Being more Eco-friendly in everything we do is more than important than ever. We all want Earth to have a future and our kids and the generations to come to still live on beautiful, green planet.
There’s been more disasters than ever in the last couple of years – Amazon more recent – and our kids are more conscious than we ever been and they know we all need to do our best to protect nature.
My eldest at only 10 years old discuss on the subject with her friends and they are scared. They are scared because they don’t know if adults will do everything they have to to ensure their safety on this planet.
Being more eco-friendly will not only help you contribute to a sustainable environment but it can even save you money.
So what are the things you should do in your home to ensure you live a more Eco-friendly life?
COMPOST YOUR SCRAPS
We rarely eat without having leftovers no matter how much we might try. Instead of throwing your leftovers into the trash, the more eco-friendly thing to do is to store them in a bin for composting.
You would be surprised how much of the food that you currently throw away can be recycled and turned into compost. Simply place a compost bin in your garden and fill it with any food waste.
As one study from the University of Washington found, food waste in landfills is one of the leading causes of methane, but composting prevents the food’s decomposition and subsequent release of greenhouse gases.
STOP USING PLASTIC
These days plastic is in everything. We can’t even drink water or eat fish without being absolutely sure they don’t have traces of plastic.
We know it is quite hard to reduce plastic all together when everything seems to be made out of it but at least try not to buy anymore things that are made out of plastic:
- Purchase straws that are not made out of plastic and instead they are made out of reusable stainless steel or glass straw.
- Use reusable bags rather than plastic bags. Did you know that a single plastic bag can take 1000 years to degrade?
- Stop buying and chewing gum. It is made out of a synthetic rubber – aka plastic.
- Purchase products that are in glass or stainless steel rather than plastic.
- Reuse containers for storing leftovers.
- Use a reusable bottle or mug for your beverages, even when ordering from a to-go shop.
- Buy boxes of laundry detergent as this comes in cardboard rather than the detergent that comes in plastic bottles.
- Avoid buying frozen foods because their packaging is mostly made out of plastic. Even those that appear to be cardboard are coated in a thin layer of plastic.
- Ask your local grocer to take your plastic containers back. If you shop at a farmers market they can refill it for you.
- Pack your lunch in reusable containers and bags. Also, opt for fresh fruits and veggies and bulk items instead of products that come in single serving cups.
- Use a razor with replaceable blades instead of a disposable razor.
- Buy milk or yoghurt in containers that are not made out of plastic.
- Stop buying plastic bottle and start using reusable bottles – they can be now bought online or from any supermarket.
INSULATE YOUR HOME
When we started renovating our home more than 6 years ago we knew that this will be a very important step. We had to ensure that our home is well insulate.
Good insulation helps hold in the heat for the cold periods – which means that we don’t need to burn energy reheating the home all of the time.
We insulated both the wall and the roof and put double glazed windows. If you didn’t do that already you should definitely do it.
Plus during the hot summer days having the home insulated means that the hot stays away better and you don’t have to consume the air conditioning so much either.
REDUCE YOUR DIGITAL CARBON FOOTPRINT
Probably this is the hardest thing to do in our day and age. The world becomes more and more digital so reducing the use of digital products is harder than ever.
We use the internet for everything – updating our social media channels, ordering food or a cab, streaming music, recipes and movies.
But still in order to reduce our digital carbon footprint we need to stop using or using it a lot less than we do.
Are you aware that you are indirectly responsible for damaging the environment each time you send an email, each time you post an update on Facebook or Twitter or you decide to watch an episode on Netflix?
I mean I can admit it. Internet is my addiction and slowly but surely my girls are catching up too. So many parents give their kids a tablet with Youtube playing without realising how damaging is for their kids and our planet.
Viessmann has created a video asset which explains how much coal we are burning globally when doing these activities.
Knowing all the above do you think you will start using the internet a lot less now?
I mean I am completely aware that to write this blog post I did use internet and to make it more known I will share it on social media but I will definitely reduce the time I spend on the internet browsing, posting and streaming Netflix.
If you live in an area in which the water consumption was never a problem or you were never restricted to use it than this might not sound too good to you.
There are a few things you could do in order to start saving water:
- Short your showers – Did you know that shortening your shower by as little as one minute can save up to 570 litres of water per month? And if you keep your shower up to five minutes you can save up to 3786 litres of water monthly? So don’t stay longer than necessary in the shower just because the warm water feels nice on your skin. You finish cleaning yourself – get out! There are millions of people who can’t afford drinking water.
- Don’t pre-rinse your dishes – If you have a dishwasher you might be tempted and instructed to do so but don’t. Doing so you are wasting both water and time. Instead, scrape any leftover food into the compost, then pop your dishes straight into the dishwasher.
- Turn off the water when brushing your teeth – Before brushing, wet your brush and fill a glass for rinsing your mouth.
- Turn off the water while shaving – Fill the bottom of the sink with a few inches of warm water in which to rinse your razor.
- If you wash dishes by hand, don’t leave the water running for rinsing – Wash them all first and than rinse.
- Use your dishwasher for full loads only – Did you know that every time you run your dishwasher you use about 90 litres of water?
- Use your washing machine for full loads only – Did you know your automatic washing machine uses 90-100 litres of water per cycle?
- Install water-saving shower heads or flow restrictors – These might be more expensive but overall they will save you money and the planet.
When we renovated our home we also installed windows in the ceiling. This ensures that we don’t have to turn on the light until it gets really dark outside. During the winter we turn on the lights earlier but during the summer we sometimes do not turn on the light until after 9 o’clock at night.
This is only one of the things we do to ensure we save energy. What are the other things we do and you could always do to save energy?
- Adjust your day-to-day behaviours – To reduce energy consumption you do not necessarily need to go out and purchase energy saving products. You can start doing small things like turning off the lights or appliances when you don’t need them. Hang-dry your clothes instead of putting them in the dryer or just wash your dishes by hand.
- Replace your light bulbs with light-emitting diodes (LEDs) – These use 75 percent less energy and last 25 times longer than incandescent lighting. And not only do they have the potential to save the environment, they’ll also save you a huge chunk of money on your energy bill.
- Install a programmable or smart thermostat – These can be set to automatically turn off or reduce heating and cooling during the times when you are asleep or away. When you install a programmable thermostat, you eliminate wasteful energy use from heating and cooling without upgrading your HVAC system or sacrificing any comfort.
- Wash your clothes in cold water – Yup! Do you think our ancestors used warm water all the time? Almost 90 percent of the energy the washing machine uses goes toward heating the water. Using it cold you can eliminate up to 1,600 pounds of carbon dioxide emissions per year.
- Use a condensing combi boiler – We have one in our home from Weissmann and it’s great! We chose it because a condensing boiler helps reducing carbon dioxide emissions that cause global warming. Condensing boilers improve household efficiency by wasting less gas, thus lowering fuel bills.
INSTALL SOLAR PANELS
We are planning to install them in the future but at the moment we simply can’t afford them. However we know that the solar panels are an essential feature for any eco home.
Providing your home with completely clean electricity can sometimes even make enough energy to allow you to sell some back to the grid. Solar panels are certainly a long-term investment and it has been suggested that it will take around 20 years for you to break even depending on where you live.
What things do you do to ensure your home is more eco-friendly?
Would be lovely to hear from you!