11 Tips For ‘Cut Your Energy Costs Day’ 2020

Another year, another set of New Years Resolutions! Whether it’s cutting out the cigarettes, joining a gym or going vegetarian it is always nice to invest time into bettering yourself, but what if there was another resolution which could not only help your wallet out but help the environment too?

Every year on January 10th the nation celebrates ‘cut your energy costs day’ (there’s a day for everything, I know…) and in light of this we are going to share our top tips on how to save money and reduce excessive energy waste at the same time. Whilst some may require an initial investment, they will ultimately bring down the cost of your energy bill.

Let’s start with the easy ones:

Check that you are getting the best deal with your energy supplier

The first thing you should do when looking into reducing your energy bills is check whether you are getting the best price in the first place. There are plenty of sites out there which are able to compare deals and work out the best one for you, and you will often find that switching suppliers can reward you with a lesser bill as prices get more and more competitive for new customers. 

If becoming more eco-friendly is your primary concern then there are companies out there who offer 100% green electricity. Often it can be just as cheap as standard suppliers, and your current supplier may even offer an alternative ‘green’ energy tariff, which could save you switching.

Another quick tip is to make sure that you aren’t being sent bills in the mail – not only is this a massive waste of paper in our digital-first age but suppliers often charge extra for paper bills!

Turn off appliances when not in use

You are probably (definitely) familiar with this one, but this isn’t just about turning the lights off when you leave a room. Appliances left in standby mode can still use energy, and although it is a minimal amount, having numerous devices on standby mode constantly can quickly add up. Further, even phone and laptop chargers can use minimal amounts of energy when left plugged in and so the best option is to simply turn the switch off at the socket to eliminate any risk of energy waste.

Consider getting energy-saving lightbulbs

Whilst turning lights off when a room is unoccupied is a sure-fire way to save on your energy bill and help out the environment, you can actually take a further step and save energy even when the lights are turned on. Energy-efficient LED (light-emitting diode) and CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) lightbulbs are widely available in stores for just a few pounds and are a much more economical option than standard lightbulbs due to the fact that they last longer and do not lose energy as heat. One more thing to consider is whether you are using a lightbulb relative to the size of the room.

Absolutely do not use portable heaters

This is just a quick one, but if your heating is not sufficient then it is far more economical in the long term to look at getting this fixed. Whilst portable heaters are a quick solution they are incredibly costly in terms of the amount of energy they use and your bill will quickly rack up.

Monitor heat in individual rooms

Keeping an eye on your heating is always recommended, making sure it is only switched on when it’s needed and ensuring it’s not set at an unnecessarily high level (always put a jumper on and see how you feel before resorting to bumping the heating up). However, if you want to go that extra mile to reduce your energy wastage you should check the individual levels set on radiators in each room and make sure they aren’t turned up high when they don’t need to be.

Invest in a smart meter

If you’re into your tech then buying a smart meter is a great excuse to get another gadget in your house which can save you money and help reduce unnecessary energy waste. Smart meters are becoming more and more advanced, offering the ability to control your heating from your smartphone, set heating routines based on your habits and even auto-adjusting themselves based on the weather, all of which is great for ensuring no energy is wasted.

Get a new boiler

Whilst the tips above relating to heating will absolutely help you save some money and reduce energy waste, the number one thing you can do to be more efficient with the energy you pay for in terms of heating is get a new boiler. A new boiler can be incredibly costly initially, but given that heating accounts for roughly half of the average annual energy bill, the savings over a few years will more than justify the investment. Newer boilers have advanced to the level that they can recycle waste heat and use it heat water!

Cut down on water waste 

Whilst you may pay for your water bill in full already, pumping that water out uses energy, and this is where you can reduce some energy waste. Energy-saving shower heads can save you money by implementing a more even spread of water in the shower which in turn reduces the amount of water needing to be pumped through. This can reduce the amount of water needed for your average shower by approximately 50% in some cases. Similar heads are available for taps, and as a bonus tip checking for leaks in pipes can further reduce wasted energy.

Get your house properly insulated

If your house isn’t properly insulated then you are essentially leaking money when using your heating. Heating can be lost through your loft, walls and windows and this can increase the average energy bill by up to £270 a year.

Whilst this is an expensive investment initially, again in the long-term it will drastically bring your energy bills down and reduce unnecessary waste. Single glazed windows can be switched out for double glazed ones which let out far less heat, and both cavity and solid wall insulation is available which will drastically reduce the amount of heat lost through them.

Energy-efficient appliances

We are definitely in the realm of expensive investments for long term gains regarding your energy bill now, but getting newer, energy-efficient appliances for your home is a surefire way to cut back on unnecessary energy waste.

