With rising energy prices and increasing concern for the environment, many of us are doing what we can to make our homes as eco-friendly as possible. From the smallest of changes to our behaviour at home, to overhauling the structure of our properties, there’s a huge variety of things we can do to reduce the size of our carbon footprint.
Let’s look at some simple and actionable tips to move towards the goal of having a greener home.
1. Use energy efficient appliances
Washing at 30 is all very well, but what does it matter if your beaten up old washing machine is consuming vast amounts of water while doing so? Appliances today are more energy efficient than ever, so it could be worth upgrading. From your kettle to your fridge, have a look around your home to see which items are consuming more than they need.
It’s not just the big appliances that are worth looking at. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that lighting accounts for almost 20% of electricity usage in the home. This means that switching to energy saving bulbs could be well worth your while.
2. Fit new windows
If you’ve got tired old windows, you could be losing a great deal of your heat in the winter. Even with the curtains closed, inefficient windows are responsible for a good deal of energy wastage in the winter months. Fitting new, energy efficient models will not only knock a chunk off your annual fuel bills, but it will also do wonders for the environment.
3. Change your behaviour
Our energy usage isn’t just down to the appliances we use. What’s equally important is the way in which we use them. Making a few small changes to our behaviour at home can have a dramatic impact on the size of our utility bills.
Switching unused lights and appliances off is a great place to start. In the winter, it also pays to close windows, curtains and doors whenever possible, and to use heating only in rooms which are being used.
4. Insulate your loft
A large proportion of the heat you lose in the winter is lost through the top of your home. Heat rises, and there’s nothing you can do to stop it. What you can do is trap it.
Insulating your loft can have such a positive environmental impact that many people are eligible to receive a grant from the government for doing it. At little cost to the homeowners, loft insulation is simply a no brainer!
5. Grow your own
Last but not least, it’s time to make your garden work for you. Outside space is a hugely valuable asset for a number of reasons – chief among them being the opportunity to grow your own.
The food we buy from the supermarket has often travelled a long way, thus having a sizeable carbon footprint. If you can grow enough veggies for even just one or two nights a week, you’ll see your footprint massively reduced. Needless to say, it’s also incredibly rewarding.
Make a few small changes from the list above and you’ll see concrete changes to your household’s energy consumption within just a few months.