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Climate: Doing our bit

On a recent zoom call with Destination Chesterfield and Chesterfield Champions we discussed the subject of sustainability.

I feel I want to do my bit, but simply don't know where to start. Every time I try and move forward with something I read a counter- argument saying it's not what we are led to believe. I end up stuck, going round in circles but never making any real change.

I accept that major change is needed from countries and the worldwide corporations but I personally want to start to make a change that will help. Surely we'd make more impact if everyone did somethings imperfectly than one person doing everying perfectly!

One presenter on the call Nigel Timperley, runs a company called 'Don't Do A Dodo'. They help householders buy green products for their homes with great discounts and have launched their first ever Local Carbon Club in Chesterfield.

I spoke to Nigel after the event and asked him how we, as home owners, can do our bit for the environment. His three steps are:

  • Change to LED lightbulbs

  • Get a smart meter

  • Switch energy suplier

Below provides the detail.

Three easy, inexpensive ways to go green and save the planet.

Here at Don’t Do A Dodo, we’ve been wondering about how to help everyday folks take action on their carbon emissions. That’s because, all of us, sooner or later, will have to make changes to the way we live.

My name’s Nigel Timperley and I run a company called Don’t Do A Dodo Ltd. When I say things like “we will all have to make changes to the way we live” to new people I meet, I often get blank looks by way of reply. The unstated question seems to be, okay, but how can we take personal responsibility for our carbon emissions? Where on earth should we start?

Well, the first thing to say is, there is no need to panic: we don’t all have to go and live in caves! Because there’s a lot we can all do that just isn’t that difficult, and, in many cases, it’ll save quite a bit off your energy bill too.

To prove it, I’m going to give you three simple things you can do right now that will make a big dent in your domestic carbon emissions whilst saving you some serious cash.

Let’s begin with the humble light bulb: According to the Energy Savings Trust, lighting makes up 15% of the average UK household’s total electricity consumption, so making the switch to ultra-low energy LEDs can make a big difference. Plus, doing so saves quite a bit of money off your utility bills.

Even better, as LED lights last a lot longer than the old, incandescent type, once you’ve made the change, you won’t have to face that boring Sunday afternoon chore of having to go to your local DIY store for replacement bulbs quite so often. Seriously, what is not to like?

But LEDs aren’t the only way of saving money and carbon at the same time whilst making life easier for yourself. The same can be said for our second idea: switching to a smart thermostat, such as Google’s Nest or British Gas’s Hive unit.

Get smart with your heating: Smart thermostats are way better than their traditional cousins. They save energy and carbon and, once again, they can lower your energy bill. They also look ridiculously cool and give you a level of control over your ‘indoor climate’ that you would never have thought possible. For instance, you can remotely set the heat to come on for when you’ll finally be home, even as you’re still lying on the beach on the last day of your holiday.

But the main reason why smart thermostats are so good at saving money and carbon is that traditional thermostats are obsolete.

This is hardly surprising. The bi-metallic thermostat in use in most UK homes was invented in the 19th century. And it’s not changed much since, in spite of almost every other domestic appliance having been utterly transformed in the intervening period.

So: whereas a smart thermostat can ensure that the pre-heating regime, required to make your home feel nicely toasty by the time you come in, is finely calibrated to take account of both local weather conditions and the thermal efficiency of your house, a traditional thermostat can do nothing of the sort. It’s like comparing the quality of an original Laurel and Hardy movie with live footage of this year’s Olympic Games, as viewed on a modern 4K television, then asking which one offered the superior images. The answer is self-evident, and for the same reason: a century of progress has produced a far better-quality product, that is also more convenient as well as saving you cash and carbon.

Renewables: And the third thing you can do? Please: just switch to renewable power. Selecting dual fuel deals from major suppliers like Octopus Energy and Bulb Energy makes a real difference to the carbon intensity of the nation’s energy mix. And the thing is, these are two of the best value suppliers out there, so you almost certainly won’t be losing out on price either. Octopus has even been recommended by Which? magazine for four years in a row.

So... what do you need Don’t Do A Dodo for? I hear you ask.

Well, by clubbing together right here in Chesterfield, we secure great deals on all sorts of low carbon products, via group buying. Everything from LED light bulbs to solar panels can cost a whole lot less when we invest in the tech alongside our friends and neighbours. Plus, it’s more fun to do it together, as we can swap notes and share the experience, and we know we are making a bigger difference by acting as a community.

You can find out more about how it all works at:

Words: Nigel Timperley (Don't Do A Dodo)

Words: Paul Chapman


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