Environmentally friendly homes are the only sensible option, these days. They will help save you money, save much needed energy and, hopefully, protect the environment for future generations. Many of us these days, unwittingly, cause damage to the environment, for example, with our love of foreign travel and huge gas guzzling cars.
In the home, we have so many gadgets and appliances these days that our energy bills are often through the roof. There are many changes that we can make around the home, both small and large, which will help our homes to become more environmentally friendly and saves us money into the bargain.
Things You Will Need
To assess you home and current way of life.
A plan of action
Step 1Solar Energy.
This is probably one of the biggest changes that you can make to your home's use of energy. It will involve some initial expense, and a little upheaval, but, in the long run, should save you a fortune. Of course, as Solar power simply utilises the sun's energy for fuel, it is kind to the environment also.
So if this option if not for you what else is available?
Step 2Home improvement.
There are other home improvement options, which may help reduce your fuel bills, save you money and help the environment.
Step 3Double Glazing.
Secondary glazing is a very cost effective way to save heat in your home. Even if you have double glazed window and door units already, if they are old, they may not be as cost effective as you imagine. Consider upgrading to the latest energy efficient options.
Step 4Cavity Wall Insulation
Cavity wall insulation is not suitable for all homes. However, if your home is one of those brick built types, that could have cavity wall insulation, then go for it. Yes, there will be some initial cost but, in the long run, it will save you money.
Step 5Loft Insulation.
Even if your loft or roof space is insulated, it is possible that the insulation no longer meets minimum requirements. In the UK government grants are available toward the cost.
Update your appliances.
Traditional white goods, such as refrigerators, washing machines and cookers have come a long way in recent years. The newest versions are all manufactured with protecting the environment in mind. They are energy efficient and use minimal amounts of water and energy.
You may not be able to afford to replace such appliances immediately but you need to buy environmentally friendly options when you are replacing the old ones. The initial extra cost will soon be recovered by the savings made
Step 7Make sure that everything is in good working order.
Leaking washing machines and faucets, or taps, will waste valuable resources and money. Be environmentally wise and repair such items sooner rather than later.
Step 8Energy saving light bulbs.
Replace all of your light bulbs with the energy saving kind. This is a quick, cheap and easy way to save money and power
Step 9Lower all thermostat settings.
Make sure that thermostats for hot water, heating, air conditioning, freezers and the like are set at the lowest level as long as good results are still given.
Step 10Forget stand-by modes.
Make sure that you turn appliances off at the wall. Leaving such appliances in stand-by mode, wastes power and money. You will be surprised how much of each it wastes. Most stand-by modes are not necessary and sometimes only leave an unnecessary clock ticking away.
Step 11Dimmer switches and lamps.
Use a dimmer switch or lamplight to create mood lighting and cut down on the use of energy.
Step 12Stop using cleaning products that will damage the environment.
Many of us have cupboards full of harsh cleaning products. The ranges available just keep growing. However, if you research more natural and traditional cleaning agents, such as white vinegar and baking soda, you will find that they will clean a wealth of dirty objects without harming the environment.
Separate your waste products in order to recycle as much as possible. In England many local councils already offer different collection bins for paper, bottles and or tin cans. However, you can make your own recycling bins and then dispose of the contents as appropriate. Compost what waste you can in order to complete your green waste campaign.
Step 14Make do and mend.
Think about items that can be traded, re-sold or re-used. For years we have been living in a throwaway society and we really need to change our wasteful habits.
Step 15Home offices.
Use your shredded paper waste for added bulk in your composter. Do not print documents and emails unless really necessary. Instead save an electronic copy on an external hard drive. Recycle old printer inks and toners.
Step 16Water Butts
Water butts are cheap and easy to install. Simply connect to your fall pipe. In times of low rainfall use washing-up water and the like to water your garden.
Invest in a battery charger and make sure that you use it.
Whenever possible line dry your laundry. Avoid using a tumble drier unless you really have to. Tumble driers should be used as an emergency only not as a matter of course.
In the garden
Opt for low voltage garden lights, LED or solar powered ones. Plants such as lavender will entice bees and butterflies into your garden. Even if you only have a small patio you can have some plants growing in tubs or pots.
The world needs as much planting as possible, especially these days, Small garden plants are also good for the environment.
Once you start to assess your needs and your lifestyle you will be amazed at the improvements you can make around your home, that will save you money and be environmentally friendly. Use your imagination, have fun going green and enjoy the extra cash you will now have in your pocket.
Tips & Warnings
Never compromise your health and safety to save money or fuel.
Make sure all household members take part.