As people increasingly look at ways to reduce their carbon footprint, we examine some of the best ideas for making your home more eco-friendly.
The average UK home takes a shocking 50 tonnes of CO2 to build, with an additional 27 tonnes every year to heat it.
We take a look at some of the easiest actions you can take to reduce the environmental impact of your home and lifestyle.
Green electricity, from sources such as wind, hydro, solar or wave power and green gas from anaerobic digestion, are renewable. If you switch to a green energy provider, they will buy sufficient renewable energy from a green source to cover your use.
Carbon offsetting is not renewable, but the energy provider pays for trees to be planted to try and make up for the depletion of the earth’s resources such as natural gas.
LED light bulbs
LED light bulbs are more energy-efficient than ordinary bulbs, needing less replacement and less electricity to power them.
Use cold water and eco-friendly washing liquid in your washing machine
Cold water is generally sufficient for washing clothes and this easy change will not only save energy but reduce your bill. Eco-friendly washing liquids have greatly reduced environment impact.
Eco-friendly paints and wallpaper
Some companies offer paints and wallpapers water-based paints without volatile organic compounds (VOCs) in them. VOCs contain a range of chemicals that can be damaging to health. Some contain non-toxic pigments and solvent-free paste.
It is also possible to buy products that have an Endorsement of Forest Certification or Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certificate.
Buying secondhand and recycled goods
An estimated 22 million pieces of furniture are thrown away every year in the UK, with most of this ending up in landfill. Buying secondhand is the most environmentally-friendly way to furnish your home and it can also mean that you are able to have better quality furniture for your budget.
You can source pieces locally from online advertisements or try antique shops and fairs.
Similarly, fast fashion is often cheaply made and of poor quality, meaning you could end up with higher quality clothes if you buy secondhand. Choosing carefully and only buying what you need and love will mean that you are more likely to keep your clothes for longer.
Designers such as Stella McCartney are also pioneering sustainable fashion, avoiding the use of leather, fur or skin. Her clothes are also biodegradable and made using recycled materials.
Zero waste shops
Many towns and cities now have shops that champion low and zero waste food and other products. You can take your own jars and pots to fill and you are charged for the produce by weight. This is one of the best ways of reducing single-use plastic, which is used so extensively by supermarkets.
Even small steps are helpful and once you start looking for action to take, you may be inspired to try more.
This article is not a definitive statement of the law. It is designed as a free update on the law at the time of publishing. It is not a substitute for legal advice on specific facts and circumstances. BakerLaw LLP and/or the writer accepts no liability or responsibility for reliance on this article and recommends that you seek independent legal advice on your specific circumstances prior to taking any steps.