Wondering how to do your bit for the planet? You can start by making yours into an eco-friendly home.
In a world where global warming, air pollution and rising sea levels are headline news, being environmentally conscious is more important than ever.
So we’ve compiled a list of tips to make your home eco-friendly.
And if the moral benefits of saving the environment aren’t enough motivation, many of these tips will save you money – every little helps!
1. Switch to a water-saving shower head
If the idea of filling a bath sounds like a huge waste of water, there’s bad news about those 10-minute showers you take. They can use just as much water as a bath – without the luxury.
If taking a shorter, colder shower is out of the question, fear not – there are some solutions. Consider:
- A timer that lets you know when you’ve exceeded 35 litres of water
- A water-saving shower head to retain power while using less water
- An aerating shower head that mixes water with air to use less water without losing the power
2. Choose eco-friendly home cleaning products
Research has found that using chemical-based cleaning products is not only bad for the environment, but also for your health.
You might think toxic bleach and corrosive chemicals are a necessary evil in the war against bacteria, but that’s not true.
In the majority of cases, natural products like vinegar, citrus fruits and bicarbonate of soda will fight dirt and bacteria just as well.
Vinegar can shift stubborn dirt on windows, kill weeds, make your dishwasher more efficient, and descale showerheads among other uses.
Lemon, on the other hand, can get rid of last week’s dinner odours in plastic containers, clean the grooves of your wooden chopping board and plenty more.
3. Monitor your electricity consumption
Installing a smart meter lets you see just how much electricity you’re using.
Background appliances on standby can be a drain on energy and there’s nothing quite like watching your hard-earned pennies slipping away as encouragement to reduce unnecessary consumption.
4. Consider an eco-friendly mobile thermostat system
New eco-friendly home heating control systems are changing the face of heating, getting rid of the need for the static central-heating timer that doesn’t reflect your changing schedule.
Instead, you can control the temperature from your smartphone wherever you are.
This allows you to avoid heating an empty home, such as when you decide to stay out late or do spontaneous overtime.
Heat control systems vary in sophistication – some can even use GPS to track when you’re nearby and turn on the heating based on how close you are.
Not only is this eco-friendly, it could save you up to £120 a year.
5. Create your own compost
Compost gets a bad rap but there’s plenty going for it.
Food scraps and garden waste currently make up a large proportion of what gets thrown away, and the majority of this should be composted.
Composting means fewer plastic bags of rubbish transported in big trucks to landfills, where they decompose, releasing poisonous methane.
And you can use compost as free natural fertiliser for your flowerbeds!
If you’re ready to take on the challenge, you’re going to need time and patience, but the results will be very rewarding. Here’s how to do it.
6. Buy recycled furniture
Save furniture from the tip by buying recycled, or if it sounds better, ‘vintage’.
Check out your local charity or second-hand furniture shop, buy an old item and upcycle it – with sandpaper and paint you can add a new lease of life to pre-loved items.
It means less of the rainforest needs to be cut down, but it will also give your home a unique personal touch – check out some of these quirky upcycling ideas.
7. Grow your own herbs
Rather than buying herbs that have to be grown, transported and packaged in single-use plastic, plant a few in a window box, pot or flowerbed.
Small packages of herbs in the supermarket can come from as far as South Africa.
Why fly them thousands of miles when you can easily jazz up your food with some eco-friendly home-grown herbs?
Popular home-grown herbs include mint, basil, oregano, and sage.
8. Clean your appliances, like fridge coils and the filter on your dryer
Simply cleaning your electrical appliances can make them more efficient.
For example, cleaning off the dust settled on your fridge coils saves excess energy required to cool down your food.
Similarly, always clear the filter on your tumble dryer – this reduces fire risk and means air can move more efficiently through the appliance, making the next cycle more energy efficient.
9. Buy an eco-kettle or coffee machine
Eco-friendly home appliances are the perfect replacement when upgrading your worn out items.
You can buy eco-kettles which portion water and only boil as much as you’ll need with a tea-for-one setting, and ones that boil faster due to clever heating elements.
Eco-friendly coffee machines use similar techniques, but the big change comes in their ability to use environmentally-friendly coffee pods.
Traditional coffee pods come encased in single-use plastic and aluminium, while new pods are made from card and recyclable materials.
And, just as important, making good coffee at home means you’ll be less likely to buy it – cutting out non-recyclable cup waste.
Eco-friendly home ideas
Many of these solutions are simple but great for both the environment and your wallet.
We hope the above tips help but if you are in need of some more home improvement inspiration, check out our blog. Happy reading!