Benefits of Wool Duvets

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Woollen bedding sales are soaring

The Sunday Times has published the results of an Australian survey that explores the benefits of Wool Bedding: Sunday Times

You can browse our lovely selection of Wool Duvets and Natural Bedding here: Wool Duvets

 

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Go Green With Your Laundry

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green clothes drier

It’s too hot to use your tumble dryer!

Combine that with electricity costs rising and the arguments raging over pollution, it’s a perfect time to rethink your laundry habits. Here are some tips that will keep you cool, save you money and help to save the environment for future generations.

Use cold water in your washing machine. I was astounded by the fact that only 10% of the cost of running my washing machine is used to run the motor – the remaining 90% is spent on heating the hot water.

Only run your machine to wash a full load.

Measure the right amount of detergent – don’t just slosh it in. You need far less than you think to clean your clothes, particularly if you take a leaf from your great, great grandparents, make the most of the sunshine and dry your clothes outdoors. The sun has a natural bleaching effect which reduces any stains on your laundry without the need to use harsh chemicals and is much kinder to your skin, especially for young babies and anyone with allergies. It’s the UV radiation in the sunshine that kills off any bugs and bacteria, giving you that fresh air, summery, clean smell – so gorgeous on cotton sheets when you get into bed!

The sun’s warm rays are far more gentle on your clothes than a tumble dryer, which tosses them around and wears them out more quickly (that’s why you find all lint in your dryer at the end of each cycle), creates dryer static and has been known to shrink them in our house!

Not only that, your tumble dryer is noisy, expensive and pollutes the environment! According to statistics (Carbon footprint)the sun will save you around 2.5kWh of electricity per cycle in the tumble dryer and 1.07kg of CO2 to your carbon footprint each time you switch on a ‘B’ or ‘C’ rated appliance. At current prices that means you save around 35p for every load you dry naturally. Since the average family uses their tumble dryer at least 148 times a year that’s a potential saving of at least £50.00 a year. Not to be sniffed at!

And if you’re concerned that clothes dried naturally are more wrinkled, stiffer and take more ironing, it’s not true! The heat from a tumble dryer is more likely to over-dry your clothes, especially if you put them through another drying cycle because they seem still to be damp. Try these tips from my grandmother, Crystabel Kate. CK taught me it’s all about what you add to your soap and how you hang your washing out. The old fashioned tip of adding 1/2 cup of baking soda to your laundry will act as a water softener meaning you need less soap which clogs fibres. Adding a cup of vinegar to your rinse cycle instead of fabric softener will make your wash feel soft, smell fresh and save on buying fabric softener. Finally,dry your clothes on hangers on the line and your ironing will be a breeze.

If you’re a DIY handy type you can make your own washing line with a couple of posts and some cord. If not, there are some excellent, well-made and robust outdoor clothes airers on the market in different sizes for different needs.

What are you waiting for?

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10 TOP TIPS TO BEAT THE HEAT

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10 TOP TIPS TO BEAT THE HEAT (and save you money)

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1. Close your windows/pull your curtains or blinds closed during the day to block out the sunlight and stop the heat from coming into your home. When it cools down in the evening open them all to let the cool air in and circulate. Don’t forget to open all your windows, doors and kitchen cabinets (big sources of hidden heat) to get the coolest result.

2.Don’t use your oven. It’s a huge heat source in your home. It takes longer to heat up, longer to cook and longer to cool down and uses more energy.Eat salads, have barbies, use the microwave or cook on the top of the stove.Do your really want to cook/eat a roast dinner in this weather?

3. Do your own washing up unless you have a full dishwasher load and an energy efficient dishwasher. Dishwashers generate far more heat, use more costly water and electricity.

4. Keep your lights off for as long as you can. We get an average of 16 hours daylight in the UK in July and 15 hours in August. Make the most of it.

5. Turn down the water temperature on your boiler. In hot weather cooler water creates less steam and heat around your home.

6. Take refreshing showers, not baths. Use less water and save on electricity into the bargain.

7. Use your washing machine only when you have a full load. Save on heat generation, water costs and water and electricity costs by using the lowest heat setting possible.

8. Harness all this free heat by drying your clothes naturally. Tumble dryers throw out immense amounts of heat and condensation and are costly to run. Wherever you live there’s a clothes dryer or airer that’s perfect for your environment.

19. Hang your washing on clothes hangers to dry as crease free as possible. Ironing badly creased laundry is hot work!

10. Stay cool at night with our emergency bedroom tactics:

a. put your pillow in the freezer for a couple of hours before bedtime. Wrap it in a couple of layers of plastic to avoid it getting iced up.

b. fill your favourite hot water bottle with iced water and place it either under your knees or ankles to cool you down.

c. Sleep with your windows open.

