Travel off-peak
For longer journeys, enjoy longer daylight hours by switching travel times to off-peak, when the fares are cheaper.
Fares on some train routes, for example, can be as little as a quarter of the price of the peak-time full price ticket.
10. Plan ahead for future home and garden projects
As summer begins to wind down, it is a perfect time to be on the lookout for season ending sales.
Landscape plants, tools, and other outdoor project materials tend to go on sale as people begin to look towards autumn and spending less time outside.
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This article was originally written by Teena Lyons, with amends made in 2014, 2016 and 2018 to ensure relevancy.