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How to make your home more sustainable

How to make your home more sustainable

Tom. Content Writer, Nottingham

Guide written by:

Tom. Content Writer, Nottingham

4 guides

Making our homes more sustainable is not only beneficial for the planet but also for our wallets. Homes consume 35% of all energy in the UK and emit 20% of all carbon dioxide emissions, meaning this is a major point of action if we wish to achieve our net zero targets by 2050. Read on to find out how you can make your home more sustainable, from reducing energy, electricity and water consumption, to living more sustainably.

Although sustainability has become a bit of a buzzword in recent times, the concept has its roots in the 18th century through the author Hans Carl von Carlowitz who is regarded as having created the term.

Being sustainable can mean anything from using energy-efficient products, using renewable energy, having a specific diet or simple actions such as recycling. Therefore, the home is the starting point in having a positive impact on the environment, as well as reducing your household bills. Furthermore, with 28 million homes in the UK and only 8 million having the highest energy efficiency standards, the potential to create a lasting environmental impact is significant.

When it comes to reducing energy consumption and lowering energy bills, you need to think carefully about how your home is heated. Heating accounts for about 50% of the total energy consumed by households in the UK so it is essential to make sure your heating system is as efficient as possible.

Energy-efficient heating systems

There are a variety of heating systems available that will drastically reduce your energy consumption and contribute to sustainable living. There are also government grants available which can help you with the financial outlay for the cost and installation:

Positive personal actions

You can also adopt energy-saving habits which will drastically reduce your bills and contribute to reducing carbon emissions: 

  • Adjusting the temperature to match the type of room;
  • Managing your heating when you’re not at home with smart controls and thermostats;
  • Carrying out yearly checks on heating systems and radiators.

Insulation

Insulation is vitally important with regards to energy efficiency; a poorly insulated home will suffer from heat loss which means your heating system has to work overtime. Of the 28 million homes in the UK, the average EPC (Energy Performance Certificate) is D or below, demonstrating the need to significantly improve this area. Government grants are also in place to help you through the process depending on your financial eligibility.

Choosing a supplier which uses renewable energy sources is also a way of living sustainably, but using energy-efficient appliances and devices, as well as personal actions around the home can also contribute to lower bills.

Positive behaviours

Responsible electricity consumption should always be backed up by taking care of your appliances and adopting good day-to-day habits:

  • Set a lower temperature for heating, water heaters and laundry washing;
  • Turn off the lights when you leave a room;
  • Unplug your electrical appliances and don’t leave them in standby mode.

Energy-efficient equipment

Choosing less energy intensive appliances is a great way to reduce your energy consumption. Electrical appliances are rated from A to G, A being the most efficient, G being the least (some household appliances use the old scale from A++++ to G). 

Smart devices

Using smart appliances and devices can drastically reduce your electricity consumption with smart programmers and thermostats.

Water consumption and ways to save water in the home and garden are also an important pillar of living more sustainably and reducing our carbon footprint. 

Personal habits

In the UK, we consume an average of 141 litres of water per person per day. Household tasks and personal hygiene account for over 90% of the total volume of water used.

Therefore, turning off your taps correctly and not using them unnecessarily and for too long is a simple way of reducing your consumption, in addition to ensuring that leaks in taps are repaired as quickly and effectively as possible.

Water-saving devices

As with electricity, choosing energy-efficient appliances is a sure-fire way to reduce your water and energy bills, in addition to choosing devices that reduce water flow on your shower head or taps.

Recycling water

Recycling water is also a sustainable behaviour that we should try to adopt. This could range from rainwater harvesting and automatic watering systems in the garden, to recycling ‘clean’ wastewater we use for cooking and dishwashing. 

By applying all of these positive personal behaviours and energy-efficient improvements around the home, in addition to positive changes to diet and attitudes to public transportation, we can all drastically reduce our carbon footprint and lead more sustainable lives

Here are some other guides related to energy efficiency:

Guide written by:

Tom. Content Writer, Nottingham, 4 guides

Tom. Content Writer, Nottingham

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