To illustrate just how much money this can save you, an old washing machine can cost you up to £56 a year, whereas a newer, more energy-efficient model can cost as little as £15 a year. You can use the EU energy-efficiency rating to ascertain just how economical a new appliance is. The main offenders for energy-sucking appliances are washing machines, tumble dryers and fridge-freezers and so if any of these are outdated in your home this is definitely something to consider when replacing them. 

You can even sell off your old appliances to try and get a bit of money back, and if you do choose to go this route don’t forget you can always use Shiply to deliver your goods in an environmentally friendly (and cheap) way.

Solar Panels

Ok so admittedly if you can afford solar panels you probably aren’t too concerned with the cost of your energy bill, but that doesn’t mean you can’t still help the environment! Solar panels transform the sun’s rays into energy and it’s been estimated that it would take just 21,250 square miles (roughly 0.5% of the USA’s land) to power the entire country. They are dropping massively in cost as well, so if you are looking for a long-term solution to cheaper and more sustainable energy bills and a more eco-friendly source of power in your home then they are definitely something to consider.

So there you have it, a multitude of ways to cut down on your energy bill and help save the world in doing so, we hope this helps!

Shiply’s Recycling Tips for Christmas

Source: Google Images

Whether it was the very public demonstrations of Extinction Rebellion or the passionate appeals of Greta Thunberg, there is no doubt that climate change and the current ecological state of our planet has been a hot topic of 2019 (and so it should be).

With one of the most notoriously excessive holidays just around the corner, we wanted to share some of our best suggestions on how to combat unnecessary waste this Christmas and make sure that you can enjoy the festivities in planet-saving style:

Food Waste

When it comes to Christmas dinner our eyes are always bigger than our stomachs. No matter how tasty your roast is there are always inevitably leftovers, and to make sure you are getting the most out of your food you should do one of two things:

Save them for another meal – remember Ross’ Christmas sandwich from Friends? You could recreate your very own ‘moist maker’, and believe me they are as good as they sound! Keeping leftovers means you can get multiple meals out of your food and keep the unnecessary waste at bay.

Use Food waste bins – if there are not enough leftovers to make a meal of, make sure you are disposing of the food in food waste bins. When food is disposed of improperly and ends up in a landfill it produces methane, a potent greenhouse gas, whereas if it goes in the food waste bin it ends up as plant fertiliser!

Source: Google Images

Wrapping


Unwrapping presents can be one of the best parts of the day, but it certainly does leave behind a lot of rubbish. According to gov.uk, the amount of wrapping paper thrown away after Christmas would stretch to the moon! When all the gift-giving is finished, make sure you collect all the paper and cardboard up and put it in the recycling bin to ensure it is put to good use in the future.

Source: Google Images

Unwanted Presents

We all love receiving gifts at Christmas, but a lot of the time we receive things we don’t necessarily want. ‘Stocking fillers’ are the biggest culprit, and you may be wondering what to do with your seventh pack of Lynx Africa if you really don’t need it – here are some options:


Give them to charity – there are always people who need something more than you do and giving unwanted gifts to charity is an excellent way of guaranteeing the gift will be used and appreciated by someone in need.

Return it for something else, or even just for store credit – keep those receipts! Although it may ‘spoil’ the fun by revealing how much you have spent, supplying receipts with gifts means that they can always be returned for something else or for store credit rather than ending up unused or in the bin.

Sell them on – if you don’t have a receipt but don’t want to throw the gift away you can always sell it on sites like eBay and Gumtree, ensuring that it is still going to be used by someone and not put to waste. As an extra eco-bonus, use Shiply to deliver the sold items for up to 75% less than usual rates and to stop unnecessary traffic on the road by using someone who is already going there.

Merry Christmas from the team at Shiply!

Being Environmentally Aware on Black Friday and Cyber Monday

Black Friday Electronic Cell PhoneWaste
Electronic Waste
Source: Flickr

Black Friday is the shopper’s favourite day of the year, but the consequences on the environment are significant. How can you join in on the fun whilst still thinking green?

With Black Friday and Cyber Monday fast approaching, consumers across the country are readying themselves for some of the best deals and discounts of the year. It’s no secret however that world’s favourite shopping weekend takes its toll on the environment; with over 174  million making purchases in America alone that’s a lot of orders to be delivered or plastic bags to be taken home!

