SUSTAINABLE LIVING - Eco-Friendly Property Ideas From Guest Writer Ella Hendrix

30th December 2019

Global warming is having a progressively damaging effect on our planet. Environmental research shows that in the last 10 years, global sea levels have risen by 8 inches, the rate of Antarctic ice loss has tripled, and atmospheric carbon dioxide levels are the highest on record. Scientists warn that there will be irreversible damage to our environment if we don’t take action now to reduce harmful emissions. In response to this, more and more people are looking to lower their carbon footprint by adopting sustainable practices such as recycling and switching to renewable energy. Fortunately, there are plenty of ways to reduce environmental harm and lead a greener, healthier lifestyle. With this in mind, here are some of the top ways to make your home more eco-friendly: 

Build From Recycled Materials 

There have been several huge developments in recent years to make properties more sustainable and less damaging to the environment. For instance, many first time buyers are looking at buying a shipping container over conventional homes as a cost-effective solution, whilst also reducing their carbon footprint. They are affordable, eco-friendly, and allow you to create a truly unique living environment for you and your family. Once the container has been delivered, you can have it transformed into your ideal green living space. You should always try and use recycled or salvaged materials when building or extending your home. Reclaimed materials like wood, brick, and concrete can easily be recycled to reduce the volume of waste ending up in landfills. Often, recycled building materials are far cheaper and may also be stronger and longer-lasting.

Switch To Renewable Energy 

A large percentage of global greenhouse gas emissions can be attributed to the burning of fossil fuels like coal and gas. Switching to renewable energy is, therefore, an excellent way to reduce environmental harm and make your property more sustainable. Renewable energy is becoming a hugely popular alternative to traditional fossil fuels. In fact, a recent study by Carbon Brief found that renewables generated more electricity than fossil fuels in the UK for the first time in the third quarter of 2019. Renewable energy is now far more accessible and homeowners can have solar panels fitted on their property quickly with the help of a professional installer. Once fitted, solar panels can provide a clean energy source that is reliable and eco-friendly. Along with the environmental benefits, solar panels can also save homeowners significant amounts of money in the long-run, especially when electricity prices are increasing annually. For that reason, solar panels have become an appealing investment for those looking to reduce their carbon footprint, lead a healthier lifestyle, and save money on their energy bills. 

Upgrade To Eco-Friendly Appliances 

Upgrading to eco-friendly appliances is a simple and effective way to instantly reduce your household emissions and save money on your utility bills. The model and age of your household appliances will have a significant impact on your monthly utility bills. For instance, according to The Energy Saving Trust - “An A-rated 180-litre fridge freezer could cost only £43 a year to run, whereas a larger 525-litre fridge freezer with a better A+ rating could cost £57 a year to run.” For that reason, you should always try and purchase the most energy-efficient model available. Upgrading your appliances may seem expensive, but you're likely to recoup the money quickly through the cost-saving benefits. You should also consider replacing incandescent light bulbs with eco-friendly versions like LEDs. This is a simple and affordable way to reduce your carbon footprint, as LEDs use far less energy than traditional light bulbs. 

Reduce Food Waste 

Did you know that the UK produces over 10 million tonnes of food waste every year? This is not only a shocking waste of food and money but also contributes to the volume of carbon emissions being produced by landfills. You can help reduce food waste by being realistic when you shop and avoiding buying too many items in one go. When cooking, avoid over-serving and let family members choose how much food to put on their plates. You also need to keep track of expiry dates and plan meals to make sure you eat food before it spoils. If food expires and becomes inedible, then you should turn it into compost instead of just throwing it in the bin. You can easily create your own compost bin by purchasing a suitable container and placing it in your garden where worms can get to it. Most kitchen waste items can be effectively turned into compost. This includes vegetable peel, eggshells, tea bags, and paper. 

Try some of these useful tips to reduce carbon emissions, save money on your utility bills, and create a more eco-friendly, sustainable household today!

Ella Hendrix is an emerging freelance writer who typically covers topics on sustainability, property renovation and DIY projects. 

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