If there is one thing that is making headlines at the moment (aside from political soap operas), it is climate change.
I remember taking part in an experiment at primary school to do with the impact of CFCs, using a yoghurt pot, and not really understanding what it was for. In my mind, the yoghurt pot covered in cling film in my bathroom was going to save the entire animal population.
Nowadays, we have more awareness of the impact that lifestyle is having on the planet and its inhabitants. Thankfully, this seems to be driving a change of attitude away from the blind eye approach, towards needing to do something now.
The truth however, is that we are a small part of a bigger problem. The real progress needs to come from big businesses changing their ways and how their models impact the environment.
Start at home
Just as charity starts at home, so too does this important work. Running our homes in an ecologically sound way can help to turn the tides and improve the health of the planet again.
Think about what your home is like in terms of its green status. Are there improvements you could be making? Take a look through some of the following ideas to see if your home is being run as ecologically as possible. The effects of doing so could be profound.
Take Water Seriously
Water is arguably our most precious resource, but it doesn’t always feel like it. We often don’t realise its importance until there is an issue with it.
It is so easy to overlook water supply, and to think that the water cycle is self-sustainable. That’s not quite accurate though. As it turns out, water is a primary concern when living ecologically. The reason is because any wasted water is wasted energy, not only at home but around the planet as the cycle continues. So if you are are conscious about saving energy, be serious about using less water too.
You can start saving water in a number of small ways to begin with. Small steps are more achievable and can really add up to making a big difference. Think about knocking a few minutes off your shower duration, turn tap off when brushing your teeth, or put your washing machine on a shorter eco cycle. Or plan ahead and hold off watering your garden if rain is forecast.
These are important first steps in ensuring that you save some water day today.
You can then move on to some of the more high-tech solutions for saving water, such as using a low-flow shower head. This can limit the amount of water coming out of the shower, without reducing pressure and affecting your shower. This device has been proven to save around 160,000 litres of water for a family of four.
Control Your Heating
When it comes to winter time, it can be so tempting to just leave your heating on, especially on those cold dark nights. It is unlikely however that you really need to do this to keep warm.
Bear in mind other options to keep your heating under control that can save some energy (and money). Again, small changes will make a big difference.
You could install a wifi heater, which is a powerful way to not let your energy usage run away from you. These devices allow you to control your heating via your smartphone app – really handy when you forget to turn it off (or can’t be bothered to get up from the sofa!).
If this is out of budget, at least use a timer for your heating. That way, you can automatically reduce the amount that you use, and it’s really easy too.
Now comes the big stuff.
Only a few years ago, solar panels might have felt out of reach for a typical family. The price of adding these to a home is however reducing year after year. In fact, with the help of grants and payment schemes, it won’t be long before most people can consider having them installed.
If you can afford solar panels, they are a no-brainer. They mean that you don’t have to consume non-renewable energy, which will save you money and also help the planet. Even better though, they can actually earn you money in the longer run as your panels contribute back to the network.
And who doesn’t love free money?!