HomesCreating smarter lifestyles We each spend an estimated £9,590 on running or renting a home in the UK each year. The way we live is changing too with more of us expected to be renting rather than owning a home by 2025. As living costs rise there's more need to find simple ways to make greener choices whilst making your money go further. Flick through these tips, blogs and events for inspiration for your home that also eases pressure on the conscience. 3 things you can do today Look out for labels. If you need to buy something tech related, take a look at the energy efficiency labels and aim for A+++. This will reduce the energy you use and save you money in the long run. Here's a simple guide on the labels to look out for. Give your things a new life. Pick one thing you throw away that you don't have to, and find a way to reuse it. Batteries are a great place to start - choose rechargeable. Know your bins. Find out what's collected and what can and can't be recycled at home by popping your postcode in here. Go a bit further - run your own campaign. Home Do something Top tips Blog Ideas bank Homes Bring Back Heavy Metal aims to turn UK battery recycling up to 11 There are 178 million batteries hoarded in UK homes with millions more ending up in landfill. This is despite most large retailers providing battery recycling points. A new partnership between Hubbub and compliance scheme Ecosurety is urging UK households to Bring Back Heavy Metal and recycle their batteries. Used batteries have a value A public survey discovered that less than half of people realise batteries are made of valuable heavy metals which can be reused; including lead, mercury, cadmium, zinc, manganese and lithium. These toxic contents can be hazardous to the environment if not disposed of properly. Just over half of respondents admitted throwing batteries away in the regular waste bin resulting in millions every year ending up in landfill, with the potential to pollute water supplies if not carefully managed. Have a battery amnesty #BringBackHeavyMetal encourages people to take part in a battery amnesty this October and drop their batteries off at their nearest collection point. The campaign brings together a coalition of well-known retailers including Asda, B&Q, Currys PC World, The Entertainer, Marks & Spencer and Morrisons who all host battery collection points. The campaign seeks to engage people on social media using the #BringBackHeavyMetal hashtag. A new website has been created www.bringbackheavymetal.co.uk providing recycling locations and tips for reducing the environmental impact. Three spoof heavy metal videos have been created to further spread the message. Hubbub has also been collecting spurious heavy metals facts discovering that the 178 million batteries are the equivalent of: 28,982 Meatloafs (at his peak in the 80s he weighed 139.7kg) 55,794 Ozzy Osbournes (72.57kg) 1,115,814 Flying V guitars (3.62874kg) Behind the light-hearted approach are some hard-hitting facts. In 2016 only 44% of the UK’s used batteries were collected for recycling. That’s 380 tonnes short of the collection target, yet this new research shows that there is more than ten times the amount of the shortfall stashed away in people’s homes. Currently the batteries that are recycled are being taken to a plant in Belgium but this is about to change with the opening of a UK plant. The campaign will also highlight that any retailer selling a significant number of batteries are obliged to have battery recycling points for customers. These can often be hard to find and 40% of people surveyed said they’d like better visibility of recycling points. All of the supporting businesses have vowed to make their collection points more visible to the public. #BringBackHeavyMetal is the first partnership campaign between Hubbub and EcoSurety and is partly funded by Packaging Waste Recovery Notes. Through the campaign the partners want to demonstrate that this funding source could be an excellent way to boost UK recycling rates. Image from Siddv.