Go green this spring: create an eco-friendly home

Honor Kennedy Honor Kennedy
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Let’s face it, whether or not you believe in climate change science, there exists an important social responsibility to look after our planet and ensure it is functional and beautiful for our children, as well as future generations. Now, we’re not necessarily talking about rebuilding your house out of mud and recycled tyres, or re-engineering it into a fully sustainable earth-ship—merely making a few simple changes that can increase your household’s environmental friendliness, and reduce your energy bills in the process. 

Take a look at the following helpful and handy hints, start thinking ‘green’ and improve your home’s sustainability and eco-friendliness today.

Change your light globes

Dining/living room area: scandinavian Dining room by ZazuDesigns
ZazuDesigns

Dining/living room area

ZazuDesigns

One of the quickest and easiest ways to turn your home from an energy-guzzling beast into a more thoughtful eco-home, is by changing your light globes. Lighting generally accounts for 18 per cent of a household’s electricity bill—by changing from standard filament globes to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or LEDs (light emitting diodes), you can save both energy and money. In addition to changing your light globes, try switching them off when not in use. Furthermore, install sensors or timers on external lights so they are only on when they need to be.

Implement a recycling plan

Pull out waste bins: modern Kitchen by Urban Myth
Urban Myth

Pull out waste bins

Urban Myth

Most of us are guilty of putting a glass jar, plastic container or a wine bottle straight into the rubbish without recycling it, and indeed fewer of us bundle our paper and put it out for collection. If you are wanting to implement a home recycling plan, you will have made the first step towards a greener more eco-friendly home. The best way to ensure you recycle is to buy segregated bins—the easily discernible compartments will ensure you pop the plastic in with other plastic and waste where it should be. Along with your bin, try purchasing corn starch bin liners—these are degradable environmentally friendly plastic-like liners that don’t build up in landfill. Corn starch bags are also perfect for composting, so don’t throw away your potato peel and food scraps, simply bag them and compost them outside.

Focus on your energy efficiency

Heating costs and hot water make up half of the money spent of fuel bills in a typical UK household. Change your heating habits, and you will see a drastic change in the amount you spend. Some of the easiest ways to reduce your heating costs and increase your energy efficiency is to install a cheaper method of warming your home. If you have a wood burner and love the look and feel of an open fire, ensure you purchase bio-timber, or eco-bricks that are specially made to reduce the harmful emissions into the atmosphere. Furthermore, if you have central heating, replace your boiler with a fresher, more effectual model, or fit timers to only heat your home when you need it.

Keep your kitchen green

Another easy way to start thinking in an eco-friendly way, is to switch the cleaning products you use and replace them with more environmentally conscience brands. As well as changing the products you use, you can also make small changes, by purchasing food that is not overly wrapped in plastics and ensuring you reduce your waste before you even take your groceries home.

Forget about plastic bags

Heavy goods storage bag:  Household by An Artful Life
An Artful Life

Heavy goods storage bag

An Artful Life

With tonnes upon tonnes of plastic shopping bags ending up in landfill each year it makes sense to think a little more eco-consciously and purchase a shopper (or several) to ensure you no longer waste another plastic bag as you exit the grocery store checkout.

Insulate with curtains

 Windows & doors  by Chivasso BV
Chivasso BV

Monsoon 2014

Chivasso BV

Along with the heating of one’s house, it is also extremely important to consider how it will be insulated. Curtains, blinds, drapes and shutters not only look great, but are instrumental in keeping the warmth in, and the cool out. Moreover, as the months begin to get warmer, it is just as important to keep the cool in, and the glaring rays of sunshine out. Reduce your energy costs, and your impact on the environment, by ensuring you have a stylish and insulating window dressings to regulate your home’s temperature.

Water saving bathrooms

Finally, the water saving bathroom—we all love a long soak under a hot steamy shower, but in reality, hundreds of litres wash away and go to waste. Consider changing your bathroom fittings from water-wasters to water-savers. Now, you may think they have poor pressure and are considerably less enjoyable to shower under, but newer fittings have excellent water dispersion, and can feel luxurious and lavish.

How do you keep your home eco-friendly or energy efficient? Let us know in the comments section below.
Whitton Drive:  Terrace house by GK Architects Ltd

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