Many of us are keen to go green, but it can be difficult to know where to start. At npower, we’ve got some good news – with a few helpful ideas, you can make 2019 the ultimate lean, green year. And it’s easier than you think.

Living Room

Wood burners don’t just make your living room look cosy, but they’re pretty handy at helping you heat your living room without relying on fossil fuels.

So, if you’re looking to upgrade the fireplace in 2019, take a look at one of these – you’ll be saving money on fuel as well as being that little bit greener.

Go green 2019 - wind farm

Make the switch today, and fix your energy prices until September 2020.

We’ll match all of the electricity and 15% of the gas you use with energy generated from renewable sources then feed the same amount back into the network.

We’ve also partnered with Trees for Cities, so we’ll plant a tree for every person that switches to our Go Green Energy Fix tariff.

Find out more

Go green in 2019 - planting a tree

The smartest way to save energy? Get a Smart meter installed – it puts you right in control of your energy.

In fact, it lets you see how much you’re using in pounds and pence, so you can tell exactly how much energy you’re using in your home – allowing you to budget for your energy bill each month instead of estimating it.

Go green in 2019 - Smart meter helps to go green

Kitchen

The days of using lemon juice as the only alternative option to powerful cleaning chemicals are over.

Now there are a myriad of different alternatives to keeping your kitchen spick and span, without emptying the bleach over everything.

Try brands such as Ecover and Method, for a kinder way to clean your kitchen.

Go green in 2019 - cleaning sprays

Whittle down your energy usage with these simple energy-saving hacks, and you could save yourself up to £36 a year:

  • Use a bowl to wash up instead of a running tap – saves you £25
  • Use your washing machine for one less cycle a week – saves you £5
  • Only fill the kettle for the amount of tea/coffee you’re making – saves you £6

We know recycling can cause a fair few headaches, and it can be difficult to know what you can and can’t add to the recycling bin. To help, we’ve listed the worst items in the kitchen that cause confusion:

What you can’t recycle (that you think you can)

  • Kitchen roll and tissues
  • Wine glasses and glass cookware
  • Greasy takeaway pizza boxes
  • Soft plastic packaging
  • Crisp packets
  • Cutlery
  • Pots and pans

What you can recycle (that you think you can’t)

  • Cleaned kitchen foil and foil trays
  • Empty surface cleaner bottle with the trigger spray
  • Metal lids
  • Empty bleach bottles
  • Aluminium tubes such as tomato puree (with the plastic cap removed)
  • Envelopes with windows

Go green in 2019 - recyle bottles

Bedroom

Lighting your home makes up 15% of a typical household’s electricity bill, and is one of the easiest ways to waste energy.

We’re not saying you should resort to candles to light your room, but here are a few quick and easy wins to cut down your energy usage (and save yourself a few pounds while you’re at it):

1. Daylight is the most energy-efficient form of light, so only turn the lights on if you have to.

2. Unless you are going back into the room within a few minutes, turn off lights when you leave it.

3. There is a low energy bulb available for pretty much every situation now, so choose a low energy (compact fluorescent) lightbulb the next time you need to replace yours.

4. Start to think of light bulbs as one-off purchases that last many years, rather than a short-term fix. If you buy an LED light bulb, you’ll be lighting your room for 15-20 years to come.

Read more about energy efficiency.

Lightbulb

The next time you’re due to do some decorating, opt for an eco-friendly wall paint that is free from Volatile Organic Compounds (these are the chemicals that give paint that distinctive smell).

Not only do VOC’s give you bad headache if you don’t open the window while you’re painting away, they’re not good for the environment – in fact producing one litre of paint can result in up to 30 litres of toxic waste.

Eco-friendly paints are surprisingly easy to use – you can buy them in a variety of colours – and they provide the same amount of coverage as normal paint. Just without the noxious fumes.

It’s estimated that UK consumers throw away over two million items of clothing a year. Even worse, three-quarters of Britons throw away unwanted clothing, rather than donating or recycling it.

Fashion is starting to slow down in 2019, and a lot of wearable clothes are being diverted away from the rubbish bin.

Try “shwopping” at Marks & Spencer, where you can hand over an old or unwanted garment when you buy a new one.

Other high-street brands such as H&M and Zara are getting on board too, making it even easier to give your old clothes a new lease of life on and protect the environment at the same time.

Just take your old unwanted clothes to one of their donation stations, and they’ll do the rest.

Go green 2019 - unwanted clothing

Bathroom

Only 50% of bathroom packaging gets recycled in the UK, often because people aren’t sure what they can recycle. Use our handy checklist to see what you can throw in the recycling bin.

  • Shampoo, conditioner and shower gel bottles
  • Cardboard packaging e.g. toothpaste or toilet roll tubes
  • Bathroom cleaner and bleach bottles (even the spray dispenser)
  • Empty deodorant aerosols and hairspray with the plastic cap
  • Hand soap bottle (but not the pump dispenser)

Go green in 2019 - cleaning products

It’s estimated that over 120 billion units of cosmetic packaging are produced every year by the beauty industry, most of which gets thrown away after we’ve used it.

But many makeup brands are thinking of clever ways to cut down on the amount of packaging they use. Some are providing nifty refills for some of their products, with a heavy chunk of the price cut off for good measure.

Take a look at brands like Clarins and Nars for refillable foundations, lipsticks and eyeshadows.

Go green 2019 - environmentally friendly makeup

Do your bit for the planet and treat yourself at the same time.

Lush are offering a free face mask when you bring back five empty, clean Lush pots to your local shop for recycling.

MAC are another brand jumping on the recycling wagon; giving customers a free lipstick when they return six MAC makeup containers.

Go green 2019 - refillable makeup