With the public’s awareness of climate change and the detrimental impact of greenhouse gases increasing, more and more people are taking steps to do their bit for the environment – and it’s much easier than you may think. In fact, there are many easy-to-implement lifestyle changes you can do to reduce your energy consumption, cut carbon emissions and save money at the same time. To help kick-start your journey towards greener living, here are 10 simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Insulate your home
To minimise wasted energy and lower your bills, consider increasing the insulation in your home. Insulating your walls and loft is a cost-effective way to reduce unnecessary heat loss and keep your home at a comfortable temperature. Making smaller, heat-saving alterations such as draught-proofing your doors, windows and floorboards can also help you to save energy and money at home.
- Use renewable energy
Taking advantage of renewable energy technology such as solar panels can make a big difference when it comes to long-term financial and carbon savings. With a solar energy system, you can reduce the amount of electricity you need to buy from the grid and you can even earn extra money with the government’s feed-in tariff scheme.
- Eat wisely
Do you ever think about where the food you eat comes from, or what happens to it when you throw it away? The amount of greenhouse gases caused by the production, transport and disposal of food is much higher than you might think. To counter the effects of these harmful CO2 emissions, chose locally sourced, organic food and make the most of seasonal produce. Cutting down on the amount of food you throw away can also help to minimise your carbon footprint.
- Savvy travelling
Whether you’re driving to work, dropping the kids off at school or running errands, try to share a vehicle with someone else or combine several journeys into one to help to reduce the amount of traffic on the road. Better yet, ditch your four-wheeled drive and walk or cycle instead. It’s far healthier and can work wonders for the environment.
- Layer up
Sometimes, it’s the simplest of things that can make all the difference. Rather than turning up the heating, why not try adding extra layers to stave off the chill? It might be tempting to reach for the thermostat when the colder months draw in, but by putting on an extra pair of socks, slipping on a cosy jumper and adding a second blanket to your bed, you’ll be cutting your carbon emissions and staying warm at no added cost.
- Buy A-rated appliances
When buying washing machines, dishwashers, fridges and boilers, make energy efficiency a key consideration. By choosing electrical goods with an A energy rating, not only will you save money, but you’ll also have peace of mind in knowing that you’re helping the planet too.
- Switch to LED bulbs
A growing number of homeowners are switching to LED lights, and it’s easy to see why. Not only do LED bulbs use much less electricity and produce the same amount of light as their incandescent counterparts, but they have a much longer lifespan too. That’s good news for the environment and your pocket.
- Use smart metres
There is now a range of smart gas and electricity metres available that can help you to monitor the amount of energy you use. By allowing you to see when you are using energy the most and how much you are spending on it, you can make more of a conscious effort to use only what is necessary.
- Cut your water usage
There are many easy and effective ways to reduce the amount of energy used to heat, pump and treat water in your home. For example, limit your shower time, avoid leaving the tap running when brushing your teeth or washing the dishes, use the dishwasher and washing machine at full capacity and only fill the kettle with the exact amount of water you need.
- Stop leaving things on standby
According to the Energy Saving Trust, homes in the UK spend approximately £30 extra every year on appliances left on standby. So you may want to think twice next time you leave your TV, DVD player, hairdryer, laptop or phone charger switched on. Kick this energy-guzzling habit by making the effort to plug your electricals out or consider getting a standby saver that allows you to turn all your appliances off at the at the simple flick of a switch.