The huge growth in the awareness of the impact of climate change has led many people to make a concerted effort to try and reduce their carbon footprint.
Our burning of fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas has caused greenhouse gases to be released into our atmosphere.
These have trapped the sun’s heat, leading to a significant rise in the planet’s temperature and causing extremes of weather which are a big threat to our future.
Reducing your carbon footprint is just one of numerous things you can do to help tackle climate change, but knowing where to start implementing this isn’t an easy task.
However, by making some small changes at home it is certainly possible to do your bit to help the environment. Read as we look at six key home improvements that would help to reduce your carbon footprint.
Install Solar Panels
Solar panels have become an increasingly noticeable feature in towns and cities across the world over the past few years, with many homeowners now recognizing their benefit to the environment.
The panels harness the sun’s energy using photovoltaic cells, converting it into power that can be used for lighting or heating purposes.
Although they are initially expensive to install, studies have shown that it takes approximately 10 years for the panels to recoup the original outlay.
With an expected lifespan of around 25 years, solar panels are undoubtedly an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint.
In addition to saving around 1.5 to 2 tonnes of carbon per year, you can also take advantage of a government scheme that pays you for the electricity you generate.
This involves selling electricity back to the grid, providing you with a handy second source of income without even having to lift a finger.
Go green in the bedroom
Traditional mattresses are anything but environmentally friendly, with studies calculating that one year’s worth of discarded mattresses will occupy more than 132,000 square miles landfill in the United States alone.
However, by investing in the best natural latex mattress on the market, you will get a much better night’s sleep while also reducing your carbon footprint.
They are made from the sap of rubber trees, are built to last for around 25 years, offer no emissions and are 100 percent recyclable.
Foam and traditional mattresses largely come from man-made sources such as polyurethane or petroleum. By removing these from the equation you will be helping the environment.
Another eco-friendly alternative worth considering is an inflatable bed. Although normally used in a spare room or when camping, these have the potential to reduce your carbon footprint in the home.
PVC-free inflatable beds are extremely kind to the environment, providing an innovative solution to the problem of discarded mattresses.
Automate Your Home
In addition to helping to make your life much easier, automating your home is a great way to go about reducing your carbon footprint.
Purchasing a home automation hub manufactured by companies like Apple, Google, Samsung or Amazon make it really easy to control all your different devices.
Whether you’re in awe of Alexa or stunned by Siri, the new technology has helped to transform the way many people live their lives.
Home automation devices such as a smart thermostat can regulate the temperature in your house, thus helping to reduce your overall energy usage and cost.
You can also use automation to control the lighting in your home, keeping control of unnecessary use of electricity.
Linking-up other aspects of your home to the hub such as clocks, speakers, cooking appliances and more will all help to reduce your carbon footprint.
Embrace Energy Efficiency
‘Energy efficiency’ have become buzzwords in environmental circles, but it is an ethos that every person should embrace.
By making a few small changes around the home it is possible to significantly reduce your carbon footprint over the course of a year.
Draught proofing your home, maintaining your heating system and replacing your bulbs with energy-saving versions are a good place to start.
It is also worth considering replacing items such as your boiler or air conditioning unit if these are over 10-15 years old as they are likely to be uneconomical to run.
Programmable thermostats, loft insulation and installing new plumbing fixtures are other eco-friendly improvements worth making around the home.
If you are unsure where to start, contact your energy provider who may be able to offer a free home consultation.
Use Water Wisely
Most new-build homes have efficient water systems installed, but this is not always the case when it comes to older houses.
Conserving water undoubtedly helps the planet and can involve simple things like turning off the tap while brushing your teeth.
Using a bucket to collect your shower water before it reaches optimum temperature is another clever way of preserving this precious resource.
For a more permanent water recycling solution, installing a greywater system is an excellent way to reduce your carbon footprint.
The system treats domestic wastewater and plumbs it back to reuse for other purposes like flushing the toilet, laundry and garden use.
In addition to helping the environment, greywater systems have been found to cut domestic water bills in half – a win, win situation.
Use Renewable Energy
Buying gas and electricity from suppliers who sell renewable power is a great way to reduce your household’s carbon footprint.
Many online comparison sites now allow you to compare green energy tariffs to secure the best deal in your area.
Most renewable energy comes from wind power, hydroelectric power, solar power and wave, and tidal energy. It is also possible to install small wind turbines and solar water heating at your house.
When you use power on a green energy tariff, the supplier puts electricity that has come from renewable sources back into the grid.
Although renewable power is a little more expensive to produce, many suppliers don’t penalize customers who sign-up for green energy tariffs.
As more and more people get switched onto the many benefits of green energy the production costs should fall, meaning suppliers should be able to offer you savings in the future.