There might not be much greenery in the garden as yet, but it’s only a matter of time. The days are getting longer and will soon be warmer, and that’s when a lot of life returns to the garden – both plant and animal.
With New Year’s falling in the midst of winter, it’s highly likely that you’ve been putting off some important home maintenance jobs, whether they’re DIY projects or things that require you to call in the experts.
Here are five of the top New Year’s resolutions to have about the home, so you can start the year in comfortable and safe surroundings and make some early headway on your DIY to-do list for the next 12 months.
Let’s be honest, we all love making New Year’s resolutions, although we’re not always so good at sticking to them. Here are some that you can hopefully make a long-term part of your life, and how they can save you money month after month.
1. Shop smarter
If you always buy everything from one shop or supermarket, take the time to try some of the others near you – you’ll be amazed at the differences in price for identical items, especially in discount stores and £1 shops.
You might be surprised to learn that the ‘traditional’ Christmas dinner has changed even within living memory – and avoiding food waste was part of the reason why – so if you’re planning an eco Christmas dinner this year, you’re being more traditional than you might think.
If you’ve ever had a turkey sandwich on Boxing Day, you’ve already done some Christmas recycling of sorts, but with so many materials and so much extra Christmas waste, what else can be saved, reused or recycled over the festive season?
Winter quickly takes its toll on home energy bills, as you’re likely to have the lights on for more hours in the day, you might be using appliances such as tumble dryers more often, and you’ll probably be cranking up the central heating on cold days.
Winter DIY jobs are often some of the most important of the year – not just about sprucing up the house like in springtime, or creating new relaxation and entertainment spaces like in the summer.
At a time when we’re all trying to do more to protect the environment, a national celebration of burning things and sending explosions skywards is probably not the most eco-friendly date on the calendar – in fact, November 5th is one of the worst nights of the year for air pollution.
However, there are steps you can take to reduce your personal impact on the amount of harmful smoke released into the atmosphere, without having to abandon the festivities completely – here are a few ideas.
It’s easy to neglect the garden when the nights draw in, but with the worst weather of the year likely still to come, November is a crucial time to do some last-minute planting for spring, tidy up errant shrubberies, and generally prepare things for the depths of winter.
Here are just some of the top gardening tips for November to help your outdoor space withstand the wind, rain, frost and snow, so that it can emerge in springtime in tiptop condition.
The list of household recycling questions goes on and on. Can you recycle plastic food trays? Or greaseproof paper? Envelopes with windows? Paper with a shiny foil coating? Do you have to rinse it, separate it, put the lid back on? Just how many types of recyclable plastic ARE there?