A greener living room
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Date: 8 October, 2009


'An energy monitor keeps an eye on the house’s energy consumption and will help you track down the most energy-hungry appliances.'

We’ve greened your bedroom, your kitchen, your garden, and your car – we’ve even greened your pet! Now it’s the turn of your living room.

If you buy green goods for your living room using the links in the Surefish Shop, you can raise money for Christian Aid.

Saving electricity

Leaving electrical items on standby can use nearly as much power as leaving them on – so switch televisions, videos, DVD players and everything else off if it’s not in use.

An energy saving plug with a master socket can help by switching all the other appliances off when the main appliance (e.g. the television) goes off – or a remote-controlled energy saver plug switches off individual appliances as required.

Low energy light bulbs use up to 80% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 15 times longer, but watch out – they may not be as bright as they are claimed to be.

There is now a Europe-wide ban on the sale of some incandescent light bulbs.

An energy monitor keeps an eye on the house’s energy consumption and will help you track down the most energy-hungry appliances.

Keeping warm

Most of us have houses heated with radiators. Radiator reflectors reflect the heat back into the room and stop it getting absorbed by the walls – or use some recycled aluminium foil for a lower-cost alternative.

A radiator booster is a small fan that pulls warm air from behind the radiator and recirculates it back into the room.

Draughts cause chilly spots in any living room – secondary double glazing using glazing film or cling film, or curtains stop draughts round the windows, a chimney balloon (or a pile of bubble wrap) stops draughts from the fireplace (but don’t forget to take it out before you light the fire) and rugs stop draughts from between the floorboards.

Something to sit on

Once the living room is warm and well lit, you really need some furniture. New eco furniture is made from recycled materials or FSC wood, and ranges from the funky to the solid and practical.

However, buying furniture new can be expensive – second-hand (or pre-loved) furniture still reuses and keeps things out of landfill but keeps the costs down.

For low-cost furniture try eBay or JumbleAID, or get it free though Freecycle, Freegle, ReUseIt Network, Recycle4Free or RealCycle.

So your living room is now green – plump up a cushion with recycled filling, pour yourself a mug of Fair Trade coffee, wind up your eco radio, sit back and relax.

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