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Letter Box Draught Excluder

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TheEcoflap EX is the latest version of the innovation that stops draughts through your letterbox. It is cleverly designed to close itself and completely stops air flow into or out of the house through the letterbox. As much as 27% of the heat of your room can be lost through a poorly sealed letterbox so the Ecoflap could save you a lot of money, and pay for itself many times over. Buy one now to fianlly exclude letter box draughts and cut your heating bill.
The Ecoflap is a simple but effective way to stop draughts
A letter box is a source of heat loss that is often overlooked by homeowners. Many houses have front doors that open straight into a living room, and the draught blowing through the letterbox pushes up the heating bill considerably. The letter box often creates a rattling noise when it is windy too. The Ecoflap solves these problems. It is an ingeniously designed flap that screws onto the inside of your front door, and replaces any brushes, seals or gravity flaps you have in place at the moment.

Ecoflap

The Ecoflap has no springs, magnets or catches – in fact there are no components to break. The flap is designed to close with its own weight, but the way it has been designed means that when the wind blows against it, the Ecoflap is forced closed and not open. The design is such that the closing effect works whether the draught is blowing into your house, or out of the house. It is offered in white, brown and black matt finishes.

The Ecoflap adjusts automatically to the size of the delivery. It can open wide enough to allow A4 and thickish newspapers and magazines through it, and then closes itself when they have cleared the letterbox. It is also safe – it will not “bite” your fingers or damage mail.
Installation
Installation of the Ecoflap takes just a few minutes. All you need is a screwdriver and some small headed screws (not supplied). If you have a plastic or metal door then you can attach the Ecoflap using a “kitchen and bathroom silicone sealant” (available from any DIY shop).

At this stage the Ecoflap is only suitable for horizontal letterboxes. The manufacturers are working on a design for a vertical letterbox so watch this space. Here is the best price for a Letter Box Draught Excluder

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Top Tips to Save Water and Save Money

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Ok, after the soaking we’ve had over the past 9 months, you might not have water saving at the top of your New Year’s resolutions. But saving water is a no-brainer if you’re on a water meter because every drop saved saves you money. Plus the Met Office warns us that going forward we can expect more extremes in our weather pattern and need to be prepared. That means more deluges and flood conditions but also more periods of scarcity and drought. (Just remember, in Spring 2012, half the country was facing water rationing because the reservoirs were down to their bones.)

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Here are some top water saving tips:

  • Take a shower instead of a bath- you’ll use far less water. If you must indulge in a bath then why not double up with your other half? Half the water and twice the fun. Just toss a coin to see who gets the plug end!
  • Take a bucket or basin into the shower with you and use the collected water for houseplants or the garden
  • Turn the shower off when lathering up and only turn it back on when you’re ready to rinse.
  • Get a dual flush loo – use the short flush for oneses and the long flush for the other
  • Use a watering can in the garden. Hoses and sprinkler are terribly wasteful so can it when you can
  • Turn the tap off when you brush your teeth
  • Make sure your dishwasher is full before you use it
  • Same thing with your washing machine – fill it up before you switch it on!
  • How much water do you waste when running the tap up to temperature?  Fill up a bottle while your waiting for the water to heat up and use it for your house plants
  • Put a flushsaver into your cistern and save up to 3 litres every time you flush the loo
  • No buts, buy  a water butt  for your garden. They come in many styles and sizes and allow you to water your garden with a clear conscience.

Water butt

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Treat Yourself To A Grenadier Electric Firelighter

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The Grenadier Electric firelighter is the clean, simple, efficient way to light a solid fuel fire – and it’s fast and economical too! No need for matches, paper, kindling or stinky chemical firelighters. Lighting your fire couldn’t be faster or easier: riddle through the fine ash, leave the cinders, put on the fuel and switch on the Grenadier Electric Firelighter. Oh, and at 0.5 p a go, it’s cheaper than using chemical firelighters too – even if you use it every day  to light your fire, it will stillcost you less than £2 a year!

grenadier-firelighter4_LRG

The award winning Grenadier Electric Firelighter is guaranteed to light all solid fuels including wood, coal andsmokeless fuel – and can take as little as a couple of minutes tod o it. The secret is in itspowerful, concentrated heat.You just position the Grenadier and switch on. A built-in fan effectively directs the heat so that the fuel quickly reaches burning point. Once it’s alight you switch off the heat and justlet the fan blow until the fire isreally well away, just like bellows.

Great for lighting barbecues, ranges and garden incinerators tooGrenadier with barbecue
A major advantage when lighting barbecues is that the Grenadier Electric Firelighter produces clean heat without any odour, unlike liquid or chemical lighters, no chemical flavour is transferred to the food and the barbecue is ready to cook much quicker.

Grenadier with incinerator

 

When gardening, the Grenadier eliminates the trouble associated with lightingyour garden incinerator, simply load up the refuse and switch on the Grenadier – no smoke in your eyes or chasing paper around the lawn, and it’s amazing how much more you can burn!

Read more about the Grenadier Electric Firelighter

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