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Save Energy Simply

Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Save Energy With One Simple Step #10

Are you missing the weekly Save Energy With One Simple Step posts?  I was, and seeing as it’s Thursday I thought it would be a good day to share with you my tip number 10 in this now occassional saving energy series.

As always, all my tips for saving energy are really easy to do, without the need to buy the latest gadget or technology, and so won’t cost you any money.  In fact you’ll save money at the same time as saving energy, which is always good!

So, without further ado, here’s a good easy energy saving tip for you:

ways to save energy

Defrost your freezer, especially if it’s looking a bit glacier like in there.

I know it’s a total pain in the bum to do.  We did it last week, and without the luxury of a second freezer to store the food in, it meant that in the run up to the big defrost we had to eat everything up that was in the freezer.  We unearthed 40 (yes, forty, thanks to an internet shopping mix up!) vegetable fingers that we had to eat up.  Now I don’t think I can look at another vegetable finger without feeling more than a litte nauseous.

It needed doing though – frost buildup in your freezer increases the amount of work your freezer’s motor has to do, which means it’s using more energy.  Keeping it fairly frost free means savings for you and the environment.

My tips on how to defrost a freezer are quite straightforward – you’ll need lots of towels to protect your floor and a dish shallow enough to sit under the freezer’s drainage spout that you’ll be prepared to empty frequently.  I’m also a fan of placing bowls of hot water inside the freezer to help move things along a bit.  My last, most essential piece of advice is, however tempting it may be, do not under any circumstances hack at the ice with a knife, hammer or anything else.  Instead have patience and just leave the ice to melt, rather than risk puncturing your freezer pipes.

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Energy Saving, Home and Garden

Save Energy With One Simple Step #9

save energy defrost fridge

It’s Thursday and that means it’s energy saving o’clock!

If you’re a new reader – let me explain – for the last few Thursdays I’ve been writing on saving energy in one simple step, without the need to buy any fancy equipment or spend any money.  They’re all really easy to do, and once you get into the habit of doing them they’ll become so second nature that you won’t notice doing them.  While each tip won’t save that much money or energy, cumulatively they will add up to substantial savings.

This week’s tip is:

plan ahead kitchen energy

Plan, plan, plan!

I’m a huge advocate of freezing leftovers or making larger quanities of what you’re cooking for dinner and freezing portions for later.  Nothing can beat that organised (re: smug!) feeling when you’ve got a freezer stocked full of meals ready for when you need them (and it’s energy efficient!).

The downside to this is that some nights I get lazy, and just can’t be bothered cooking.  Knowing that I’ve got a stack of pre-prepared meals, I grab something out of the freezer and defrost it in the microwave prior to heating it.  Sound familiar to you too?

While this is certainly convenient, it adds around 30% to 50% of energy required to cook the meal.   If only I’d been a bit more organised and taken the food out of the freezer and placed it in the fridge the night before to defrost.  That would have saved all of that energy, and has the added bonus of reducing the amount of work your fridge has to do as it acts as an icepack, helping to cool the fridge down.  Failing to defrost the night before, I could have at least taken the meal out as soon as I got home and left it sitting at room temperature for a couple of hours before cooking.

So the lesson here is definitely to be more organised.  Some might say write a meal plan for the week to help, but that’s just a step too organised for me!  Instead I’m going to make small steps and plan one night ahead.  Who’s with me on this?

By the way, here is some handy advice on defrosting food safely – no-one likes a side helping of food posioning with their dinner!

I’m thinking about reducing the frequency of these energy saving posts.  Rather than weekly, perhaps run them monthly instead.  What do you think?  I need some help deciding so do let me know in the comments below whether you’d prefer to see them monthly or weekly!

 

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