If you want to shop over Black Friday but are concerned about the effects on the planet, here are a few things you can do:

Consider whether you actually need what you are buying

Before you go and splash out on that new wireless set of headphones or those trainers you’ve been eyeing up for the past month, take a moment and consider whether you actually NEED them. The fashion and tech industries are two of the biggest contributors to environmental damage due to the rapid developments they experience, and whilst it is certainly tempting to want the latest of everything the consequences for our planet are bad. If you do need a phone upgrade or some new clothes, just make sure to recycle or dispose of the old items responsibly!

Shop online and opt for slower delivery times

Research suggests that shopping in-store is actually worse for the environment on Black Friday weekend due to the number of individuals heading out in cars to get to the shops. It’s actually much better for the environment to shop online over the famous weekend, however, this comes with a caveat – choosing a fast delivery time will negate any positive effect that shopping online has had. By choosing faster delivery times we encourage companies to send out as many vehicles as possible to ensure deliveries are made on time, whereas slower delivery times allow for more organisation and efficiency.

Giving Tuesday

Giving Tuesday is a trend that emerged in 2012 as a result of the environmental damage that Black Friday and Cyber Monday cause. It encourages people to give back to the environment on the following Tuesday, whether that consists of going out and picking up some rubbish (and recycling it), volunteering or donating some money to charity. If you are feeling guilty about your Black Friday spending habits this is the perfect opportunity to give back.

And of course, if you do need any old items moved somewhere or some new purchases picked up, be sure to use Shiply for cheap quotes and shipping that will have a minimal impact on the environment!

Avoid Protest Road Closures With Shiply

Road Closures in London
Source: Google Maps

Protests erupted yesterday with thousands around the world taking to the streets, asking that governments take action against climate change.

The overarching tactic of the protesters appears to be to use peaceful methods to close roads and bring the issue to the attention of people in power, with brave tactics ranging from cementing themselves under lorries with glue to one man who parked his car in the middle of a street and locked himself to the steering wheel with a bike chain.

The protests are expected to last two weeks and will cause severe delays in the major cities of London, Berlin, Madrid, Amsterdam and Sydney among others, with road users experiencing the most disruption.

We understand that, despite the importance of these protests, people still need to move things through cities, and that’s where Shiply can help. 

We pride ourselves on being an eco-friendly company, utilising the empty return journeys that transport providers often make to save unnecessary miles on the road and provide customers with a cheaper option for transporting goods.

With an estimated 324,551,037 miles saved through our service (that’s just over 13,000 times around the world) you can still move your things, whether it’s a whole house move or an eBay listing, without feeling like you are contributing to the undeniable issue that is global warming.

Why not take the headache out of the road closures and use Shiply to find someone who is going there anyway.


Shiply named Best Digital Climate Change Innovation at 2019 Transport Awards

We are delighted to announce that Shiply has won the Best Digital Climate Change Innovation at the 2019 Transport Awards.

Awarded by SME News, the Transport awards recognises Shiply’s impact pf using digital technology to tackle climate change.

Shiply estimates it’s platform has helped save some 124m kg CO2 and over 90m otherwise wasteful road miles.

Transport companies use Shiply as a way to keep their fleets full of cargo, by matching with loads which also need to travel along the same route or the return journey.

Empty running in the transport industry is an enormous issue. Over 25% of lorries and vans run empty of cargo and over 50% run only part full.

The entire team at Shiply is humbled to have received this recognition and remains focussed on delivering a great experience for customers, transport companies and the environment.

Simple ways to cut down on your packaging

Image source: yaycork.ie

Visit a Zero Waste Shop

These stores are popping up everywhere now, particularly in major cities. Why not have a visit on a weekend and get some inspiration for what swaps you can make – you might just feel inspired to make some lasting changes. As well as finding out about the usual swaps like metal straws and reusable cups, you’ll likely find far more interesting zero waste possibilities too like laundry detergent, bamboo toothbrushes and cleaning products. Remember to take a reusable bag or some jars in case you end up buying something!

 

Make simple swaps when you can

Is your shampoo about to run out? Your mascara reaching its end? Perhaps your toilet paper supply is running low. When you notice something that needs replacing, take a look at alternative brands that perhaps don’t use plastic packaging, or are making a conscious effort to improve their sustainability efforts, so you can replace them with something better for the environment. Try and wait until something is genuinely running out though, otherwise your eco efforts aren’t as good as they could have been as it’s MORE wasteful to NOT use up something!

There are loads of companies that are making changes with packaging – take a look at Lush who sell shampoo, conditioner and deodorant bars, bars of soap and are currently bringing out more and more packaging-free products.

 

Make use of old packaging

Get on Pinterest and see what you can turn your packaging into, to give it a new purpose and stop it ending up in the ocean. Upcycle your bottles, boxes and tubs into storage vessels, cups or something more interesting!

