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As recent temperatures soared and water levels plummeted, the term ‘global warming’ suddenly seemed less like a collection of words, and more a worrying reality, spurring many of us on to make some lifestyle changes.

We all know about recycling, turning off appliances and saving water whenever possible, but perhaps it’s time to aim a little higher than just turning off our taps while brushing our teeth.

So, to take it to the next level, here are a few ‘greening-it-up’ tips that you might not have thought of:

Preheating is prehistoric

If you’re not baking bread, pastries or cakes, pre-heating your oven is an unnecessary energy-chomping habit. Just turn the heat on when you pop in the dish you’re cooking. This will help save a little on your electricity bills, too.

Go duplex at the office

Office environments are notorious for paper wastage, and millions of tons of paper ends up chucked in the bin each year.
Do your bit to halve this by setting your printer’s default option to print double-sided (also called duplex printing). If your office doesn’t have paper-recycling options within easy reach, maybe it’s time to take matters into your own hands and set something up.

Strike, don’t flick

It might sound counterintuitive because of the whole ‘made-from-trees’ thing, but using matches is actually greener than using a lighter.
Most lighters are made of plastic and filled with butane (both of these are petroleum products), and since most of them are considered ‘disposable’, over 1.5 billion of them end up in landfills each year. Take this further by selecting matches made from cardboard rather than wood (if the option is available).

Happily, going green to try and save the planet often results in wallet savings too, and according to the financial forecasters, we’re going to need all the help we can get!