With the results of climate change more visible by the year, more and more of us are asking what we can do to help address the problem in our everyday lives.
Indeed, in a recent survey, nearly 72% of respondents said that environmental concerns directly influenced where they shopped. Concerns about excess packaging, inefficient production processes and wastage of unsold inventory are among the most serious issues today’s retail sector faces, and consumers are absolutely right to vote for more responsible outlets with their wallets.
But there’s also a great deal people can do when they get home from the shops. And the beauty of investing in making your own home greener is that you’ll save money in the process. So read on for some tips on changes you can make to cut down on pollution, wastage – and your outgoings.
It may be an obvious place to start, but that’s for a good reason – installing solar panels (usually on your roof) will also reduce your electricity bill. And, while once upon a time, solar power might have seemed more an option for wealthy families, the cost of the technology has fallen every year since they reached the market.
Unfortunately, the subsidies offered by the UK government to solar-powered households ended in March 2019. As a result, although those installing from now will save money on every bill, the initial investment may take some time to recoup. On the plus side, you will have a local source of power independent from the National Grid, and you’ll know that you’re certainly helping the planet.
If solar panels aren’t possible, you could instead switch to a green energy supplier. Many companies now offer very competitive deals – on electricity and gas – for far cleaner energy than the fossil industry giants.
Another technological solution which can increase the value of your home is a ground source heat pump.
These devices – typically installed in the grounds of a home – take low-level heat from the ground and surrounding air before compressing it (much like a bicycle pump). Thus transformed, homes can be centrally heated by inexpensive energy produced right there on your property.
In fact, they’re so well-regarded as a means of making homes eco-friendly, the UK government offers a number of financial incentives for consumers considering installing one.
Nowadays, we’re all accustomed to recycling our packaging – from cardboard to plastics to glass. But another option to consider – especially if you have a garden (or just window-boxes!) is a rather more old-fashioned idea – the compost heap.
Food and garden waste is often an excellent source of nutrients for your plants, though it has to break down first. A simple way of doing this in a sealed, compact space is a composter. Buy one made of recycled materials and the unit will gradually turn domestic waste into compost that will see your garden thrive.
And unlike some concentrated fertilisers on the market, natural compost will slowly release its nutrients over time, providing good, clean – and safe – fuel for growing plants.
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