Winter’s here – are you sure your loft insulation is at least 270mm (11 inches) thick? If you need more you might consider using a local product called Thermafleece made from the fleece of British hill sheep.

Turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree Centigrade will save up to 10% on your heating costs. You probably won't notice the difference in temperature, but if you do, just wear a thicker sweater. Alternatively, take a brisk walk – you’ll feel much warmer when you get home!

Don’t leave your cooker hood fan running unnecessarily, especially in winter. It’s not only energy intensive, but it’s also very efficient at emptying the house of heat!

A dripping hot water tap wastes energy (and money) and in one week may waste enough hot water to fill half a bath.

Support local shops and the market – shop local, eat local, buy local. A round trip to Penrith (34 miles) by car costs between 5 and 7 in fuel alone.

Check your tyre pressures regularly as reduced pressure not only increases fuel consumption and causes uneven tyre wear but is also illegal!

Be wary of BOGOF (buy one, get one free) – don’t buy more food than you can use or store or freeze. Recycle leftovers into soups, pancakes or wraps.

Re-use packaging for storage and other jobs around the house e.g. yoghurt pots and the cardboard tubes from the centre of loo rolls etc. for growing seedlings, plastic bottles as mini-greenhouses.

Don’t chuck it – Freecycle it! If you want to get rid of items which are still useful, list them on the Freecycle website. You can also ask for items which you need and somebody else may have taking up space in the garage or loft. But do be realistic with your requests! If you need help with this ring 017687 80561.

If you buy wooden furniture make sure the timber has a Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) logo which means it is from sustainably managed forests.

Don't chuck your Christmas cards in the bin! Drop them off at WH Smiths, Tesco,TKMax or M&S, then the Woodland Trust can recycle them: 100 million cards will enable them to plant 24,000 trees.