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MAD Blog Awards 2011

New Years resolutions - energy saving

We’re only days into 2015 and we’re guessing you’ve already made – and broken most of your resolutions…

Don’t worry – we at ItDoesTheJob.com are here to help with some do-able, practical, simple and sensible ideas that require very little input – but give you a great return.

If we told you these New Year resolutions would end up saving you energy – and money – at little more than a ‘flick of a switch’ – what’s to lose? And this approach to isn’t just for 2015– but for life.

So no more knee jerk starts to any new year – you’re already doing your bit towards a lower energy and lower cost lifestyle!

Ok – so let’s start by crossing off the diet to lose 5 stone! Cancel the expensive gym you’ll use twice – and don’t kid yourself you’ve had your last pint ever! Instead, we’re reminding you of a simple 10 point check list that doesn’t cost you any money to ensure 2015 is a win/win as far as energy and money savings are concerned.

We’ve started simple: you’re probably doing most already and just need a reminder- have a look and put a tick against those you’ve actioned or intend to action. Shout about how you’re doing once you’ve ticked the checklist and tallied your score at the end. There’s a ‘limited edition’ (and extremely chic) ItDoesThejob.com shopping bag to be won! Share your score via news@itdoesthejob.com | @itdoesthejob | #itdoesthejob

Rally family and friends for a bit of fun and see how you match up… you’ll certainly smile when you see your next lot of bills! These quick tips are fun and easy to get involved with!

New years resolution checklist-page-001

 

It’s not rocket science – but it does make sense. For more free tips visit: www.itdoesthejob.com/blog.

 

itdoesthejob.com

If you haven’t heard about how we do the job…

We’re an e-store specialising in products that help reduce energy and living costs. We’re helping creating sustainable lifestyles, showing how natural and manageable it is. We only recommend ideas and products that we use ourselves  – so we know they work! As we’ve done it all ourselves we can share do-able ideas and tips that work!

The 10 point checklist you’ve just ticked is nothing more than sensible housekeeping…

  • Why leave lights on in empty rooms?
  • Why leave electrical appliances on standby? It’s costing money for no purpose.
  • How many of us just throw a couple of pairs of jeans into the washing machine? Why not wait for one full load which uses less energy than two half loads and wash at 40C rather than 60C, saving 30% on energy;
  • Keeping the house warm in winter can cost a small fortune – but if you turn the thermostat down by just 1°C you could cut your heating bills by up to 10% giving you an average saving of £60 a year (according to the Energy Saving Trust);
  • Of course keep your curtains drawn to conserve your heat. And don’t dry your clothes on the radiator: they have to work harder and it makes your room damp.
  • Giving more thought to water consumption will also help reduce those bills. We’re all guilty of overfilling the kettle when we just want one cup of tea and boiling the vegetables in too much water. We’re wasting water, time and energy to get to boiling point. The same applies to a dripping tap. Don’t ignore it – it’s costing you money. Taps are relatively simple to fix – if in doubt – call the plumber!
  • And for all those cooks out there – try to use your oven to capacity – rather than turning on for just one sponge cake! And if you’ve got guests for dinner – then why not entertain in your pre-warmed kitchen saving on heating costs in other rooms. It’s much more sociable and cosy too!

And these ideas are just for starters! – they’re simple, practical and effective to get you going.

energy saving tips

ItDoesTheJob.com are constantly coming up with new ideas, tips and hints to help save even more energy, money and time while making it manageable and fun! Take a look at our website and see what we do: www.itdoesthejob.com. Our monthly newsletter is packed full of inspirational ideas, tips and advice as well as topical news – why not sign up and see for yourself?

Good luck and enjoy your new energy and money saving lifestyle- if you need any more help and tips, you know where we are!

 

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Think local – shop local

December 18 Author: admin

shop local

Despite the economy growing and Mary Portas being tasked with breathing life back into our high streets, the ever-growing trend of online consumerism continues to see high numbers of bricks and mortar retail stores close.

According to accountancy firm, PwC and the Local Data Company there were still some 16 stores closing per day in the first half of 2014. An improvement on 20 stores a day that closed during the same period of time in 2012, but still a clear sign that our love for high street shopping is waning.

But what can we, as consumers, do to help our high streets thrive, support our local economy and retain our local village, town and city centre’s heritage and character? The answer, of course, is to shop locally.

Here are 3 reasons why I believe shopping locally can make a real difference:

1. Builds strong communities

Locally-owned businesses win hands down when it comes to knowing what their communities want. Instead of the generic ‘one solution fits all’ approach of national retail chains, local businesses understand the distinct needs of and deliver exactly what their customers want. Also supporting neighbouring businesses, organisations and contributing to community causes, independent locally-owned businesses help support and build vibrant communities for all.

