Knowing where to begin when it comes to reducing your carbon footprint can often feel like a leap into the unknown! However, we know that the homes we live in play a huge part in the amount of carbon emissions released, causing global warming.
By taking small steps in our day-to-day lives and making better choices, we can collectively make a significant difference to protect the earth’s environment – now and for future generations.
Energy efficiency is key – less carbon, less cost
Start by making your home more energy-efficient. There are many ways you can cut the amount of electricity and gas you need for heating, lighting and running appliances – which is better for the planet and can also save you money*:
- Replacing old, outdated boilers is a long-term solution to reduce your heating bills, saving approximately £200 per year
- Better home insulation reduces heat loss and could lower bills by £315 – this includes cavity wall insulation, double glazing or loft insulation
- Replacing old-fashioned lightbulbs with more modern energy-saving bulbs could save you up to £180
- Switching old fridges, washing machines, dishwashers and other domestic appliances for those with a higher efficiency rating could save on average £213
- Other changes that are easier to implement include washing clothes at a colder water temperature and drying them outside instead of in the tumble dryer, and only using the dishwasher when it’s fully loaded
- Choose to put on a jumper rather than turning up the thermostat. Lowering the temperature of your home by a couple of degrees and turning down radiators in rooms you don’t use is a quick and easy way to reduce emissions and keep costs down
Greener power sources
Installing solar panels is one of the ways you can make the energy source for your home more eco-friendly.
Solar panels work by converting the energy from the sun into electricity via panels usually fitted to a properties roof. A set of panels that provides enough electricity to cover the needs of a typical 3-bed terraced house would cost around £5,000.
You can also switch to a greener energy source for your gas and electricity, usually at no cost, with most major suppliers.
Recycle and re-use
We spend so much of our time at home so naturally this is where we can have the most impact on the amount of waste produced from it each year. Here are a few of the ways you can cut down your rubbish:
- Label recycle bins clearly inside your home, making it easier to dispose of waste correctly – food, plastics and cardboard should all be separate from your general household waste. Plastics that can be recycled need to be uncontaminated, so remember to rinse them out before you bin them
- Cut back on cling-film. Instead, where possible try to use washable, reusable containers
- Buy eco-friendly toilet paper and cleaning products
- Upcycle or consider pre-owned items. From furniture to clothes and kids toys, there are plenty of ways to mend, gift or buy second-hand items
Grow your own
Ready for a new challenge? Consider creating a vegetable patch and dedicate 1-2 days per week to eating your homegrown produce and reduce your meat consumption. It’s cheaper, and a much more sustainable and environmentally-friendly approach.
If you live in a flat or a house without a garden, grow bags and planters are perfect for the job! You require minimal space and can fill containers with soil, compost and seeds. They’re ideal for placing on balconies and roof terraces.
* Source: Which? Magazine https://www.which.co.uk/reviews/cutting-your-energy-bills/article/how-to-save-on-your-energy-bill/10-ways-to-save-on-energy-bills-aX2RS8b8llMR#get-a-new-boiler-save-around-205-a-year