You can’t escape the headlines—global warming is happening.
If we keep pumping CO2 emissions into our atmosphere at the rate we are now, our environment and planet will suffer.
More worryingly, household emissions are increasing. There are more homes now. So, despite the average household reducing its emissions by 4.7% between 2016 and 2017, the total emissions from domestic homes has risen by 1% in the same period. This is a massive concern as energy use in homes accounts for 14% of total UK emissions.
So, what can you do about it?
Look at your own carbon footprint and find ways to reduce it—this means making changes at home.
To help you get started, here are five ways you can easily lower your household CO2 emissions and in doing so, help to contribute to preserving the planet for another generation to enjoy.
Insulate your home
The average UK household produces an estimated 2.7 tonnes of CO2 a year, from heating alone.
Poorly insulated properties lose heat fast, which means you use far more energy than you need to keep warm. Make sure your loft and cavity walls are properly insulated and reduce drafts and air leaks with caulk, insulation, and weather stripping.
You might be eligible for help from the UK government energy grant scheme which offers support to help make your home more energy efficient.
Dial down the heat
Another easy way to reduce your emissions from heating your home is simply to turn down your thermostat. Lots of energy is wasted when we forget to lower or turn off our heating when we’re out or when it doesn’t need to be so warm. To avoid over-usage, consider installing a new smart thermostat which will adjust the temperature in your home according to your schedule automatically so you won’t even need to think about it.
The older your washing machine, fridge or boiler—the less energy efficient it is likely to be.
When shopping for new appliances, it’s important that you look at the appliance energy rating label and also consider the size of the appliance that you need realistically. For instance, if there are only two of you at home, you might not need a large 525-litre fridge freezer, but rather a smaller model with 180-litre capacity will suffice.
Turn off the lighting
If you want to reduce your carbon footprint, turn off your lights when they’re not in use. LED bulbs can be turned on and off as often as you like without affecting the bulb’s lifespan. Keeping them on when they’re not needed, like whilst you’re at work or after you’ve gone to bed, is an unnecessary use of energy. If you still have any halogen bulbs in your home, we would advise you replace them with LED ones which use much less energy to produce the same amount of light. You’ll have little choice else, as halogen bulbs are now banned across Europe.
Explore renewable energy sources
As technology evolves, so do our energy options. There are more suppliers providing renewable electricity than ever before. So, if you plan to reduce your energy carbon footprint to the maximum, use a renewable energy supplier. It will make sure every kWh of electricity you use is zero-carbon.
As you know, reducing your carbon footprint is part of a much bigger picture. If you’re interested in tackling climate change, you need to also think about what you eat, how you travel and where you shop. You’ve probably heard about the three R’s before—right? Reduce, reuse and recycle. And, it’s with this ethos that you can make a positive impact on the environment. But, more about that next time.