Living a simpler, greener life is good for you, your family, your bank balance and the planet. Many people are reaping the rewards of simplifying their busy, complex lives and changing their focus and priorities. You needn’t become Tom and Barbara from The Good Life. There are smaller changes you can make that provide big benefits.
- Going Solar
The price to install solar panels has been dropping for many years, and UK prices are still falling. The reduction in costs is mainly due to advances in technology making the panels easier, and therefore cheaper, to produce. Electricity is usually produced using oil and coal, which add to the buildup up of greenhouse gases. We also have a diminishing supply of natural resources which we are continually tapping into. Solar panels, on the other hand, use sunlight. That energy is then converted into electricity which we can use to power our homes. So installing solar panels uses less electricity from the national grid and reduces our energy bills at the same time.
2. Changing Light Bulbs
Lighting your home uses around 18% of your overall electricity bill. You can reduce the amount of energy consumed simply by changing your light bulbs. Replacing standard bulbs with Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs) will reduce the amount of electricity you use, resulting in considerable savings over the year.
- Sorting And Recycling Your Waste
Most people sort and recycle their waste in line with council requirements. However, they don’t always give a lot of thought to the items they’re throwing away. Much of this can be reused around the home, to save money and reduce landfill. Simple examples include:
- Glass bottles and jars can be repurposed into food and drink containers, candle holders, vases, etc.
- Plastic pots make great planters
- Old clothes can be transformed into pillow cases, pot holders, or cut up to be used as dusters or wash cloths
- Food waste can be collected for compost to fertilise the garden and help grow your own produce
- Changing Your Laundry Habits
Washing and drying clothes uses a lot of water and electricity. However, it is possible to reduce this. The first step is to ditch your dryer, or at least reduce its usage. Instead, dry your clothes on the washing line, or indoor clothes rack.
When washing your clothes, make sure you have a full load and wash at a lower temperature. It’s not necessary to wash everything at high temperatures. Washing in cooler water will still clean your garments but without using additional energy to heat the water.
- Clean Your Fridge Coils
How often do your pull out your fridge and clean the coils at the back? If it’s not very often, it’s likely you’ll have a buildup of dust. This makes your fridge work harder to keep your food cold. Make sure you clean the coils regularly. It’s a quick job but will save you some money.
Creating a greener home for the whole family will not only save you money but will benefit the occupants and the planet. All things being equal, people who live a simpler, greener life are generally accepted to live happier and healthier lives.
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