Caring for the environment has never been as important both for individuals and governments as it is today. Looking after the planet and its resources is a priority as the world population continues to increase and natural resources begin to become scarce.
It may seem that one person or family can’t make much difference when it comes to being eco friendly, but in fact every effort counts as humanity attempts to offset the global problem of over consumption of our precious energy resources.
Save energy, save money
As people become more and more conscious of the costs of energy, which always seem to go up rather than down, there are many simple ways to reduce consumption. Sometimes it may be necessary to spend a few dollars, but the prospect of making them back and saving on future expenses makes for a good argument.
Home insulation is a good place to start. Windows and doors that don’t fit well can lead to draughts that make cold spaces, and a loft that hasn’t been insulated means that heat rising simply goes straight out the roof. Putting insulation on the loft or attic floor will retain the heat in the house, and the cut in fuel costs will more than make up for the initial cash outlay.
Draughts from windows and doors can be managed inexpensively with thick curtains or shutters. Shutters are a popular choice for window coverings, providing an extra layer of insulation when closed and the ability to control the amount of light coming into a room using moveable slats. Many manufacturers are bringing out their own designer ranges, with attractive eco friendly options such as synthetic woods to reduce the amount of hardwood that needs to be harvested.
Seeing the light
With so many electric appliances in the average home it is desirable to cut down the amount of energy consumed. Simple methods to be eco friendly include fitting low-energy light bulbs, turning off standby modes for computers, TVs and digiboxes at night, and using economy programs on washing machines and dishwashers. The last two also help to save water, so for homes on a meter there can be real cash saving.
Saving more water
Using low-flow toilet mechanisms will also save water whilst doing exactly the same job as a regular toilet. Water saved is money saved. Faucets should be checked for leaks or drips, and repaired where necessary, and showering rather than taking a bath is a very effective way of cutting down on water consumption.
Using the sun
Whilst not the cheapest option, fitting solar panels to the roof will make a significant difference to utility bills. With tax credits and other incentives often available it’s one of the greenest ways to improve a home, especially if there are no plans to move for many years. The sun is also a natural source of warmth, so when it’s shining let it in.
Turn down the thermostat
Simply turning down the thermostat on the central heating can make more energy savings. Radiators with thermostatic controls should be turned right down when rooms are not in use, and an extra layer of clothing is a lot cheaper than a huge utility bill!