Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Save Energy With One Simple Step #3

It’s Thursday, and that means I’m back with another of my simple tips to save energy!

This week it’s another easy but often overlooked tip:

why dust your fridge

Yup, get the duster out.

Now you may be wondering why dusting will save you energy.  I agree it sounds a little offbeat, but do bear with me, and direct your duster towards your fridge.

You see, dust tends to gather on the condenser coils at the back of your fridge (these things).   Because it’s difficult to get to the coils without pulling the fridge out from the wall most people don’t bother dusting there.  Yet when dust gathers on the condenser coils, it means your fridge has to work a lot harder.  A harder working fridge means more energy is being consumed by it to do it’s job, so this in turn results in bigger electricity bills for you.  And it can shorten the life of your fridge, so you may have to fork out for a new fridge much earlier than if you’d been a bit more vigilent with the feather duster.  You’re with me now, aren’t you?!

The good news is you don’t have to dust your fridge every day, let alone every week – a good dusting once every three months will suffice.  If you’ve got pets, particularly hairy ones like dogs or cats, then you might want to up the frequency and dust it once a month.  All you need to do is pull out your fridge from the wall, switch it off, and give it a good once over with the duster or a dust pan brush if you haven’t dusted there before.  Don’t use any water or chemicals, like furniture polish: good old fashioned elbow grease will suffice.  Alternatively you can use your hoover attachement to clean it whilst you’re hoovering your kitchen.  Remember to switch your fridge back on once you’re done (a mistake you only make once!).

If you’ve got an older fridge, and the coils are underneath the fridge, then I’m afraid this doesn’t make you exempt – dust still gathers there (they can get THIS dusty!) and it needs dusting just the same.  To access the coils first switch off your fridge, and then you’ll need to remove the grill located at the bottom of the front of your fridge to get your duster in there.  You may also find a small clean paint brush useful to get a bit further in to dust.

According to Friends of the Earth, apparently keeping your fridge’s coils clean can improve your fridge’s efficiency by up to a whopping 30%, which is a lot of energy and a lot of money in your pocket for a little dusting here and there, and hugely beneficial to the environment too.

Now, let’s get dusting!

I’ll be back again next Thursday with another easy energy saving tip, but in the mean time if you enjoyed this post then you might enjoy Tip #1 – Using a Lid; and Tip #2 – Turning Down the Heat.

And if you enjoyed all three tips, you might want to sign up to my mailing list, so you can future posts delivered straight to your email, for free, so you don’t miss any:

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Food & Drink, Summer

Strawberry Cocktail with Basil

strawberry basil cocktail

strawberry basil cocktail

One of the best parts of summer is the fact that it’s strawberry season.  I anticipate strawberry season all throughout winter and spring.  Imported strawberries out of season are a bland, tasteless, poor relation of their in-season local counterparts, so I firmly believe in abstaining until strawberries are in season.  In season they are so plump and juicy and bursting with flavour.

Although there are few things better than a bowl of fresh strawberries (top tip: don’t eat them straight out of the fridge – let them warm up to room temperature) there are a few things that are up there in the taste stakes.  One of them is this delicious and refreshing strawberry cocktail with a hint of basil.  A sip of this strawberry cocktail will both refresh and revive you on a hot summer’s afternoon, or make you feel summery even on the greyest day.

Strawberry season in the UK is from roughly the start of June until mid August.  It’s a short season so you have to pack in as many as you can!  This is a deliciously different way to get your quota of strawberries in!

You may be wondering about using strawberry and basil together, but I promise you they make great bedfellows!

strawberry cocktail

Strawberry Cocktail with Basil Recipe


Strawberry Cocktail with Basil

Prep Time 5 minutes
Total Time 5 minutes


  • Strawberries roughly 4 - 5 medium/large strawberries per glass
  • Fresh Basil roughly 1-2 small heads per glass, plus extra for garnish
  • Gin any kind will do
  • Tonic Water
  • Lime
  • Sugar granulated white sugar is best
  • A couple of ice cubes


  1. Wash your strawberries, remove the heads, and in the glass mash them up thoroughly with a fork.
  2. On a chopping board, finely chop your basil (keeping some aside for a garnish), then add to the glass of mashed strawberries and mix well.
  3. Add a spoonful of sugar to sweeten and a little lime juice to taste (I used one teaspoon), and mix well.
  4. Add your ice cubes (best crushed)
  5. Add a shot of gin, and top up with tonic water.
  6. Stir, add your basil garnish and enjoy a glass of summer!

Recipe Notes

This summery strawberry cocktail with basil is the ultimate summer's day drink. The strawberry and basil in this gin based cocktail really complement each other.


If you don’t drink alcohol then omitting the gin and tonic water, and substituting lemonade or sparkling water instead would also make for a delicious and refreshing non-alcoholic strawberry cocktail.

I plan on drinking this cocktail whilst lounging in the garden with a good book!

Will you been giving this strawberry cocktail a go?

ps: if you’re looking for other strawberry based recipes, and have caught the bug for strawberry and basil, then try out these delicious strawberry and basil scones.  They will not disappoint!  If you’ve got a bit too many strawberries then try this simple tip to make berries last longer.