With the latest news that the first four months of 2016 were the hottest in over 135 years, being environmentally-friendly is fast becoming no longer a choice. While many have resisted change due to the impact it will have on their current lifestyle, small compromises and purchases here and there will make a big difference – especially if everyone does their bit. In fact, many of the suggestions within this article will in fact save you money in the long term and help you to make your home eco-friendly. Here they are:
Monitor your meat intake
While meat is delicious and a staple of many of our diets, it is expensive and does harm the environment. According to Tastemade, those who eat meat have double the carbon footprint of those who don’t. This is because livestock require considerable resources to grow them large enough for consumption and the gases they emit produce more pollution than transport. While going meat free may be a compromise too far, eating less of it, or eating mostly chicken or pork will make a big difference. Why? Because chicken has a carbon footprint of 6.9kg (CO2), Pork 12.1kg versus 39.2kg and 27kg for Beef and Lamb respectively.
Clean with vinegar
Most purpose-made cleaning products are toxic to the environment and very expensive. While you can use such products to clean just about anything, vinegar gives you a cheap, non-toxic and highly effective option. In fact, you can use vinegar for just about any cleaning purpose: from laundry, to kitchen cleaning. You can even use it to kills bugs and weeds. What you don’t use for cleaning, you can put on your fries. Result.
Install solar panels
Solar panels can be expensive to install (around £6500). Yet you can save up to £300 per year and even sell some of your left over energy to the National Grid. With the technology becoming more and more efficient, investing in solar will soon become an economic argument rather than an environmental one. Definitely one to consider if you have the money.
Recycle old furniture
Many people consider it common sense to buy furniture made from recycled materials. But why not take it a step further and recycle your own old furniture? Upcycling has become a big trend in the interior design world, so why not save a tree and give your old furniture some TLC instead of buying new.
Fit a water-saving showerhead
Taking a shower rather than a bath saves water. But by installing power showers that spit out more water than Niagara Falls this will have a negative, rather than positive effect on the environment. Instead, save energy and money by opting for a low flow or aerated showerhead. According to Property Rescue it could save you £67 per year!
You should also spend less time in the shower – aim for no more than 8 minutes. 4 is considered the best choice.
Compost your waste
Composting organic waste can reduce the need to use fertilizers and pesticides in your garden. Meanwhile, doing the same with kitchen scraps reduces the amount of waste you send to landfill. It also helps to reduce the costs associated with the bin collection.
Upgrade or service your boiler
According to information from Energy Saving Trust, your boiler accounts for 60% of the energy you use around the house. With this in mind, it makes sense to keep your boiler serviced, or to upgrade it to a more efficient model. Consider renewing your boiler once every 10 years.
Wash at 30°C
By washing your clothes at 30°C, you may reduce your electricity use by as much as 40%. This could save you up to £13 per year. Washing at this temperature is also kinder to clothes, which means they’ll last longer and save you from clothes shopping.