2. Keeps money in the local community

By choosing to spend your hard-earned cash with independent, locally-owned businesses instead of a national chain, rather than money going straight to High Street Chain PLC’s head office, the money stays local and is recirculated into the local economy, making it a win-win for the whole community. This in turn helps independent businesses create more local jobs, offer competitive wages and best of all, a better service for you. A high street full of thriving small businesses means competition, resulting in improved deals, broader, superior choice and lower prices.

shop local - hairdressing salon

But how can you be sure a locally-owned business will offer what you want, at a price you can afford?

One solution is Rock Pamper Scissors an innovative web-based solution to put you in the know and get you spending on the high street. Developed specifically to take the guesswork, stress and time out of choosing the best salon for your next pampering session, Rock Pamper Scissors is a one stop salon booking website. Listing local salons which do everything from cuts, blow drys, facials and holistic therapies, Rock Pamper Scissors gives you the low down on everything you need to know before you book, including services on offer, price range with up to date price lists, special deals, meet the stylist profiles, cool gallery shots of the salons and customer ratings and reviews. It’s the perfect partnership for those who appreciate the qualities of individual service delivered by talented, local independent beauty professionals.

bicycles - sustainable transport

3. Environmental sustainability

With transport infrastructures already in place and compact town centres within walking distance, supporting local businesses ensures our town centres remain a hub of activity which can be easily accessed and enjoyed by all. Reducing the need for out of town shopping malls, which as a consequence means loss of vegetation, increased pollution through vehicle usage and urban sprawl, smaller, local stores work well within existing infrastructures making use of the public services already in place and improved sustainable transport options offering a cleaner, greener environment with thriving community spirit.

Do you shop locally? If you do, what do you love about locally-owned independent shops?

 

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Eco holidays in Spain
Having spent many a sunny summer holiday in Spain during my lifetime, the country has always had a special place in my heart. Enjoying endless hours of fun on the beach as a child and, then as a twenty-something, the equivalent amount of fun-filled times sampling it’s culture and nightlife, Spain is a holiday destination that never fails to satisfy, and I have only scratched the surface.
A country of contrasting landscapes, from it’s breathtaking, rugged mountains, to it’s olives groves, lush forests and not forgetting it’s ever-popular coastline, Spain quite literally has something for everyone and especially those who are looking for a green holiday destination.

‘Whatever I need I need Spain’ Turespaña is Turespana’s latest initiative and as you’ll see when you watch the video, Spain offers the eco-tourist the adventure, dramatic scenery, cultural heritage and world-class food of far-flung places, whilst being an accessible, low impact holiday.

Breathtaking mountains in Spain
For the eco adventurer: Blessed with majestic mountains and stunning scenery the North of Spain is the ideal place for those looking to challenge themselves in resplendent surroundings. Trekking in Pico de Europa or on the world famous Camino de Santiago trail (or St James’s Way) the ancient pilgrim route which journeys to the tomb of St. James in Santiago de Compostela in north-west Spain, are just two locations of many adventurous destinations you can choose from.
Stunning Spanish coast scenery
For the green glamper: If you enjoy your holiday to be a little less exerting, how about hunkering down in a yurt? With the comfort of a hotel and the close to nature feel of a tent, staying in a low impact yurt, which draws it’s water from a borehole, electricity from the sun and wind power and home-grown organic produce, a yurt holiday is the ideal way to enjoy and contribute to the environment in which you are staying.
Delicious, locally-sourced Spanish cuisine
For the eco foodie: Olives, cheese, tapas, wine – if sampling the local cuisine is your idea of holiday heaven, Spain is for you. Across the length and breadth of Spain, affordable, locally-produced, artisan cuisine can be found everywhere. From the ‘catch of the day’ served in the many open-air restaurants that line Spain’s sun-drenched beaches, hams and spicy chorizo sausages from La Rioja and of course, not forgetting Valencia, the world’s largest exporter of oranges and Spain’s best-know dish, paella – Spain is a green traveller’s gastronomic delight.
So, to find out if Spain has ‘what you need’ and more information about Spain’s eco-tourism, head over to www.spain.info/whateverineedspain/en

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Ohyo 1000 Collapsible Water Bottle

Oh yes, Ohyo! If you’re a fan of the super clever collapsabottle that you can refill on the go, you’ll be pleased to hear that they have just launched their biggest bottle yet – the Ohyo 1000.

Complete with a sturdy metal hanging clip, the extended Ohyo holds over 1 litre of water, making it perfect for camping trips, sports and picnics.

Ohyo 1000 eco-friendly water bottle

Squishing down to one third of it’s size (collapses to 7cm) the reusable Ohyo bottle can be popped in your pocket or bag, so when you’re thirsty, rather than buying environmentally-damaging plastic bottled water, you can top up for free wherever you may are. Just type your location in www.findafountain.org or download the free app ‘findafountain’ and it’ll tell you where your nearest tap or water fountain is.

