Go ‘Green’ in Your Home {Guest Post}

We have had it drummed into our conscience that we should all be trying to find ways to save the planet, accepting responsibility for this world we all live in. Some might think that recycling or switching off appliances is not going to make that big a difference, but this, combined with the use of increasing numbers of environmentally friendly products, can actually have a huge and long-lasting impact.

Green begins at home

The first, and easiest, place to start going ‘green’ is at home. Many of us in developed countries take clean water for granted, but we should try to conserve this precious commodity. New bathrooms should utilize the latest in energy efficient sanitary ware, for example, installing toilets that hold less water in their cisterns and still flush efficiently. Water can be made to go further with special aerating taps, and the simple expedient of taking a shower rather than wallowing in a bath can make a huge difference to water consumption.

Shutterscraft

A home can literally bleed heat, causing the thermostat to be turned up to compensate, consequently using more fuel and increasing heating bills. Far better to conserve energy and cut prices by ensuring the home has adequate insulation, especially in the attic and basement areas. Windows are often the chief culprits in heat loss, so ideally these should be double glazed with tight seals around the frames. Window dressings provide even more heat insulation. Curtains hung close to the windows will hold heat inside a room, but may present a problem for asthma sufferers. A far more stylish and practical solution is custom made shutters. These are also an environmentally friendly solution, as well as being proven to have performed as well as double glazing in preventing heat loss; they are also often made from ethically sourced wood which does not impact on the environment.

Technology accounts for a great deal of energy usage in modern homes. Even simple acts, like only boiling the water needed in a kettle, and washing laundry at 30° rather than 40° can make a big difference. Surprisingly, satellite boxes and the like, left on standby, use high amounts of energy. Often, turning these off does not affect settings, and can make a contribution to going ‘green.’

Green economy

Other measures taken in the home can also help to cut costs as well as energy consumption. An easy change to make is to invest in a few ‘bags for life’ to use at the supermarket instead of plastic carrier bags.

Change standard light bulbs to energy efficient ones and investigate whether energy companies have ‘green power’ contracts.

When it comes to paper, see if the companies have an opt-in feature to receive bills and statements by email or by accessing an account, rather than receiving a hard copy in the mail. Also, re-use paper around the room by using both sides, and giving children scrap paper to draw on rather than clean sheets. Try and save more paper, and sanity, by opting-out of unsolicited mail, which usually ends up going straight in the trash.

Aimee Claire is the author behind this post. She is passionate about saving the planet and thoroughly enjoys incorporating her ‘green’ ideas into the interior design of her own home.

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