Homes with eco-credentials

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Homes with eco-credentials

You may not be able to solve global warming single handedly, but doing your own little bit for the environment can still make a difference.

For our top tips and recommended products to make your home eco-friendly and reduce your carbon footprint, read on....

  • Compile a "green" manual for your guests to help them have an environmentally friendly stay and put it with your welcome pack. Ideas for it include:

    • Switch off. Remind visitors to turn off lights when they leave a room and to switch appliances off at the mains. If you're worried guests may forget, then you can also invest in a Standby Saver.

    • Time for tea. Suggest guests only fill the kettle with as much water as they need, saving energy and time.

    • Hang out. If your holiday home is in a warm climate then don't install a tumble dryer - guests can hang clothes on a clothes airer or line outside. If you can't avoid a tumble dryer then buy some tumble dryer balls.

    • Waste not, want not. Ask that guests recycle as much as possible. If you're a keen gardener then put a composting caddy in the kitchen for peelings, etc.

  • Source it. When buying wooden indoor and garden furniture, check to make sure that it comes from a sustainable source - look out for the FSC (Forest Stewardship Council) logo. If in doubt ask when buying it.
  • Let it rain. Install a water butt in your garden to collect rain water, which can then be used during dry spells.
  • Hotting up. Infra-red patio heaters are a greener alternative to standard ones. Gas patio heaters are very energy intensive - they use the same amount of energy in one hour as it takes to make 400 cups of tea!
  • Charge it up. Solar panels are an effective way of heating your swimming pool if the climate suits this.
  • Clean up your act. Use an environmentally friendly pool treatment product.
  • Wrap up. Don't forget roof insulation, a hot water cylinder jacket and pipe lagging are to make your home more energy efficient.
  • Buy wise. If you need to replace white goods and home appliances then pay attention to EU energy efficiency ratings.
  • Down time. If the property is going to be unoccupied for any period of time ask your caretaker or a neighbour to make sure all electrical items are unplugged and dripping taps turned off.

The following products are simple ways to start you off...

Energy saving lightbulbs
With an expected life of ten years, these bulbs use 80 per cent less power than conventional ones, they're also five times brighter.

Less electricity and fewer lamps can only be good for your bank balance!
energy saving lightbulbs
Clothes airer
Having a clothes airer handy means that guests can dry their beach towels outside, rather than putting them in the tumble dryer.

It will fold up when not in use, so it won't get in the way.
clothes airer
Standby saver
This standby saver unit cuts 100 per cent of the standby power used by TVs, DVD players, etc. The unit allows for up to six appliances to be connected at once.
standby saver
Laundry and tumble dryer balls
These laundry balls last for up to 120 washes and use no detergent. Tumble dryer balls are also available.
laundry balls
Rechargeable batteries and charger
Invest in some rechargeable batteries and rather than throwing them in the bin when they run out, just charge them up again! This rapid charger should do the job in just one hour, and comes with four batteries.
rechargeable batteries and charger
Recycling bin
Adding a recycling bin to your kitchen will make it easy for people to separate their waste and only throw out the bare minimum.
recycling bin
Draught excluder
Stop heat escaping from the room and cut your energy bills in one go; an excluder traps heat and so stops guests from heating the room unnecessarily. This excluder fits on any type of door and is suitable for both carpets and hard floors.
draught excluder