The impact of climate change is driving many of us to look for ways to improve the sustainability of our everyday lives. Whilst we might look to reduce plastic waste, change our diets, or walk to work, it’s equally important to consider our homes in our quest for a greener lifestyle.
Whilst there are multiple housing initiatives in France to build new homes with eco-friendly materials such as hemp, reclaimed wood, and cob, what can those of us who live in existing properties do?
The truth is you don’t need lots of expensive renovations and upgrades to reduce the environmental impact of your home, as even small changes can make a big difference over time. If you can afford to install solar panels or upgrade your heating system to a more sustainable option, it’s well worth the investment. But if you’re looking for some quick and easy ways to make your home more eco-friendly, we have three easy ideas to get you started.
Install aerators onto your taps
If upgrading your taps to more energy-efficient models is out of your budget at present, consider installing tap aerators in the meantime. These small mesh screens screw onto your existing taps and help to save water by reducing the water flow and mixing it with air, which also creates a perceived increase in water pressure.
Aerated shower heads will help you to use less hot water, which will undoubtedly save you money whilst providing a spa-like experience. By streamlining the water flow, they also produce less splashing and reduce water wastage. Especially if you live in an area with hard water, be sure to take the aerator off and clean it regularly to avoid limescale buildup.
Swap your bulbs to LEDs
Traditional incandescent or halogen light bulbs are extremely inefficient, as they only convert around 5% of the energy they consume into light. Swapping all of the lights in your home to LEDs is an affordable way to instantly save money on your electricity bills and up your home’s green status.
LED lights also use around 80% less energy than older bulb models, and they have a much longer lifespan. Plus, they’re largely recyclable and they don’t contain any mercury, meaning they’re better for the environment in both the manufacturing process and whilst in use.
Switch your cleaning supplies to eco-friendly options
It’s easy to skip over the more natural, eco-friendly cleaning supplies in the store for fear that they won’t leave our homes as sparkling clean as our usual products. But the truth is they do just as good of a job, with far less damage to our environment. Harsh chemicals found in traditional cleaning products contaminate our waterways when we rinse our cleaning cloths, and they can also contain volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which are harmful to our health.
When considering more sustainable cleaning products, check if the company has a trusted green certification, such as a Fair Trade or Environmental Working Group label. You can also make your own cleaning products using common kitchen ingredients for the ultimate green cleaning experience.
Small changes add up
It’s crucial that we all do our part to protect our planet from the impact of our modern lives, and small easy changes like these make a huge difference. If each of us does what we can, we’ll soon be well on our way to reducing our impact on the environment and living more sustainably.