According to the Office for National Statistics (ONS) ‘Households are a big emitter of greenhouse gases, accounting for 26% of total emissions in the UK, on a residency basis’.
If we are serious about committing to improving the world we live in and helping the environment, there is always a solution or a starting point that everyone can get involved with. We believe that it starts at home.
In this 2-minute read, find out five simple steps that you can take to reduce your carbon footprint at home right now.
Consider what services bring a house to life – from bricks and mortar to breathing life into a building: heating, light, electricity, water and see how you can make some better changes to your footprint as well as your finances.
Staying cosy – the smarter way
Over 50% of the energy consumed in a home is used for heating so it’s essential to ensure that you minimise any way in which you lose heat to increase your efficiency. There’s a definite spectrum of opportunity to do this, starting with simple acts including draught-proofing your home by insulating water pipes and cylinders around the house, closing all curtains and blinds at night to keep the warm air in, to bigger jobs such as upgrading the roof and floor insulation.
The technology available to us today across the board is staggering. The smart heating control systems are a prime example for this and can make a significant difference to people’s energy bills when they invest in a smart system. Essentially it offers the owner greater control over the heating system of a home to ensure heating is only used when absolutely necessary.
Low energy lighting
It’s fair to say that the developments and innovation in the lighting industry boasts one of the greatest success stories to date in terms of home energy efficiency. Did you know that the modern lightbulb draws on 80-90% less energy than a traditional lightbulb? It’s a great place to start to reduce your energy bill as well as environmental impact.
A study carried out by the Energy Savings Trust found that ‘if you replace all the bulbs in your home with LED lights, you could reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by up to 65kg a year. This is equivalent to the carbon dioxide emitted by driving your car around 220 miles’!
Depending on the time of year, ensure that you are switching your own habits in line with this – in the lighter months, don’t be tempted to turn all the lights on out of habit, consciously stop to ask yourself whether you genuinely need the additional light or not. You might surprise yourself with implementing this simple stop.
Energy efficient appliances
The changes we make to reducing our carbon footprint involve changing our habits as well as our homes. When you’re in a position to upgrade or purchase new home appliances, customers are placing a greater influence on the value of ‘greener’ energy ratings. Not only is it better for the environment but oftentimes the product will boast a higher ROI too.
Energy provider Utilita recently highlighted that the average household could save up to a whopping £604 through switching your household appliances for more energy efficient alternatives. A prime example of this is swapping from a conventional over and replacing it with an air fryer. Approximately 4% of your energy bill comes from powering kitchen appliances so it’s a worthwhile exercise to investigate. Further information about some recommended kitchen gadgets and appliances can be found here.
Going back to the earlier point about reviewing your habits at home; turning appliances off at the socket could save up to £70 per year. It really is worth getting up to turn appliances off at the wall!
Don’t wash the world away
Wash at a lower temperature. If you switch from washing laundry from 40°C to 30°C you can get 3 cycles instead of 2 from using the same amount of energy, as well as save yourself up to £40 a year!
The small but mighty shower head. Aerated shower heads and low flow showerheads can help to reduce the amount of water used by around 40-50%, while still maintaining normal pressure. Worth having a look into considering around 34% of home water usage is down to showers and baths.
Fun fact:If every household in the UK cut their shower time down by 1 minute, we could save £215 million on our collective bills each year.
Reduce. Reuse. Recycle.
We live in a world of abundance and excessive waste. It needs to change and we need to continue to educate ourselves to secure the future of the generations to come.
If we simply learn to consume a little less – food, clothing, products – we will reduce carbon emissions simply by reducing demand.
Social media is notorious for sharing tips and tricks for anything you can imagine and the world of upcycling and sustainable fashion is continuing to grow exponentially. Take advantage of this and see where you can reuse and repurpose items in and around your home.
More and more products we consume are able to be recycled but you might not know it. Recycling is one of, if not the easiest change you can make in your home. This 60 second read from RecycleNow identifies a number of daily used household items that you might not know can be recycled. Read the article here.
Sims Williams is an independent estate and letting agent with offices covering Arundel, Bognor Regis, Chichester and The Six Villages. For more advice, contact your local branch.