Having an eco-friendly home doesn’t have to be expensive. You might think you have to build one from scratch out of recycled timber and glass like something on Grand Designs, but the truth is, just making a few small tweaks to how you live can really reduce your carbon footprint and save you money. Here’s our top tips on how to make your home eco-friendly;
Use energy saving bulbs
Okay, they might take a little more time to light up your home than an incandescent bulb, but when you consider that just one bulb can reduce greenhouse emissions massively, and help you save money on your electricity bills, it’s worth making the switch.
Don’t leave appliances on standby
The best way to lower your energy bills and protect the environment is to simply switch things off when they are not in use. In the UK, around 8% of the energy we use is powering gadgets we aren’t even using. Mobile phones and MP3 players usually charge within a few hours, so maybe consider a wind-up or solar charger for them.
Every local authority has a recycling scheme, and it is one of the simplest ways of being more eco-friendly at home. You can recycle glass, plastic, paper, cardboard, and cans, and you can recycle garden waste and food waste too. Just make sure you know what you can and can’t put in your bins. Don’t forget to use a recycling box store to hold your bins and boxes!
Consider how you heat your home
Turning up the heating can not only hurt the planet, it can really hurt your bank balance. Wrap up a little warmer before you turn up the dial on the thermostat and think about fitting draught excluders around your doors and windows. Check whether you are eligible for free insulation if you don’t already have it as an uninsulated home loses a lot of heat.
Know how much energy you use
Consider installing an energy meter which will tell you how much energy you’re using and where you’re using it, which will help you to see where you could reduce energy usage, save money, and protect the planet at the same time. There’s also a helpful gadget called Energy Wizard, which optimises how appliances use electricity, and it saves the average household £60 per year.
Buy sustainable furniture
When you buy wooden furniture, check that it’s made from sustainably sourced wood. You will find all our wooden storage units are environmentally friendly and sourced from FSC certified forests. This includes everything from single units all the way to combination storage products.
Don’t waste water
To reduce the water you use, turn off the tap when you’re brushing your teeth, limit the amount of time you spend in the shower, and always fill the sink when you’re washing up, instead of leaving the tap running without the plug in.
Audit your appliances
Are any of your appliances old and inefficient? Think about replacing them with a more energy efficient model. Otherwise, keep appliances well-maintained, and fill the dishwasher before turning it on and wash clothes at low temperatures.
Does your boiler need replacing?
The latest condensing boilers can save the average household hundreds of pounds per year. If you have an inefficient boiler, you may qualify for an incentive to replace it.
Tweak your cleaning products
Look for cleaning products that use more natural ingredients like citrus oils. Avoid bleaches and other harsh cleansers where you can, as these can harm fish and other aquatic life if they make their way into the water.
Solar panels are a great way of making your home eco-friendly. The cells on your roof will convert sunlight into energy, and even on a cloudy day, you should still get enough energy to do the dishes and bathe, which is good news for us in the UK!
An even bigger project involves fitting heat pumps under the ground that will warm water for radiators or underfloor heating or to pre-heat water for a boiler, though it does involve digging up your garden!