How to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint at Home
If you’ve been paying attention to the news lately, there’s a lot of talk about climate change and the necessity for you to reduce your carbon footprint. Whether you believe the science behind global warming or not, you can’t deny the benefits that come with living a more eco-conscious lifestyle. And let’s be realistic: even if global warming is some kind of hoax to put the fear in people, is it really worth the risk? In any case, we should aim to live a less-impactful lifestyle that not only benefits our environment, but enriches our lives.
In the UK alone, in 2016 we consumed the equivalent of an estimated total of 784 million tonnes of carbon dioxide emissions. Now, I don’t know about you, but that sounds like an awful lot! It’s time to start cutting back.
To many people, the idea of ‘going green’ can be quite overwhelming, as they fear that a radical change of lifestyle will be required. Well, don’t panic, because you can reduce your carbon footprint, without having to change that much at all. With just a little patience, repetition, and awareness, you’ll be able to turn your family home into an eco-friendly haven.
In this article, we’re going to share some tips and ideas on how you and your family can be a little greener—and the beauty of it? You’ll save a lot of money while you’re at it. Let’s get started.
Reduce your carbon footprint with the following:
1 – Buy a new-build
Now, this might sound counter productive to some people, as surely buying an older home would be the ‘green thing to do’, but investing in a new-build is almost certainly the way to go. When you buy an older house, one of the first things that you’ll learn is that keeping the house warm is expensive! Insulation in older homes—not to mention the overall efficiency of heating & plumbing systems—is inferior to that of new-builds. So, what do you do to counter that? Invariably, you’ll have to gut the property and bring it up to date—we have an alternative.
Here at Martins Developments, every property that we build is designed with eco-efficiency in mind. This means that we get all of our materials from sustainable resources, favouring recycled where possible. It also means that all of our plumbing, heating, and electronic appliances are ultra-efficient! That’s step one on your path towards reducing your families carbon footprint.
2 – Be mindful of how you handle your waste
Yep! You guessed it: recycle! It takes two minutes to rinse out your milk cartons and empty tins and to put them into a recycling bin. You should turn to composting for your food waste! Don’t worry about rotting food making your home smell, as these modern composers are odourless. If you need more information on recycling, check out these top recycling tips.
3 – Recycle & reuse to reduce your carbon footprint
With recycling in mind, you should endeavour to reuse your packaging materials wherever possible. Get yourself an arts & crafts box and start exploring your creative side, particularly if you have young children. Encouraging your kids to be crafty & creative, whilst teaching them about recycling and taking care of our environment will benefit them greatly. That, and you’ll have an awful lot of fun while you’re at it! Turn recycling into a hobby and you may even be able to make a little money on the side, selling your creations.
4 – Go paperless where possible
It’s time to switch to e-statements with your bank. Stacking up endless statements in your paper-waste draw isn’t going to cut it anymore. Certainly, you can print the ultra important documents that you would like on hand, but otherwise, in this internet age, there’s no reason to not be using the cloud.
The same applies to leaving notes and shopping lists! If you want to leave your partner a note, or your children instructions for dinner while you’re working late; get a whiteboard or send them a text message. In addition to that, the notepad on your smartphone was more or less made for shopping lists!
5 – Reduce your carbon footprint by avoiding plastic
If you want to take a bottle of water with you to work or the gym, then invest in a refillable bottle, preferably aluminium or glass. Similarly, buying a fresh water filtration system for your home, or a Brita filter, will alleviate the need for buying plastic water bottles.
You should also get yourself a cloth bag for life and remember to use it! Not only will you be wasting money on plastic bags, but you’re not doing the environment any favours either. It is all too easy to forget, and everybody is guilty for having hundreds of plastic bags under their sink; so either start reusing them, or stop buying them.
6 – Utilise your garden space
One thing that we pride ourselves on, is building eco-friendly homes with beautiful gardens. So, use the space that you have available to you! Plant plenty of greenery to attract bees and butterflies to your garden, and start growing your own vegetables as well. You don’t have to go completely off-the-grid, but having access to some fresh fruit and veg in your own garden will not only save you money, but it will feel you with a real sense of achievement as well. Every little helps and all that!
7 – Be mindful of how often you’re using the central heating
It’s better to wrap up warm than it is to turn the heating up full-blast and walk around half naked. You should be mindful of how often you’re using the central heating, as a lot of the time it’s simply not necessary. That’s not to say that you should never feel comfortable in your own home, but if you can avoid it and wrap up instead then you should. In order to reduce your carbon footprint, you only have to make a few small sacrifices.
8 – Favour LED lights
If you invest in one of our new-builds, you’ll find that we only use LED lights, as they’re significantly greener than traditional incandescent light bulbs. Not only are these much more effective, but they’ll keep your electricity bills down as well. That said, you should also remember to switch the lights off when you leave the room! And you may feel like you’re coming off as a bit of a broken record as you’re trying to drill your family into following suit, but if you persevere it will pay off in the long-run. It’s these little changes that will make a massive difference.
9 – Reduce your carbon footprint and walk!
We’re not saying that you need to ditch the car altogether, but everyone can take steps towards using their cars less. For example: endeavour to do fortnightly or monthly shop, so that you only need to pop to the local corner shop for a few essentials. Use your freezer! Stock up on plenty of supplies so that you’re not having to drive to the supermarket twice a week. Certainly, that’s easier said than done if you’ve got several growing sons in the house. However, you must only use your car when its completely necessary. Get outside and enjoy a nice walk, get some fresh air! You’ll feel all the better for it, and you’ll save a lot of money on fuel while you’re at it.
- You’ll save 1,062lbs. of Co2 if you drive 20 miles less a week.
- Regularly maintaining your vehicle will help you cut back even further
10 – Favour sustainable goods
Be mindful of what you’re buying! Again, if you invest in a new-build with Martins Developments, then the furniture and materials used in the house will already be sourced from sustainable resources. It’s your responsibility to continue along that sustainable path. You can start with your wardrobe: first of all, clear out any old bits that you no longer wear. Either give them away or sell them, that’s your prerogative. Then, be sure to replace them with sustainable, fair-trade clothing. This mind-set, when applied to every aspect of your life, will go a long way towards reducing your carbon footprint.
We hope that this article has been useful to you. Our aim was to demonstrate just how easy it is to go green. By following these steps, you’ll be able to make a difference, no matter how small or insignificant you might think it might be. In any case, it’s always worth it and you’ll feel a lot better about life when taking conscious steps towards reducing your carbon footprint—that, and you’ll be saving money, remember that!