Digital Decluttering: 5 tips to be savvy with energy use and save money

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Digital Decluttering: 5 tips to be savvy with energy use and save money

Did you know that you can spend up to £80 a year powering objects on standby? There are lots of ways to reduce power use, streamline streaming and save money at home.

These tips are part of something bigger. At Hubbub, we want to see a world where everyone makes choices that are good for the environment. Check out what we do and how your actions add up.

A Berkley Lab Scientist estimated that the typical American household has roughly 50 devices and appliances that are always on. While we may not have as many electronics drawing power in UK homes, it can still be a hassle to remember to switch off at the socket. A simple trick is to group together electronics that can be turned off onto one extension lead. For example; TVs, computers, gaming consoles, speakers, DVD players and streaming devices all use power on standby — putting them on one lead means you can turn them all off at the same time.

77% of us say that our phone and internet has been the most supportive coping strategy throughout lockdown (ONS). Keeping our batteries up has helped keep our chins up. But did you know leaving gadgets on charge when the battery is full can damage the item’s battery life and can add to energy bills? Increase the lifespan of your tech and help put change back in your pocket by charging for only as long as devices need.

You might have seen some stats saying that streaming 30 minutes of Netflix is equivalent to driving 4 miles in a car. Subsequent research using International Energy Agency data found this overestimated Netflix’s impact between 30 to 60 times! What does this mean? Stream away my friend, and follow these tips to reduce your energy impact:

  • Smaller devices are more energy efficient, so watching on a laptop, tablet or phone instead of a TV will use less energy
  • Stream over WiFi and not 4G, as using 4G mobile networks consumes about four times as much electricity than through WiFi (and uses up your data too)
  • Watch in Standard Definition instead of High Definition
  • The footprint of your streaming depends on your energy supplier. Find out more about finding the best energy deal and benefits of a green energy option in this energy bills blog 

You’re not alone if you’ve been streaming more recently. Many of us are signed up to a multitude of streaming, gaming and music accounts as well as e-commerce and software. There’s a growing creep of ‘subscription fatigue’: customers feeling put off by the increasing number of services they must subscribe to and swamped by too much content.

These monthly services also add up: 44% of people admitted they are currently paying for some services which they aren’t using to their full potential. Getting on top of your direct debits and phone bills could save you a lot of cash over a year. Try logging into your bank and see what’s actually leaving your account every month, if there’s anything you’re not using: unsubscribe.

You could be the former or the latter type of person, but both will likely get newsletters that don’t get read. Why not start by thinking which newsletters you actually read and unsubscribe to the rest. Remember you can usually get the same info online at any time.

Trying to save money? Then unsubscribing from shopping deal emails that pose the biggest temptation could help take your mind off spending. If you want to stay subscribed, consider updating your preferences to receive fewer updates. You’ll feel lighter with fewer emails in no time.

A 2019 study by OVO found Brits send a giga-ntic 64 million unnecessary emails every day, with ‘thank you’ and ‘thanks’ coming in the top two most unnecessary. Pinging fewer emails and avoiding ‘reply to all’ could empty your inbox, save time and 16,433 tonnes of carbon every year - or 81,152 flights from the UK to Madrid.

Make your unnecessary searches worth something: switching your browser to Ecosia can help plant trees. So far users have raised enough money through searching for Ecosia to plant over 94 million trees and counting. Ecosia also has a dark mode which uses less energy than the white-background regular version.

OCG is a similar free extension that uses the money advertisers pay to show you ads to clean up the oceans, rather than that money going to big tech companies. Surfing the net never felt so good.

Energised for more? 

From Community Fridges that cut food waste to Ballot Bins that halve cigarette litter, our campaigns show what taking action that's good for the environment looks like in practice.

We do more than energy saving tips. 

Ever wondered what to do with your old clothes, or how to make your smartphone last longer? Find out.