There are more things you can do to make eco-friendly changes to your home than spending money on sustainable cars or installing solar panels. Whilst many people think that going green is made up of inconvenient and often expensive changes, there are many smaller, less dramatic and far cheaper steps you can make around your home in order to reduce your carbon footprint.
It’s great news that more and more people are becoming more conscious about the effects their actions and choices are having on the environment. Not only will being more eco-friendly help you contribute to creating a more sustainable green environment, but it may even help to save you some money in both the short and long term.
Get Serious About Water Waste
When we think of “sustainability”, many of us believe that this just means energy consumption. However, being eco-friendly means taking a fully holistic approach, meaning that you need to get serious about saving water. Monitoring our water consumption is something that many of us have been aware of for most of our lives, but it’s time to move forward with your planning.
Take time to fix any leaks, dripping taps or loose tap handles that have sprung up around your home. If there are no issues like these in your home, then there are some lifestyle changes you can make too. Turning the tap off when brushing your teeth, installing a low-flow showerhead attachment and only using the cooking water you need are great starts and can save around 160,000 liters of water a year for a family of four.
Install Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Investing in the right lightbulbs is a huge step you can take in running a green home. Energy-efficient light bulbs have been around for many years, but it has taken far longer than originally suggested for people to switch to them. It makes a lot of sense to make the switch, as not only do energy-efficient bulbs use less electricity and energy, but they last a lot longer meaning you don’t have to spend as much money replacing them.
One of the easiest and smartest ways you can improve the greenness of your home is to make sure that you are using as little energy as is possible. Adding proper insulation into your wall cavities will ensure this. Good insulation is essential for maintaining heat, which means that you don’t need to burn energy by constantly reheating your home all of the time.
There are many places which can, and should be properly insulated, such as walls and the roof space. It may also be worth looking at getting double glazing installed to prevent further warmth escaping. If you have wooden or hard floors, then look at using rugs to cover up large bare areas, particularly in the winter when you need to keep all the heat in that you can.
Embrace Natural Cleaning Products
Using multiple cleaning products and chemicals is extremely damaging to the environment. When you wash these cleaning products away, you are simply washing them into the water supply, which can contaminate drinking water and affect wildlife. For day-to-day cleaning tasks, there are some ingredients which are far less damaging and have a great effect, such as vinegar, bicarbonate of soda and citric acids, or you can buy specialist natural cleaning products.
Make Seasonal Investments
You might not notice it, but as we move through the seasons, your day-to-day habits will change and they may not always be the most eco-friendly. For example, in the winter, we use more energy on heating and light, in spring we use electricity on powerful garden tools, in the summer we naturally use more water and in the autumn our cooking habits change to fit in warm and comforting food.
Rather than plastic garden furniture in the summer, invest instead in sustainable garden furniture, which is much nicer and doesn’t disintegrate. When Christmas rolls around, try to cut down on the amount of meat you consume, even if it is just for a day or two. Noticing when and where you may be able to make some changes will naturally reduce the waste you create and make your eco-friendly home much greener. Taking notice of these changes and knowing where to make seasonal investments will save you money in the long run and protect the planet from further waste.
Make Your Own Compost
Food waste is a huge problem in our society, so try to avoid wasting your leftover food and kitchen scraps by turning them into compost instead. You will be surprised at just how much of the food that goes to waste can be recycled when turned into compost. All you need to do is place a compost bin in your garden and fill it with food waste.