Make your home greener and save £2,000 with top tips from the Sun’s Green Team

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MAKING your house greener doesn’t have to mean splashing out on a futuristic redesign.

In Day Four of our brilliant Green Team series, we reveal simple swaps and changes you can make around the home to shrink your carbon footprint — and save more than £2,000 into the bargain.

You can make amazing savings at home, all while helping the environment

All this week we have been issuing a rallying cry to readers to make small changes that will have a big impact on the planet — and your pocket.

HOAR has teamed up with the global Count Us In initiative to urge readers to cut their greenhouse gas emissions. Go to thesun.co.uk/pledge and sign up to as many eco-friendly pledges as you can manage and our special calculator will tell you how much carbon your changes will prevent from polluting the atmosphere.

All this week we are bringing you expert advice on how to make good on those commitments.

Today we cover the three pledges of Turn Down Your Heating, Insulate Your Home and Switch To Green Energy as we bring you top advice on how you can save money — and the environment — in rooms around the house.

Dining room

Save £1,093

Avoid throwing away food by following our tips

‘BEST’ PRACTICE: Families throw out around £13 of food per week – £700 a year – partly because we stick to “best before” dates, according to campaign group Love Food, Hate Waste. You can safely ignore these dates on most foods as they only show when it is past its best quality. But don’t ignore “use by” dates on meat, fish and dairy, as this could lead to food poisoning.

YEARLY SAVING: Up to £700

MEAT-FREE MONDAYS: Going veggie one day a week helps reduce the strain meat production puts on the environment, and it will also save you cash. An average meat-based meal costs around £1.83 per head, while a veggie one costs 61p.

YEARLY SAVING (family of four): £253

HIT THE MARKET: Fruit and veg can be around a third cheaper at a local market or greengrocer than in supermarkets, saving the average family almost £3 a week. By shopping local, you will also be more likely to buy produce that is in season, has lower food miles and less plastic packaging, all good news for the environment.

YEARLY SAVING: £140

Kitchen

Save £62

Make sure you pre-treat any tough stains

WASH AT 30C: Modern washing machines clean just as well at 20C or 30C, and the energy saved compared to washing at 40C could put £10 a year back in your pocket. Make sure you pre-treat any tough stains though, and do a hot wash once a month to kill bacteria.

YEARLY SAVING: £10

DITCH DETERGENT: Swap detergent for ecoballs – plastic balls that clean and soften your clothes. Ecozone’s Ecoballs cost £21.99 and last for 1,000 washes. Laundry detergent, costing around £7, and fabric conditioner, costing around £3, will do around 40 washes.

YEARLY SAVING (based on three washes a week): £32

CLEAN SWEEP: Making your own cleaning products like Grandma used to costs around a sixth of buying them – and it cuts out the damaging chemicals and plastic packaging too. You can use bicarbonate of soda, lemon juice and distilled white vinegar to make effective surface and floor cleaners. Search online for home-made cleaning product instructions.

YEARLY SAVING: £20

Home office

Save £294

Make savings in your home office

RETHINK INK: With so many of us now working and studying from home, families are going through printer ink cartridges quicker than ever. But you can stop old cartridges going to landfill – and get paid at the same time. Recycle yours at printercartridgerecycling.co.uk and get up to £2 per cartridge. Or get up to 125 Tesco Clubcard points per cartridge using therecyclingfactory.com. You can also save by buying refilled recycled cartridges from sites like stinkyinkshop.co.uk for less than half price.

YEARLY SAVING (based on buying six recycled cartridges compared to new): £114

RECYCLE OLD GADGETS: Don’t throw away old mobile phones and office equipment when you can get paid to recycle them. Sites such as mazumamobile.com and musicmagpie.co.uk will pay cash for recent models. An unlocked iPhone 8 in good condition will fetch £160 to £180. And even old models may be worth more than you think. Millennium favourite the Nokia 3310 now sells on eBay for up to £20.

SAVING (selling one old phone): £180