Waitrose & Partners Weekend Issue 617

22 SEPTEMBER 2022 1 1 l Service your boiler every year tomake sure your heating system is working as e ciently as possible. l Don’t push your sofa against a radiator – the heat needs to flow around the room. Allow six inches between a radiator and an itemof furniture. l Tuck curtains behind the radiator if they cover it when they are drawn. “Try to fold curtains so they hang below the windowsill, but a few centimetres above the radiator so you can benefit as much as possible from the heat,” says Joanna. l Switch up your duvet tog. The average duvet tog is around 10.5, but heat-e cient duvets run up to 18 tog – this is cheaper than putting the heating on at night. The living room l Turn your chargers o at the wall. This might only save you pennies, but since we have an average of 40-50 electrical appliances in our homes, it adds up. “Every charger draws a small amount of electricity, even if there’s not a device on the end of it,” explains Joanna. l Target appliances in the living room, since electricity usage here has more than tripled since 1970. Meanwhile, kitchen electricity usage has gone down thanks to increasingly e cient appliances, say experts at the Centre for Economics and Business Research. l Stick with a high definition TV, rather than upgrading to an ultra high definition 4K version, which requires a thirdmore energy. l Save up to £40 a year by turning your appliances o standby. According to Eco Cost Savings, leaving your TV on standby all year will cost you around £11, or 3.2p per day. l Install a smart meter – your supplier can do this for free – to see howmuch electricity and gas you are using, which will help you find ways to cut back. l Lower your boiler’s flow setting to 50-55ºC. According to Octopus Energy, this is adequate to heat your water and could cut your energy bills by 8%. A look at laundry l Try to avoid washing half loads. Instead, wait until the drum is three quarters full to ensure clothes are properly cleaned. By washing at 30ºC, the EST says your machine will use around 40% less electricity a year. l Hang clothes outdoors if possible, or use an indoor airer. A heated one would be cheaper than using a dryer – even themost e cient dryer will cost 48p per full load. And don’t put clothes on radiators, as this makes them work even harder to heat the room. l Do several loads of laundry in one session, and if youmust use a tumble dryer, drying the loads back-to-back will capture residual heat in the drum. l Clean the filters in your washingmachine and dryer regularly and you will get more e cient performance. Lightbulbmoments l Switching to energy-e cient LED lighting will save you around £7 per year per bulb, according toWhich? Halogen bulbs were banned in the UK in 2021, although retailers have been authorised to continue selling themuntil their current stocks run out. l Turn the lights o when leaving a room, as lighting accounts for 11%of the average household electricity bill. Do this even if you’re going to be coming back into the room in a fewminutes, says the EST. l Dust your lightbulbs tomaximise their wattage, advises electricity and gas provider Ovo. You should also consider howmany lights you need on in a roomand fit sensors or timers on external lights. Bathroomeconomics l Take showers instead of baths. Even having a 10-minute shower uses around 25 gallons of water, compared with 70 gallons for a full bath. l Fit a water-reducing shower head and tap aerator. These work by injecting air into the water, which comes out with the same flow rate, but using only a fraction of the water. l Keep showers to under four minutes, and swap one bath for a shower every week to save £35 per person per year, the EST estimates. A two-minute shower uses only approximately five gallons of water. For more advice, see energysavingtrust.org.uk They say ‘a change is as good as a rest’ but I’mnot sure it’s an adage that stands up to proper scrutiny. Sometimes, change feels exhausting. I know I’mnot alone in feeling strangely knocked for six by the sheer amount of it around at themoment. If you’d been on a fortnight’s holiday in Andalucía, out of wifi range, you’d be forgiven for having a kind of national whiplash. E ectively you’ve come back to a country with an ‘Under NewManagement’ sign hanging on the door. These times are not in the slightest bit restful. But if we, as citizens, are feeling a little ragged around the edges, what of our newKing? How on Earth has hemanaged to bear up so well? At his age too. I don’t say that in a cheeky or disparaging way. Change has many faces – the ability to bemalleable, to waft along in the breezes of life or to turn suddenly on a sixpence – and none of these are the traits associated with ageing. In fact, it’s quite the opposite isn’t it? With age, we earn the right to plant our feet more firmly on the ground. We become the solid trees in the forest which bendy saplings must weave their way around. We can use ageing as an excuse not to budge on anything. Many do – and at a far younger age. Although The King’s destiny has alerted him to how his life will change, I defy even themost well prepared heir to know how they’ll feel until they actually step up to that throne. You may well be able to rehearse the events and the schedule but not the loss that preceded it. Grief isn’t an emotion you can practise. It comes in waves and it comes when it wants to. For The King, the one person he could ask about such a peculiar change is no longer there to discuss that very thing. There are several questions we could all ask of ourselves at themoment – could you take on the biggest job of your life at the age of 73? Howwould you have survived the sheer pace of the last two weeks? And could you step into a role only made possible through loss? I know I couldn’t. The accession has provided a timely reminder about the value of age and the abilities it does bring with it. One of the loveliest things to emerge across this period of mourning has been somany older people being asked for their opinion, some being congratulated for living through the entire Elizabethan age, others simply telling their stories. Suddenly, our ‘youthquake’ doesn’t seemquite so overwhelming. So even if I don’t feel rested, I do feel a bit more balanced. I’ll try and fashion an adage out of that. Fortunately…with Fi and Jane and The Listening Project are on BBC Sounds @fifiglover ‘The accession has provided a timely reminder about the value of age and the abilities it does bring with it’ FI GLOVER The journalist and broadcaster has her say Inmy opinion