More and more of us are looking at ways that we can do our part to help the environment. While there are grand initiatives that can be undertaken at a national and global level, it’s also important that we all do our bit at home. From utilising the right appliances to using your energy efficiently, there are a lot of things, large and small that can be done. If you are looking ahead at the year and wondering what more you can do to make your home more eco-friendly, then this guide is for you. We have assembled a collection of tips and advice to give you a little inspiration for sustainable home life.
Being eco-friendly at home isn’t just about electricity and plastic, it also means you need to have the correct attitude and approach when it comes to water usage. Saving water is key for a household and you can do a number of things to help, including fixing any leaks, not letting the tap run when you shave or brush your teeth, and even installing low-flow showerheads and eco-showers.
Insulate your home
Using as little energy as possible is important when it comes to eco-friendliness and one great way to do this is to make sure your home has sufficient insulation. This is the top piece of advice from Wendy of the eco-blog Moral Fibres, who shared the following with us:
“Insulation is key. The energy we use to heat our homes is a big contributing factor to climate change, so it makes environmental sense to reduce the energy we use. Not only that – it makes financial sense too. Properly insulate your loft to current standards, as well as your walls and under your floors and you could see a big monthly saving on your fuel bills. There are often grants available for free or reduced-price insulation so it’s best to look around to see if you are eligible.”
Switch to reusable items wherever possible
This is one of the most common ways to achieve a more eco-friendly lifestyle but also one of the most important. With a little thought and a change here and there, a great impact can be made. Victoria, from the healthy living blog Healthy Vix, has some excellent tips for the kitchen and beyond which she shared with us:
“Being more eco-friendly in the kitchen and home can be easy with a few simple switches and even save money too. Look for ways to stop using single-use items and throwaway items, especially when it comes to plastic which we know is a major environmental problem right now. Instead, switch to reusable options in the kitchen and beyond.
“For example, switch to reusable stretch and seal lids to cover leftover food in bowls instead of using cling film. Use reusable natural fibre cloths, such as bamboo and cotton, with a surface spray instead of always using throw away wipes that come in plastic packaging. To stop using so many plastic bottles for your household cleaning sprays, switch to cleaning sachets from a company like Iron and Velvet who sell all sorts of cleaning products in dissolvable sachets that you mix with water to make your own spray. This means you can reuse the same plastic bottle forevermore!”
Georgina Wilson-Powell, the editor of sustainable lifestyle magazine Pebble, highlights the bathroom as a great place to make the switch: “Strip out single-use plastics from your bathroom – such as shower gel bottles, toothbrushes and disposable razors and swap to plastic-free or packaging-free alternatives or items that will last a lot longer.”
Install a smart energy meter
The way that we use our energy is really important when looking to create an eco-friendly home and lifestyle. Especially in the winter months, it can be so tempting to crank up the heating all the way, but often, it will be on when you don’t actually need it. So, consider being smarter with your energy consumption and installing a smart energy meter. These can be programmed so that the heating only comes on at specific times of the day, like just before you get home from work or when you wake up in the morning. They are great for anyone looking to reduce their footprint and save energy.
Eco-Silent home lifts
Having a lift installed in your home is beneficial in a plethora of ways, from helping those with limited mobility to families who are just looking for that extra style and convenience. Another great thing about home lifts is that they can also be good for the environment. Take a look at the EcoSilent platform lift, for example. Built with sustainable technology, this lift essentially runs in eco mode constantly, carrying the Energy Label A and consumes less energy than your average washing machine and TV. The EcoSilent lift is also dead quiet, producing fewer decibels than a running tap and dishwasher.
If you’re interested in having a lift installed, speak to us about the cost of a house lift.
Utilise natural cleaning products
Georgina from Pebble recommends utilising natural cleaning products: “Swap from mainstream, plastic-packaged cleaning suppliers and opt for chemical-free, plant-based cleaning brands that can be refilled from a zero-waste shop or make your own.”
We all want a clean home but, unfortunately, many of the products we tend to use to get our homes looking nice have harmful chemicals in them that can be damaging to the environment. The eco-conscious among us don’t need to fear, however, as there are plenty of fantastic natural cleaning products that can be used in their stead. This includes the likes of citric acid, vinegar, lemons, and hydrogen peroxide.
Use energy-efficient light bulbs
Not all lightbulbs are created equal, and if you are still using any old lightbulbs that you grab at the shops, think about replacing them with energy-saving bulbs. Have a look around the house and see what needs replacing and then start the process of switching to a more efficient way of illuminating your home. These bulbs last longer and use less energy than traditional bulbs.
Consider solar panels
Anyone who is serious about their eco-credentials should be utilising solar panels. A long-time instrument of the eco-lifestyle, these sleek rooftop additions provide homes with entirely clean power, meaning you can go about your daily life with a clean conscience. Further still, solar panels can even store enough energy to allow owners to sell some back to the power grid, meaning that panels become a pretty shrewd investment.
Utilise energy-efficient kitchen appliances
So much of a family’s life at home revolves around the kitchen and the various meals created and enjoyed there. As such, it’s hardly surprising that so much energy gets consumed there. Therefore, utilising energy-efficient kitchen appliances is definitely the way to go. This can be everything from ovens which require virtually no pre-heat time, induction hobs that heat pans instead of the cooking surface with a magnetic field, and eco-kettles – a must in any tea-loving household!
Recycle and upcycle old items
The ways in which we can be more eco-friendly at home are endless, especially if you are willing to get creative. Georgina from Pebble recommends the following: “Try not to buy anything new, which will force you to be more creative with things you’ve got. Try and make do and mend items in your home or upcycle homeware into other items. There are so many DIY tutorials on the internet for upcycled storage ideas, garden ideas and more. Also, only buy items from second-hand stores and upcycle them into something new that fits into your home style.”
Top tips for making your home eco-friendly
- Save water
- Insulate your home
- Switch to reusable items wherever possible
- Install a smart energy meter
- EcoSilent home lifts
- Utilise natural cleaning products
- Use energy-efficient light bulbs
- Consider solar panels
- Utilise energy-efficient kitchen appliances
- Recycle and upcycle old items
From making sure your home is properly insulated and being smart about your energy consumption to installing eco-friendly tech, there are many ways you can make sure your home is a more sustainable environment in the months and years ahead.
For more advice and tips, make sure to take a look at our news page.