Going green is a hot topic worldwide, from Costa Rica’s switch to 100% renewable electricity to the huge increase in plastic recycling here on British soil. Global warming has made its presence known, and fossil fuels their lack thereof. As residents of the earth it is the responsibility of all of us to care a little more about this planet we call home. After all, in order to see change in our country, we all need to change. Being a little more environmentally friendly doesn’t need to be difficult, not to mention that most of these changes will actually save you money by doing them. On this page you’ll find 8 easy ways that you can go green in your home today.
- Buy energy efficient appliances
High quality brand appliances are now usually made with efficiency and sustainability in mind; however, there is now a quick and easy to way to check. All appliances such as fridges, washing machines and ovens should now all have an energy rating sticker between A – G, A++ being the highest. Buying an A++ rated fridge over a B would not only use much less electricity in its operation, but it would save you tens, if not hundreds of pounds in the process. Since July 2012, all new fridges, freezers and fridge freezers have had to maintain a minimum A+ rating, meaning you should probably think about replacing your old fridge if you haven’t done so in the last 10 years.
- Switch to a 100% renewable energy tariff
As more and more emphasis is placed on renewable electricity generation, more and more energy providers are offering 100% renewable energy tariffs which support the production of 100% green electricity through wind, geothermal, hydroelectric and other sustainable methods. It is likely that if you have not already switched energy provider, you’d still see a huge monetary saving in relation to your current tariff. Generally, 100% renewable energy tariffs are a little more expensive than their standard counterparts; however, there are some companies, like Bulb, who do not raise their prices for this service.
- Increase your recycling efforts
A plastic bottle takes 450 years to decompose. That’s a seriously long time, right? Well, glass takes 1 million years to decompose. Both of these materials are extremely easy to recycle when they have been retrieved from our homes, but tonnes and tonnes of these items are dumped into landfill sites every single day. Just by making that mental effort to throw your yoghurt pot and beer bottle in the recycling bin instead of the normal bin could save on the huge amounts of garbage sitting in landfill sites damaging our earth for the next million years.
- Don’t drive to work
This isn’t an option for everyone, especially if you live a considerable distance away from your workplace with no public transport links. However, for the rest of us, trading in a drive to work for an eco-friendly alternative doesn’t just make sense for the environment, but could also be beneficial for your finances and your health. If you aren’t a fan of public transport and you’d rather not have an active commute to work, you can use one of the many carpooling services to share your morning drive with others. This may not seem like a big change, but this cuts carbon emissions by 50% between the two people in your/their car.
- Stop heating rooms that are empty
If you have not altered anything in relation to your radiator valves, it is likely that whenever you turn on your central heating, every room in the house that contains a radiator will be heated. This is an unnecessary amount of energy and money wasted on your part, and continues to put pressure on our depleting levels of fossil fuels. To turn off an individual radiator, turn the valve on the bottom corner of your radiator clockwise until it will not turn any further. This will prevent any empty rooms being heated for no reason.
- Change your light bulbs to LEDs
European Union member states, including the United Kingdom, have been attempting the phase out of incandescent light bulbs since 2009, but it still seems like many home around the country have not yet made the switch to a more energy efficient bulb type. Just by switching your light bulbs to an LED or CFL type, you could be using 75% less electricity on lighting than you were before. It is said that by switching just 10 light bulbs that are switched on for an average of 10 hours a day could save you up to £240 on your electricity bill per year.
- Don’t head straight to the thermostat in winter
When it gets a bit nippy in winter, we’re extremely quick to put the central heating on and warm ourselves up; however, your slight chill problem can usually be fixed by just putting an extra layer of clothing on. Many people walk around their homes in their shorts and t-shirt in winter and complain about the cold, asking for their heating to be turned on; however, by just wearing another jumper or grabbing a blanket, you could save a serious amount of money on heating bills and reduce the amount gas needed from fossil fuels.