Many people are looking for ways to be greener and more environmentally friendly. But some are confused about the practical steps that they can make to reduce carbon footprint at home.
Thankfully it has never been easier to make green changes to your lifestyle. Here writer Annie Button takes a look at simple ways that every homeowner can do to make a change.
Invest in an electric car
One of the most effective ways that you can lower your carbon footprint is by getting rid of your car – data suggests that you can knock 2.4 tonnes of carbon emissions off your footprint simply by living without a car. For some people this is a practical possibility, especially those who live in cities with good public transport options.
However, going car-free may not be a practical possibility for everyone just yet so why not do the next best thing: go electric!
Buying an electric car is a great way to offset your carbon footprint, and it can actually be a lot simpler and more practical than you realise.
However, it can be necessary to take steps to make it easier to live with your electric car, for example installing a electric vehicle charger in your garage.
Heat your home with a GSHP
Another important issue in terms of your carbon footprint is how you heat your home. This is a major issue in terms of emissions – so much so that a new government scheme suggests that gas central heating will be banned in all new homes from 2025. So, to offset your carbon footprint you should be looking into alternative ways to heat your home.
One way that is growing in popularity is the ground source heat pump (GSHP). GSHPs are a form of renewable energy.
According to green energy specialists Geo Green Power:“A large loop of pipe, known as a ground loop is placed in the ground or through a body of water – the pump then circulates a mixture of water and antifreeze around this loop.
Heat from the ground or water is absorbed into the fluid and then passes through a heat exchanger into the heat pump”.
The heat from the GSHP can be used in conjunction with radiators and underfloor heating to heat your home all-year round.
It could also be the perfect time for you to invest in solar panels for your home. You might not realise that as the years have passed solar panels have become increasingly efficient and affordable – so it might now make sense for you to install them at your property, even if you might not have the perfect conditions for panels (no south-facing roof).
Even if you don’t have a roof you could potentially have an array of panels in your garden.
In fact, there are even panels that are able to tract the movement of the sun and follow it throughout the day to get as much solar power as possible.
Insulate for warmth
It is important that you should begin to take steps not only to generate green electricity and heat, but also to ensure that you can keep the heat in your home.
It is definitely worth investing in high quality insulation – it won’t take a huge amount of money, but it can save you enormously on your energy bills.
Switch to a renewable energy supplier
One thing that every homeowner can easily do to offset their carbon footprint is to get their energy supply from a more sustainable source. There are many different energy providers offer clean energy, and many of these actually offer prices that are better than traditional energy suppliers.
Some of the big names in green energy in the UK include Bulb and Ecotricity – and switching can typically be done in minutes. The company will take care of all the hard work for you.
Recycle and compost
Don’t forget that your household waste is actually a big contributor to your carbon footprint. Thankfully you can do simple things that will make a big difference.
Ensuring that you are recycling everything that you can and almost composting food waste is important.
These might be things that that you were previously doing but have fallen out of the habit; the New Year is the perfect time to restart.