Our homes are extremely important to us, and so is keeping them light and warm. Sadly, the energy we create at home through light, heat and general waste can do some serious damage to the environment. The good news? There’s plenty of small, yet impactful, changes that you can make in your own home to help reduce your energy output.
So, for those looking to do their bit by improving their emissions output, we’ve pulled together these handy hacks to help reduce your carbon footprint AND save money at home!
Reduce food waste at home
A simple step in the right direction is to reduce your household food waste. Buying only what you need is one of the easiest and most impactful ways to reduce your carbon emissions. There are a few really simple ways of being more considerate of your food consumption and how much you’re wasting, including:
- Not over buying produce. Keep track of what (and how much) you tend to use each week.
- Plan, plan, plan! Consider what you’re going to cook and how you could make use of any leftovers before you go shopping.
- Make good use of your freezer. Try batch cooking and freezing meal portions – this handy BBC Food guide can help you with that. This can also save you extra cash as you’re buying items that have a long shelf life in bulk – plus, cooking all in one go and less often, means you could save on energy bills.
Making some of these changes and reducing food waste overall will also help reduce your monthly expenses. So, what’s not to like!
Leading on from food waste, another lesser-known way your family could reduce their carbon footprint is by eating less meat. According to Greenpeace, the livestock industry generates as much greenhouse gas emissions as all cars, trucks and other vehicles combined. This is due to masses of land being destroyed for animals to graze.
This way of living has become increasingly popular, partly due to an influx of Netflix documentaries fuelling our knowledge of the industry. However, don’t stress about switching to all of these changes instantly. Even by slightly reducing your meat and dairy consumption, and making fresh veg a bigger part of your diet, you can help the planet as well as improve your health.
A simple way of slowly introducing a more sustainable diet could be by eating a veggie meal one day each week. As a bonus, you’ll also save money on expensive meat products too!
Cutting out single-use plastic
Probably the best place to start on your journey of lowering carbon emissions – and one of the easiest ways of reducing waste – is by simply cutting plastic from everyday life. Making the following small changes would be a big step towards reducing your eco-footprint:
- Cutting out single-use items like shopping bags and straws. Opt for bags for life and switch to metal or paper straws.
- Don’t buy plastic bottled drinks or single-use coffee cups. Buying reusable water bottles or thermal cups can also save you those extra pennies in the long run.
- Leading back to food waste, try not to buy processed food in plastic packaging.
- Purchasing reusable sandwich bags and boxes will also save you money over time. Plus, you can pick up secondhand jars and tupperware from charity and second-hand shops. These come at a reasonable price and can be perfect for food storage.
Eco-friendly home improvements
Even with a small budget, making general home improvements can also have a big impact on your energy bills. These come in many shapes and sizes and you can consider making some of them straight away…
- The use of LED lighting or low energy light bulbs. This is one of the most cost-effective ways of reducing your carbon footprint at home, saving you money on bills.
- Turning any electronics you’re not using off at the plug socket can also do wonders for your electricity bills. Just leaving devices on standby can use up precious energy.
- Speak to your energy provider about a Smart Meter. You can turn off your heating when you don’t need it, even if you’re not at home – meaning you won’t be using it unnecessarily.
Jumping straight into a zero-waste and low energy-use lifestyle can be intimidating, but taking small steps towards a greener lifestyle is better than doing nothing! Choosing one thing at a time – reducing food waste, cutting out plastic or the use of LED light bulbs. Then making another improvement after you have adapted to this one, is the easiest way for you to make a positive change!
A huge long-term benefit of an eco-friendly home is that you could become eligible for a green mortgage. This means that a bank could offer you an increased loan amount or even a lower interest rate.
To enquire about more information on green mortgages, get in touch with one of our advisors today on 0345 1645790 or request a call back using our online form.