Five simple ways to cut your home’s carbon footprint
The UK government has pledged to cut carbon emissions to net zero by 2050. With domestic properties responsible for more than a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gases, making your home more energy efficient is, arguably, more important than cutting back on plastic, eating less meat and recycling – combined.
The Evening Standard Homes & Property has five ideas for greener living – some of which you can pull off easily.
1. Switch energy supplier
Home energy is responsible for roughly 27% of all our carbon dioxide emissions, so you could make a big difference by switching to a renewable energy supplier. If more of us switched to green suppliers (only around a third have so far) we’d be helping drive a big shift to renewable sources of power. If it’s time you renewed your tariff, have a look at the greener options out there – it may help reduce your bills too.
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2. Make your lights LED
The easiest thing you can do to save energy in the home is to switch to 100% LED lighting. According to Chris Goodall, author of How to Live a Low-Carbon Life: “In most houses this will get your money back within months. Focus on the highest-use areas of the house first: kitchen and living room.”
3. Improve your insulation
Increasing home insulation is another area where you can save a lot of energy. It will also make your home warmer and cut your winter heating bills. Make sure your loft insulation is thick enough and seal around all your exterior doors.
Other things to consider include radiator foils to reflect heat and solid wall insulation. If your windows are single-glazed and draughty, updating to double glazing could make a big difference.
4. Renovate sustainably
If you’re planning a renovation project – let’s face it, many London homeowners are – think about incorporating some sustainable features into your plans. Could you add solar panels, harvest rainwater for your toilet or even consider new technologies, such as a ground source heat pump instead of a conventional boiler?
5. Upcycle all the way
When refreshing one of your rooms, think about adapting your furniture to give it a new lease of life, rather than replacing it with something new. It seems even Ikea is getting in on the upcycling act. Its latest Greenwich store has a ‘learning lab’ to teach shoppers how to customise their old furniture. Hege Sæbjørnsen, Ikea’s UK sustainability manager, said: “We do not want a throwaway society. We want to switch the mindset and teach people skills so they can mend and repair products.”
Read more about this story on the Homes & Property website.