Using Less at home with our founder

This week, we continue our series about How We Use Less, and today we hear from our Founder, Nigel and his wife, Emma.  They told us a few of the bits they do at home and when they are out and about to Use Less Stuff.

Nigel is passionate about Using Less, so much so he wrote a book about it (available on our website: Buy: Using Less Stuff Book)

Here are some of the things Nigel and Emma do to Use Less Stuff in and around their home:

Eggs and Logs:

Nelly, Red and Daisy joined our family recently, they are laying hens and provide our weekly eggs.  Fresh, low consumption and no carbon miles from the garden to our kitchen.  And we collect fallen trees from the woods to chop and use at home for our heating, making use of what would rot and waste if left.

Tubes and Bottles:

They say look after the pennies and the pounds will take care of themselves, we have a similar psychology when it comes to tube, bottles and jars. More so with bottles and tubes, but you often cannot squeeze out all the contents, meaning waste.  We cut open tubes and remove the lids from bottles to ensure we use up all the contents, whether its toothpaste, sun cream or ketchup!

Invest in good quality storage containers & Reuse takeaway containers:

We believe in investing in quality products, as they last longer, keep food fresher for longer and in turn save you money and lowers your environmental impact.  We also keep and reuse takeaway containers wherever possible.  They do not last as long as standard food storage containers but at least the plastic is used more than once!

“buy quality and cry once, buy cheap and cry forever.”

Buy Big but use small:

For non-consumables and longer life products we tend to buy the biggest box or bottles available and then decant it down into smaller usable containers for the day to day usage.  By buying in bulk you are effectively using less packaging which is much more environmentally friendly. Another green advantage is that you use less delivery miles, so less fuel is used, and less pollution is emitted into the air. Seeing as green is a big selling point for many businesses now, you can use this to your advantage.  Often buying in bulk lowers the price too.

Heating, Hot water and Radiators

Our family home has an Aga, wood fire and central heating.  As our kids have grown and now are not at home, we use less energy by turning off radiators in un-used rooms and we just heat the rooms we use.  We also regularly review our heating and hot water controls; we use them on the timer, and we adjust them to our needs.  Emma is also a big believer in putting another jumper on before putting the heating on.


When out and about on the roads, Emma only half fills the tank with petrol, which helps the car performance as it is not carrying the weight of a full tank.  Nigel says unfortunately (pre covid) this was not really an option for him as he used to cover a lot of miles a week, and we all know its much cheaper to fill up at a local petrol station than it is on the motorway.

We also both have our dashboard monitors set on MPG (miles per gallon) as we both find it helps concentrate the mind more on driving carefully and economically as we can see our MPG rising and falling.  It is a bit like having a smart meter monitor in your home, as you can see what you are using it makes you more mindful.  Give it a go and see if you can reduce your petrol consumption.

We will be back in a couple of weeks with part 5 of the Using Less Stuff series, in the meantime …

Would you like some help reducing your costs and/or consumption? We have over 10 years’ experience helping schools, businesses, and councils to doing just this.

 Let us know what type of things your company does to Use Less or how you use less at home?


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