Make our Move

Want to do something good for the environment? Not sure where to start? Climate change is a huge issue, so it's easy to get overwhelmed, or confused about what we can actually do to help. 

You're not alone. In fact 2 in 3 of us are concerned with the impact of climate change, yet only 1 in 5 know what action we can take to reduce our impact. Over a third of us would like clearer guidance on what would make a difference and where to start. So we've done the hard work for you.

We’ve pulled together 12 clear actions you can take that'll have a positive impact. Luckily, decisions that are good for the environment are usually good for us too. They can save us money, keep us healthy, and be a great way to connect with others. Whether you just want to try some simple sustainable swaps, or are looking to extend your actions to your workplace and community, we've got ideas to help. 

Let's make our move, together. 

How much power does our energy use have?  

A massive 22% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from energy used to heat and power our homes, (EST). And while the amount of renewable energy in the energy grid is increasing all the time, there’s still a big reliance on fossil fuels to provide this power.    

Unfortunately, many of us live in draughty, energy-inefficient homes in the UK, which isn’t our fault and means that heat can go to waste. With all our devices and dark winters we use a lot of electricity too. Gas and electricity prices are also going up this year, so trying to keep our bills down might be playing on your mind more than usual. 

Energy use can be hard to visualise, but it’s likely a big part of your household’s environmental impact. The good news is there are some easy wins to save energy and reduce your gas and electricity bills (beyond just piling on another jumper (are onesies still a thing?). Check out these tips to get started.  

1) One degree  

A classic but probably one of the easiest & quickest changes to make, turning the thermostat down by just 1 degree can cut your bills by over £50 a year. The recommended comfortable indoor temperature is 18 degrees for corridors etc, and up to 21 for living rooms or areas you sit still. While you’re at it, get savvy with your heating controls and use your timer so you’re only heating when you need it. 

2) LED the way  

LEDs use 85% less energy than old fashioned standard bulbs and as lighting makes up around 5% of your electric bill, that's not a bad saving over time. If you haven’t yet switched, see if you can buy some bulbs this month to light up your home.     

3) Give your home a warming hug

If your house isn’t insulated, it’s one of the best things you can do to save energy. It's an investment, but there are grants and paybacks you can receive from the government. Check out if it's affordable for you and what help you can get here.

If it's not possible right now, no problem. Enter mini DIY insulation tricks! You can help keep the heat in better by using furnishings such as thicker curtains, rugs and blankets. Cosy vibes are a bonus. Keeping room doors closed, using draught excluders against the bottom of doors (particularly your front and back door) and lining strips around windows can all help too.   

4) Hot water   

Did you know heating up water uses a lot of electricity? You've probably heard of shorter showers for the environment (under 4 minutes is ideal), but how about slightly colder ones? It can be more refreshing, and showering with really hot water an actually dry out your skin and hair. Time your hot water heater to only be on when you need it, e.g. if you usually shower in the mornings or in the evenings, and even little things like only boiling the amount of water you need in the kettle can add up.  

5) Microwave vs Hob 

Did you know your microwave is more energy efficient than an open hob? If you’re trying to decide which way to cook something (ramen noodles, ahem) this could factor into your decision! 

6) Washers and dryers   

The impact of washing clothes and dishes can be reduced by only turning on machines when you have enough for a full load. Tumble driers also rumble up a large part of your energy bills. Why not skip that part altogether, and air dry on a clothes horse?   

7) Smart meters   

Smart meters are a new generation of gas and electricity meter that automatically send energy data to your supplier - and every UK household will be offered one by June 2025. Automatic readings mean no more scrabbling around in a dark cupboard to check your meter, and no more estimated bills where inaccurate readings charge you too much (or too little, with a hefty bill to follow later!). Instead, you get a handy in-home display that does all the work for you and shows how much energy you are using in real time. Some energy suppliers are even offering exclusive deals for homes willing to have a smart meter fitted at the start of their contract, so they can start saving you money before they're even installed! It's a powerful tool to see how much energy and money it really costs to do activities like using the tumble dryer or having extra long showers - great for keeping track if you're trying to cut down your usage, and might just convince you to even if you're not!  

8) Other smart tech   

There are loads of smart tech devices to help us manage our energy use, from smart plugs and bulbs to apps that you can control your house with - great if you’ve quite a few rooms, busy lives or forgetful kids or housemates. And you don’t need to be a tech-head to manage them. Most are pretty simple once you get going and can help you set up savvy rules so you can easily control your home through your phone or smart speaker or set up rules so it does the hard work for you.  

9) Turn it off  

An easy peasy one, but worth mentioning! Turning off lights, switches and appliances when they’re not being used is all simple stuff that you might as well do. Also, next time you’re buying a new device or appliance look for the magic green A rating to get the most efficient one that’ll save you cash to run it.

10) Gas has to go 

Ever heard of heat pumps? They are smart and simple technology that work a bit like a fridge in reverse to heat your home – and they’re GREAT for the environment compared to gas boilers. Think more control over your heating, cosy homes and cleaner air. Again this is an investment that may not be possible right now, but it’s great that such positive options are becoming more available, you may be eligible for grants or paybacks, and you could get an assessment for installing one in your home if you were interested. The government is actually phasing out gas cookers in new homes by 2025, so something like choosing an induction or electric hob over gas if you're changing cookers could also be a great step.

What happened when Hubbub tried it?

Last year we partnered with BT and challenged 61 households to see how technology could help them cut their household carbon emissions, live smarter and save money. They got to choose a piece of smart tech to invest in, and followed along 3 months of challenges, workshops and tips with Hubbub. Altogether, the households tried 488 different actions to reduce their impact and 76% of the households said they plan to stick to the changes they'd learnt to make. With education, community and accessibility, we can make our energy use make a difference! Find out more about the Smarter Living Challenge campaign here.