Not only does greener living directly impact the environment, when done correctly huge savings can be made to your annual household expenditure too. There are so many different ways you can incorporate greener living into your home, from having a water meter installed to discontinuing using plastic carrier bags. Here are a few pointers to get you on the road to greener living.
Be energy efficient
The energy used to fuel our homes is not only one of the biggest household expenses – it’s one of our biggest contributions to climate change as individuals. Thankfully there are a few tricks to cut both, from simply turning down the thermostat by one degree to installing loft insulation which could knock up to £225 off your annual energy bill.
Turning off lights, taking appliances off standby and implementing timers will all help reduce monthly outgoings. Contact your energy provider and ask for a smart meter, which will allow you to check in near real time where your household is using the most energy and what it costs. It comes in particularly handy if you’re renting with friends and split the cost of your utility bills.
With access to clean and safe drinking water literally on tap, it can be hard to identify with the need to actively try and save water. However, according to Water Wise the UK actually has less available water per person than most other European countries. Installing water efficient products will not only reduce outgoings, but you’ll be directly cutting down the energy used in treating and pumping waste – making a positive impact on the environment.
As toilet flushing, baths, showers and running taps are the biggest culprits in terms of water consumption, install a ‘hippo’ in the toilet cistern to save up to 3 litres of water with every flush. It’s also a good idea to fix dripping taps and fit showers and taps with aerated heads. Outdoors, a water butt is a welcome addition to any garden instead of a hose attached to the mains.
Leave the car at home
It can be so tempting to jump in the car and nip down to the local shops rather than brace the weather and endure a 10-minute walk. However, cutting down on unnecessary short journeys will not only greatly reduce your carbon footprint but will save you money on petrol and parking costs. What’s more, it’s a great way to sneak some exercise in to your daily routine.
When buying a new car, look for newer, more energy efficient models. While cutting your carbon emissions, they’ll also save you money on vehicle tax and petrol costs.
Grow your own
Whether you only have space for a few raised boxes or house your own vegetable patch at the bottom of the garden, growing your own food doesn’t have to be a daunting task. Hydroponic gardening is perfect for growing fruit and veg indoors with a quick turnaround. With practice, while you may still need to pick up supplies from the local supermarket, you’ll be one step closer to self-sufficiency.
What are your top tips for greener living?