Top 5 Ways to make your Home more Eco-Friendly
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Several of us already contribute to a clean environment by recycling used materials such as plastics and paper, but there are further steps we can take to ensure future generations can live comfortably in a sustainable world.
- Household appliances. It is estimated that around 18 per cent of a typical home's total energy bill comprises of household appliances. Obviously some of these machines and devices are absolutely essential, but they may not be very energy efficient or eco-friendly. For example, choosing a new Energy Saving Trust recommended fridge or freezer compared to the market average will save you around £89 in energy bills and 390kg of carbon dioxide over the product's lifetime. Therefore it is always advisable to invest in a product that has a proven energy efficiency rating, as older household appliances will be more costly and damaging in the long run. What’s more, certain products are costing homes in the UK between £50 and £90 a year by simply being left on standby when not being used.
- Think about heating. A typical home can lose up to half of its heat through the walls and roof. Not only will this increase your monthly power bill, but the energy used to create the heat is wasted. By insulating the roof and walls, which is a relatively low outlay, you could save yourself a substantial amount of money every year. Also, be careful when it comes to adjusting your thermostat as the smallest change can make a big difference. Consider buying a programmable thermostat that will come on in the morning before you get up, turn itself off when you leave for the day and start heating the home again just prior to your return.
- Use of water. Everybody needs water to wash and clean but we often use too much. When you boil the kettle, only fill it as much as you need, as any excess is a waste of energy and time. Fill a bottle with pebbles or sand, put it in your toilet cistern and the added weight will displace enough water to save several litres. Just make sure you don't interfere with the tank's moving parts. While washing your clothes, make sure you have a full load and select a colder wash. Whenever possible, put garments out to dry rather than using the tumble dryer. If you come across any unwanted items, you can always sell your clothes for cash instead of throwing them out to landfill.
- Lighting solutions. Turning off lights when leaving a room or watching a film is obvious, but energy efficient bulbs will also save you money. Compact Fluorescent Light bulbs (CFLs) last up to 10 times longer and use 66 per cent less energy than standard incandescent bulbs.
- Create your own energy. Solar panels on your roof and mini wind turbines can produce energy to heat your water and home. You can also take advantage of the government's Feed-in Tariff scheme and sell any unused power back to the National Grid.