 

Change your supermarket habits

If you like to go to the supermarket in person, make sure you remember to take reusable bags with you. You might have to keep some in your car if you’re likely to forget! If you’re an online supermarket shopper, edit your delivery details so your products arrive in crates without bags, so you can put everything straight into your cupboards.

Good luck!

Eco-friendly swaps to try

Image source: limerickppn.ie

Switch plastic for paper (or something else)

We’ve heard about how so many companies are switching their policies to swap plastic straws and cups for their paper cousins. We’ve also heard how coffee shops are offering decent discounts for refilling customers’ reusable hot drinks containers rather than providing them with a disposable cup like Pret A Manger (who have increased their discount to 50p several months ago). They are small steps sp far, but think about swaps you can make at home from plastic to another material.

Grow your own fruit and veg

There are so many benefits to growing your own produce – it’s cheaper, no packaging and you know exactly where it’s come from! It will obviously demand more effort, but you’ll feel so proud eating your first harvest. Do some research to see what you could grow depending on your own tastes and how much work you’re able to invest in your vegetable garden.

Swap chemicals for natural ingredients

People nowadays are more concerned about the chemicals in their everyday products. If this includes you, take a look at natural alternatives to your cleaning products, toiletries and makeup. As part of the current anti-plastic movement, there are lots of new companies offering natural (and often packaging-free or plastic-free) alternatives. For toiletries and makeup, take a look at companies like Lush or Meow Meow Tweet, and for cleaning products, there are many guides online to mixing your own using everyday kitchen products like vinegar or rubbing alcohol/surgical spirit mixed with essential oils.

Reduce your packaging

It could be that you want to open something while you’re still in the store and leave the packaging there, it might be that you want to look for companies that use clever cardboard alternatives, or it might be that you want to visit a zero waste store and refill your own containers.

Look at the items you currently use and see where you can make a difference as a consumer. You could even write to companies directly and ask for change, or start a petition to stop companies using plastic.

 

What you can do this World Environment Day

Today is World Environment Day (5th June 2018). If you’re not sure what you can do to reduce your impact on the environment, we’ve put together some tips to keep you busy til the next World Environment Day and beyond!

Stop throwing away single-use plastic

Image Source: mauitime.com

Single-use plastics are a huge threat to our environment, so if you are buying plastic you should make sure it’s not intended to be thrown away after just one use. You may have noticed already that many bars and restaurants are now supplying paper straws, or adopting a policy where plastic straws will only be provided when asked for.

There are also things you can do at home. You may need to pay slightly more upfront to invest in a more durable plastic water bottle for example, which will last much longer than one use (and can get you discounts in coffee shops including Pret a Manger!), or invest in reusable non-plastic food wrap for packed lunches rather than cling film or sandwich bags.

Take a look at items you routinely buy and how much plastic packaging they arrive in and whether it’s necessary in case there are alternatives that can easily replace them. For example, there are several companies now that make more eco-friendly toothbrushes out of wood or bamboo. Take a look at Humble Brush or Brush with Bamboo to see if you could make the switch.

 

Reduce your waste

Image Source: sensorysmart.co.uk

Cut your bills with an Eco Egg – unlike your typical washing powder or box of tablets, an eco egg lasts for hundreds of washes. All you need to do is top up the beads inside to keep the freshness going. This could save you money on your water bill as well as preventing you throwing away the plastic bottles/packaging that normal washing powder comes in.

You can also invest in a Hippo Bag to put in your toilet’s cistern that prevents the whole tank from emptying with every flush, so saving you water and keeping your water bill down!

 

Car sharing

If you drive to work along the same route as a colleague, why not discuss whether you could alternate driving throughout the week and share a car? There are even a few places in the UK where car sharing could make your journey a lot faster – Leeds, Birmingham and Bradford have car sharing lanes which would speed up your journey to work!

 

Try renting a bike

You may have noticed some rental bikes popping up around your area. Companies like Ofo and Mobike have introduced dockless bikes that can be parked anywhere. To use a bike, download the app and it’ll show you where they are located. To unlock a bike, you use the app to scan the bike’s code and off you go. You pay via the app for the total duration of the rental once you’ve finished with it.

 

What changes have you made for World Environment Day?

Money saving ideas to cut the cost of your wedding

Image source: huffingtonpost.com

Wedding season has officially started. If you’re in the midst of planning yours, it can feel like every you breath you take you’re adding another extortionate cost to your big day. If you’re like most people (not Prince Harry and Meghan Markle), you probably have an eye constantly watching your budget, so here are some suggestions for keeping costs down by asking for a favour (or ten) and taking a creative approach to your wedding spending.

