In the PARENT project, we provide our participants with helpful tips as to how they can decrease their energy consumption and lead a more sustainable lifestyle. Perhaps you might find them useful too!
How to reduce the energy consumption of your fridge?
How to save electricity while lighting your house?
Let the sun brighten your day! Turn off your lights. Let the sun shine. Use as much as you actually do need, and enjoy daylight when possible. When your lightbulbs need replacing, buy LED or CFL.
Lower the wattage. The cost of running a light is directly related to the wattage of the light globe or lamp, the higher the wattage, the higher the running cost; therefore, using low-energy CFLs or LEDs will result in lower running costs.
Look at the labeling of the light bulb. Here is a simple guideline prepared by the European Commission. Get help from the Light Bulb Saver on iTunes or Google Play.
Is your electricity provider green? (This tip is for families living in Belgium)
Did you know that you could earn by selling the green energy that you create! Although easier if you own a house, it is not impossible to install solar panels on a roof owned property – even as a tenant. With green certificates, it takes about seven years to recover the cost of investment. You receive green certificates for electricity generated that you sell. Visit APERe asbl / vzw, for more information and help on creating your own renewable energy.
How to heat without wasting energy?
Why heat for nothing? Decrease the temperature to 15 ° C at night when you are warm under the covers, or when you go to work. If you are absent for a week or a weekend, turn off your water heater completely if there is no risk of frost or condensation. If this is the case, keep your installation at 12 ° C or higher if necessary. For maximum safety, close the gas supply valve shaft well.
Don’t heat the streets! Both in summer and winter time, it is essential to get rid of moisture and stale air. Ventilate for a minimum of fifteen minutes, twice a day, and more in case of activities that generate a lot of moisture (cooking, cleaning, drying clothes, shower …). In winter, close the radiators when you ventilate, so as not to heat outdoors! installation at 12 ° C or higher if necessary. For maximum safety, close the gas supply valve shaft well. Ventilate without heating the street both in summer and winter time, it is essential to get rid of moisture and stale air. Ventilate for a minimum of fifteen minutes, twice a day, and more in case of activities that generate a lot of moisture (cooking, cleaning, drying clothes, shower …). In winter, close the radiators when you ventilate, so as not to heat outdoors!
How to DIY your gifts?
Have you seen the Story of Stuff?
How to save at least 15% on electricity and water while doing laundry?
Wash your cloths in a sustainable way. Fill your machine well and avoid pre-washing. It’s long and often not needed, especially with current laundry products. Your gain? 15% in water and electricity. Opt for the “eco” programs of washing machines. Even though they sometimes last longer, the best value for using the least amount of water and the least amount of energy possible. You will save up to 40% energy.
Little bit of cleaning goes a long way. Clean the filter regularly. A regularly cleaned filter increases the lifespan of your washing machine and decreases its consumption energy.
How to save water?
Take a quick shower. A quick shower uses around 60 liters or water, whereas a bath needs around 100 to 130 litres. Have kids? Let them bathe together in pairs, saving 50% or water.
Collect rain water. A rainwater tank or cistern, if well sealed and maintained, can cover up to 80% of our household water needs.
Reuse your gray water. Put a bucket in your shower, and the sink when you do your dishes. Re-use the water for your plants, your garden, flushing your toilet or cleaning your car.
Flush less. You flush on average 30 liters of clean drinking water per day, and so do most other persons in Brussels! If your toilet is equipped with a double flush option, use the “economical” flush that uses 2-3x less water than the main one. If you do not have a small flush option, place one or two bricks (in a plastic bag) or a bottle filled with water, in the tank, in order to limit its capacity. And finally, drink tap water! It is at least as good as bottled water, costs 100-500 times less and is way better for the planet.
How to say yes to zero waste?
People are getting fed up with the overflow or plastic that enters our households, the amount of single-use items, fast throwaway fashion, unnecessary packaging and the seemingly endless stream of waste that we carry into our homes and out again in the garbage bin. The solutions are all about giving you the chance to stand up to the mountain of waste. It does not require us to be resourceful, creative, maybe a bit experimental and to be conscious about our behavior, like not grabbing the take away coffee (but instead
Online information and workshops. There are several groups focusing on developing solutions, repair cafes, DYI (Do It Yourself) workshops for clothes making, home-made cleaning detergents, making food from scratch and anything else we could possibly make ourselves with less waste. Take a look at Zero Waste Belgium and Consumable Consumption Network.
How to commute in a sustainable way? (This tip is for families living in Belgium)
Biking. Want to get some advice, take courses on safe biking, know how to repair your bike, or just want to get connected with more cyclists? Check out Le GRACQ or Les Ateliers de la Rue Voot. If you do not have a bike, there are several options for bike renting in the city such as Villo, Blue bike and electric bikes Billy.