To celebrate the launch of their new bottle (which would make a perfect stocking filler) I’ve joined forces with Ohyo to offer all Queen of Easy Green readers a 10% discount on the Ohyo 1000 (RRP £12.99).

To claim your discount, just enter the code QOEG10 when you buy online from Ohyo (offer ends 31st December 2014)

That’s not all, I’ve also got TWO Ohyo 1000 bottles to give away!

For your chance to win one of these cool, BPA-free, eco-friendly and, not to mention, stylish reusable water bottles, simply complete the Rafflecopter box below.

a Rafflecopter giveaway

Good luck!

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eco-friendly waste recycling

When it comes to recycling most of us want to do the right thing, unfortunately despite our best intentions too much of our waste is still ending up in landfill.

Confusion as to what can be recycled, storage issues and lack of time are major barriers that prevent many of us from being committed recyclers.

Other reasons that hinder most from regular recycling, particularly with bulky waste, are difficulties with the physical removal of items, lack of transportation and unreliable collections.

Although some local authorities do offer bulky waste collections, these can be limited for up to 5 items a time, a maximum of 3 times a year. Similarly, charities also offer collection services for large preloved household goods, which is a fantastic way to ensure reuse, but they will only accept excellent quality and good working order household furniture and electrical goods, for obvious safety reasons.

But what if your furniture is damaged, broken or is not able to be reused or you have an old electrical appliance that is just too heavy for you to move or you have so much unsorted waste to clear that you’ve just not got the time or energy to do it yourself? How can you clear your clutter and be sure it will disposed of in an environmentally-friendly way?

One answer is, AnyJunk.

AnyJunk eco-friendly waste collection service

I recently had the pleasure of reviewing AnyJunk and am delighted to report that from start to finish the environmentally-friendly rubbish removal service they deliver is first-class.

The eco-friendly alternative to skip hire, AnyJunk are a man and a van service who will remove and dispose of all sorts of bulky waste from your home or garden without you having to lift a finger.

How does AnyJunk work?

To book a free no-obligation visit, just head to their website and fill out the easy to use questionnaire. Using the information you supply, including what type of junk you have, how much there is, where it is located and an appointment time etc., a member of the AnyJunk team will follow up with a call to confirm details and clarify any questions you may have.

Anyjunk two man crew loading waste

Then, on the date you have booked, AnyJunk guarantee they will be at your property in the agreed 2 hour arrival window and, just to make sure you are ready for them, they will give you a call 30 minutes in advance of their arrival. Once there, the friendly 2 man crew will provide you with an exact quote for the removal of your junk and if you’re happy they will clear it there and then. If your not, that’s fine, because all visits are ‘no obligation’. Once the team has cleared your junk, you simply pay them by card. Job done!

eco-friendly man and van rubbish clearance

eco-friendly man and van rubbish clearance

eco-friendly man and van rubbish clearance

Finally, before the AnyJunk crew leave, they email the all important Waste Transfer Note direct to your inbox, confirming that your junk had been collected by a licensed waste carrier and guaranteeing you that it will be disposed of properly.

Where does the junk go?

So what happens when the junk is cleared, where does it go? AnyJunk guarantee that 88% of the waste they collect will either be reused, recycled or used in ‘waste to energy’ incineration. Good quality furniture, textiles and electrical appliances are passed onto reuse organisations and charities, such as Oxfam and the British Heart Foundation. Recyclables like wood, metal, WEEE are separated at dedicated recycling facilities and general waste, which cannot be easily separated, is taken to Material Recovery Facilities for use as ‘waste to energy’ incineration.

How else is AnyJunk an eco-friendly business?

In addition to reusing and recycling your waste, AnyJunk’s green credentials also extend to minimising the environmental impact of their fleet of vans. As well as guaranteeing your junk removal time slot, AnyJunk’s sophisticated routing system also means that each team’s specially designed, low emission vehicle is carefully mapped to ensure all journeys are as energy efficient as possible – reducing unnecessary mileage, fuel consumption and it’s carbon footprint.

Why would I recommend AnyJunk?

Having hired a skip and also used a skip bag, what I most love about AnyJunk is that it is fast, stress-free and very efficient. In a fraction of the time that it would usually take me to hire a skip (and arrange a permit if it was sited on the road) or book a bag, load the junk into myself and then book a collection time to collect /dispose of my rubbish, AnyJunk would have done it all AND in one visit! Plus, they did all of the hard work on my behalf, meaning I was free to do other things. Both on the phone and in person all of the guys I dealt with at AnyJunk were incredibly professional, polite and efficient – they did exactly what they said they would, when they would. Did I mention they even swept my drive when they had finished too!

To find out more about AnyJunk’s eco-friendly rubbish removal service head over to www.AnyJunk.co.uk. With Christmas just around the corner, there couldn’t be a better time to have a green declutter, just in case Santa’s got some eco treats in store for you.

 

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