Decorations

Once you’ve decided on a theme/style, it can be tempting to go on Etsy or NotOnTheHighStreet.com and want to buy tons of hand-made individual pieces for every table, room and guest in that colour palette, but what you could do instead is browse for inspiration and make your own. eBay is also a great place to find craft materials and buying in bulk could save you a lot of money. Of course this tactic requires more time to get the work done, but with a few extra pairs of hands from the wedding party you could get the jobs done a lot faster.

Enlist help

If you have a friend that’s been on a calligraphy course, or just has lovely handwriting, get them to do the table names (or assess if you even need them). If you’ve got a family member that’s a graphic designer, see if they can design the invitations.

Wedding planning is the perfect time to ask for favours, and there’s something in it for them as they can swap their help rather than give a wedding present – so don’t be shy when asking your friend if you can hire their classic car or asking them to play the piano during the reception.

If you’re part of a local forum or community organisation, feel free to ask around there, too. You might find a local discount or friend of a friend that’s more than happy to help.

Dress

These days it’s not hard to find a great, low-cost wedding dress. Many high street stores have their own bridal collections, including Debenhams and Whistles, and ASOS have recently brought out a wedding collection, too.

If you don’t necessarily want to own a dress, consider hiring one, particularly if you can’t see yourself wearing it again. You can hire wedding dresses from designer rental sites like Girl Meets Dress or even from other people in your area online using apps like FatLama.com.

Bend the rules

On your day, you can bypass or stick with the traditions how you see fit, so if something is going to cost a lot of money and you don’t see the point of it, go ahead and leave it out. Whether it’s getting rid of favours, forgetting the veil or mixing up the day completely, just go for it!

 

Benefits of a Spring Declutter

We are all spending a lot of time inside at the moment, but one way to remain productive is to throw yourself into a classic Spring Clean! There’s never been a better time to have a bit of a refresh. You can easily identify items you no longer use, free up space and possibly even make a little bit of money whilst doing it.

If you need some motivation to get started, here are some reasons why a declutter could bring with it a host of benefits, as well as keeping you busy for the time being:

Image result for declutter spring home

Image source: featherandnest.co.uk

Just To Freshen Up

Given that we are at home so much, it’s only natural that your mind wanders and you begin to think about improving your surroundings, and doing so can also be a great way to destress yourself and alleviate some of the anxiety of being in your home constantly. 

From simply freeing up space in your home to completely changing the layout of a room, you would be amazed what a little decluttering and rearranging can do for your mood.

Make Money Out Of Unwanted Items

Spring cleaning could also make you some extra cash. If you’ve got a lot of unused things hiding in your cupboards, it could be worth putting some time aside to sort through what could be thrown away, sold or donated. 

You could use Marie Kondo’s famous method of assessing whether something should be kept or not based on whether it sparks joy, meaning you can single out those sentimental items that you want to keep hold of, even if they no longer serve a purpose.

You’d be surprised at what people will buy second hand, so if you find anything that could be used by someone else, try listing it for sale online and see if you could make some money, particularly with things like clothing or electronics. If you’re not sure if something is likely to sell, search for the item in eBay’s ‘completed listings’ and see what prices the same or similar items have recently sold for.

Remember that with Shiply you can deliver items for up to 75% less than typical rates, meaning that high delivery fees won’t put people off of bidding for your items!

If you’d rather not sell, consider donating instead (although this may have to wait until it is safe to do so). There are many places that accept donations, whether it’s a charity shop, a toy library or somewhere that accepts donations for specific projects like recycling wedding dresses/suits or sending old running shoes/sports gear to those unable to afford them.

Make Space For New Purchases/Activities

If you have been thinking about getting a piano, or perhaps making a play area for your kids, getting rid of those old unwanted items is a great way to free up space. It’s amazing what a bit of decluttering and repositioning of furniture can do, and doing some maneuvering could give you the space you need to improve your home and allow you to do more productive or fun activities.

As a bonus, any cash you make from selling the items could be put towards filling the new space!

Preparing For A House Move

If you’re looking to move home later this year, decluttering in advance could save you a lot of hassle nearer the time, and could reduce the amount of items to pack before moving day. If you’re likely to be moving in the warmer months, you might find it beneficial to pack up your winter items well in advance, like warm coats, woolly hats and gloves, or specialist winter sports gear like skiing or snowboarding equipment. Packing away anything that you are unlikely to need before the move will reduce the number of chores to do nearer the time when stress levels are already high in the weeks before your moving day. Remember, house removals on Shiply are typically cheaper than usual too…

Good luck with your decluttering!