As the global climate crisis continues to grow, it’s time to think more seriously about living green. So many of us are becoming conscious of the impact we have on the environment, both individually and collectively, as the effects of climate change become more apparent with each passing year. The future of the planet is in our hands, so it’s important to consider how we can become more eco-friendly in our own lives. This guide will explore 7 ways in which you can help protect the environment at home.
Use Less Energy
The impact we have on the environment at home is dependent on the amount of energy we use. The easiest way to become more energy efficient is to keep an eye on your household’s consumption, taking care to turn off plug sockets, light switches and heaters when they are not in use.
Take advantage of your smart meter, which are provided by most energy suppliers in the UK, to monitor your energy usage more closely. Using an up-to-date EPC certificate from your last inspection will help you identify your household’s shortcomings in energy efficiency.
Also consider using renewable energy such as solar at home, as well as switching to a green tariff which sees the renewable equivalent of your household’s consumption given back to the national grid.
Reduce, Reuse, Recycle
Producing less waste and recycling more will help you to live more sustainably at home. Using less single-use plastic packaging and more recyclable materials such as paper and aluminium will limit the impact your household has on the growing plastic problem.
Also, choosing products that are made from compostable materials will allow you to dispose of more waste at home on your compost heap.
Support Eco-friendly Companies
Shopping for sustainable, eco-friendly products is a great way to do your bit for the environment from home. Buying goods such as clothing, furniture and other household items made from recycled, sustainable materials will not only allow you to save on waste when you’re finished with them, but you will also be supporting companies that take care to limit their own environmental impact, as opposed to those which are more convenience-driven. Helping to raise awareness of sustainable businesses will allow their products to become more readily available for others in the future.
The environmental cost of the food we eat is another important consideration on the road to living sustainably at home. Growing your own fruit and vegetables is a great way to reduce the emissions produced from processing and transporting the food we eat, not to mention providing a healthy, organic alternative to shop-bought, convenience foods.
Think locally sourced and organic when shopping for groceries and consider cutting back on high-emissions foods such as meat and dairy.
Create a Wildlife-friendly Garden
Making good use of your outdoor spaces for the benefit of wildlife will allow you to help the environment from your own doorstep.
Adding pollinator-friendly plants to your garden, allowing some grassy areas to grow longer and using hedgerows instead of fencing for your borders will create both a habitat and safe passage for birds, bugs and small mammals.
Also, having a compost heap in your garden will provide a home for bugs and small mammals, as well as allowing you to dispose of compostable materials yourself.
Our travel habits have a huge impact on the environment, so it’s important to think about how you can do so most efficiently. Sharing lifts for work or leisure, using energy-efficient forms of public transport and cycling or walking are all ways you can cut down on carbon emissions when travelling.
Additionally, more and more of us are turning to electric and hybrid vehicles when replacing petrol and diesel ones in a bid to become more environmentally friendly.
A range of eco-travel schemes, such as the government’s cycle-to-work scheme, also exist to support you financially in your decision to reduce your travel emissions.
Raising awareness of climate and environmental issues, both locally and on a wider scale, will also help inspire others to live more sustainably. Volunteering with local groups on projects such as litter picking, tree planting or the running of a community garden is a fun and inclusive way to encourage green living in your area.
Nationally, there are many charities that support the conservation of wildlife who rely on volunteering to carry out crucial habitat work, such as RSPB and The Wildlife Trust. Such organisations also run regional and national initiatives to encourage the public to get involved.
Donating to local and national climate charities is also a great way to support the crucial work being carried out to protect the environment.
If you do decide to follow just some of the above tips, then you’ll already be making a significant difference to the environment, as well as your own way of life.
- ‘Covering the whole of London’, EPC For You, https://www.epcforyou.co.uk/location/epc-london/
- Homepage, Cyclescheme, https://www.cyclescheme.co.uk/?gclid=Cj0KCQjwk8b7BRCaARIsAARRTL7GwGve_FgRS569XErlRmR5sIiAJY2mj9Lhd87nhz8gymuTukzZJMQaAoLVEALw_wcB
- ‘10 easy ways you can help our environment’, Butterfly Conservation, https://butterfly-conservation.org/news-and-blog/10-easy-ways-you-can-help-our-environment
- ‘10 Things You Can Do To Help Save Our Planet’, WWF, https://www.wwf.org.uk/thingsyoucando