With the effects of climate change becoming increasingly obvious on the UK and the rest of the world, it’s no surprise that many people are looking into the best ways to reduce their carbon footprint. The good news is that there are plenty of great ways to enjoy greener living without having to break your bank balance in the process. In fact many of the smartest ways to reduce your carbon footprint come through changes in your habits and finding better ways to use energy. So here, Dakota Murphey inspired by building services consultants BSE3D, gives you six ways that you can do to contribute to a cleaner and less polluted environment from your home.
- Local, sustainable food
There are a few reasons why you should prioritise local and sustainable food. Firstly, it’s worth understanding that if your food is having to be imported, that means it is being transported on vehicles using a considerable amount of petrol or diesel. It’s well known that using these fossil fuels emits carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. So eating local food simply means that your food doesn’t have as far to travel and reduces the amount of carbon dioxide that has to be used.
The point of sustainable food is arguably even more important. We need to be clear that if a food source is unsustainable it means that we are not going to be able to continue eating it in the same way for years to come. The Earth’s ecosystem is fragile and if it is manipulated by desire for certain foods that are not sustainable, we can end up doing irreparable damage.
- Get a new boiler
Getting a new boiler should be a priority to anyone who wants to reduce their carbon footprint. It should also be noted that a new boiler should also lead to paying less for your energy bills too. It’s a great idea to have your boiler replaced with a newer model every few years to ensure that it is efficient and running correctly.
Your boiler is what your central heating system runs through, so if it is inefficient you can actually end up using up far too much electricity on heating your house. This becomes worse through the winter, when your central heating is likely to be working harder.
- Insulate your home properly
Another way to avoid running up your electricity usage (and your energy bill) is to have the house properly insulated. Having a new boiler and a well-functioning heating system is great, but without good insulation that heat will simply be lost through the walls and the windows. It’s a better idea to spend some money upgrading the internal insulation as well as having the windows double glazed. Holding the heat in the house means you don’t have to use electricity warming it back up.
- Replace your light bulbs
Now is the time to make the transfer from standard lightbulbs to energy efficient ones. Energy saving lights use approximately 75 per cent less energy than traditional bulbs and have the additional benefit of lasting much longer. So while energy efficient bulbs may be more expensive to buy in the first place, the positives of having them in the home far outweigh the initial cost.
- Unplug appliances that aren’t in use
Did you know that many appliances still pull energy from the mains even when they aren’t in use? That means that even when you think that you’ve got something turned off it can still be costing you money on your electricity. And this is simply wasting energy which is bad for the environment. You should make an effort to unplug appliances that you aren’t using rather than just turning them off.
If it’s impractical to unplug all of your appliances you could instead use a multi-socket power strip, which can then be turned off. This means you only need to flip a switch and you will stop it from consuming energy unnecessarily.
- Make the effort to recycle
One of the most important things you can do in the home to reduce your carbon footprint is to take recycling seriously. It can be all too easy to throw those plastic bottles in the rubbish bin rather than taking the time to wash them out and put them in the recycling box. But recycling is one of the best ways that we can contribute to a greener world. We need to take it seriously.