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Homepage Slider Life & Loves — 11 March 2013

Last week was Climate Week, Britain’s biggest climate change campaign, promoting ways that people can live and work more sustainably to help combat climate change. Climate Week sponsor Andrex ECO asked my family to take part in our very own Eco challenge – here’s how we got on..

Climate Week 2013


Usually the beginning of the week does not bode well when you find yourself with your hand down the toilet. However, hand in cistern is a completely different matter. You see I was installing a Hippo the Water Saver Bag which saves on average about 2.5-3.5 litres of water every flush. Cutting down on water usage in our bathrooms is one way to help cut down the energy used to get it to and from your home as well as your bills.

FACT: Did you know that water supplies and sewerage account for 3% of the UK’s energy use.*


I’ve put Andrex ECO in the bathroom and I’m wondering if anyone will notice. It takes my little toilet detectives about 1 minute to spot that there’s something new to wipe with! When I tell them that paper it’s made with recycled fibre and 10% natural bamboo I expect amazement. However, they’re genuinely more concerned about what Panda bears are going to eat if we’re using their bamboo for loo paper. I assure them that no Pandas will go hungry but it wouldn’t hurt to only use what they need. No reams of loo roll down the hallway thanks.

FACT: It’s not just loo roll that’s got the eco treatment. You can now buy wallpaper made from 100% FSC-certified timber of with a high percentage of recycled paper fibres.*


We’re already saving water by using the Hippo in the cistern but now I’m monitoring how much water we use in the shower. I’ve fitted a nifty shower monitor to measure how much water we use. I calibrate it and find that in 10 secs it uses 1.5L of water (much more than I realised) meaning that my usual 5 – 10 min shower can use between 45L -90L of water a time. That’s heaps! I set the alarm to get me to turn the shower off after just 3 minutes.

FACT: Cut down your water usage when washing by having quick showers instead of baths. *

Picture by Mattias Karlsson @

Picture by Mattias Karlsson @


I seem to spend a few minutes every morning walking around after the kids and turning off their lights. This week I’ve tried to really drum into them how important it is that they remember to turn off the light when they leave the room. Not only are Mummy and Daddy paying for the light on but it’s also a huge energy saver.

FUN: Start a chart to find out who the are the biggest losers and savers in your home. Keep a log of who turns lights and taps off, turns electrical items off standby, doesn’t overfill the kettle and so on. Make it
into a game and reward the one with the most points. 


I’m feeling really good about the little steps we’re making to cut down on energy use and general waste. Friday is another good example of the little steps we’ve taken to help reduce waste and to recycle. We separate all our paper, glass, metals and compost. We’re moving soon so even the bits we were going to take down the dump get a second chance. I put our King Size mattress on Freecycle and somebody snaps it up. Less for the landfill.

CHEAP LOW COST ENERGY SAVING TIP: Clean your windows! You’ll let in more light thereby reducing the need to use electric light.


I’ll admit we’re always a bit pushed for time in the morning but in the afternoon I’ve made an effort to walk to school and then we catch the bus back. Obviously walking is better for the environment and your health and even catching the bus is better than taking your car as it reduces traffic and pollution. Over the weekend we have walked as much as we can and tried to leave the car at home.
We go to the local supermarket and make sure that we take our own cloth bags to bring it all back in. We also put out some drawers that we need to get rid of. I worry that our neighbours will think we’re making our road untidy but within minutes one of them takes the chest of drawers. They come round later to say thanks and to give us back a fork that we’d left in it! That saves another trip to the dump.

FACT: The Green Deal, set up by the Government is an initiative to help you save energy and have a warmer, cheaper home to live in. Take a look here *

Conclusion: It’s been both interesting and fun to make a more conscious effort to save energy and focus on caring for the planet. All the steps we took were very little but if everybody took these little the impact would be HUGE.

*All the facts/fun mentioned in this post are by Oliver Heath, star of BBC’s Home Front and Changing Rooms. Heath, who recently completed an eco refurbishment of his home, has written Urban Eco Chic” rel=”nofollow”>Urban Eco Chic a book that shows you how to create an eco-friendly home without compromising on style.

DISCLAIMER: Thanks to Andrex who supplied me with the sustainably sourced items such as bamboo socks, Andrex ECO, Hippo Water Saving Bag and the Efergy Shower Monitor. Words and opinions my own.


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