The coronavirus outbreak may have temporarily replaced climate change as the talk of the town, but that’s no reason to forget about protecting our planet and how much eco-friendlier we all need to become.
With atmospheric carbon dioxide levels at their highest for more than 800,000 years, and the polar ice caps continuing to melt away at an unprecedented rate, there is still so much we need to do to restore the world to its former beauty. In order to do this effectively, this will rely on a collective effort of everyone, everywhere. So, why not kill two birds with one stone?
By utilizing our time in lockdown, we can all play our part in making the planet a much nicer place to live. Here are a few home-based ideas to get you started in becoming eco-friendlier.
Utilizing renewable energy can be a highly cost-effective way of saving both the planet and your money. Whether it be solar panels, a biomass boiler or a ground-source heat pump, there are a number of options to think about.
While it’s true that current social distancing restrictions may limit your ability to get a renewable energy solution installed just yet, it’s certainly something worth considering once the pandemic is over or the lockdown restrictions get lifted.
Renew Your Lighting
Replacing your light bulbs can make a big difference to your electricity bill and is an easy task to do while stuck at home.
Old-fashioned light bulbs waste nearly 90% of their energy as heat so, while they may be a lot cheaper to buy than LED or CFL (compact fluorescent) bulbs, they’re no way near as long-lasting or energy efficient.
Head online to find low-wattage, energy-saving alternatives and get them delivered to your door. While you won’t see a difference in the quality of your lighting, you will see a big difference when it comes to your energy bill.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock, you should know all too well that food waste is a huge problem across the globe. Therefore, while you’re stuck at home, why not try and limit your food waste as much as you can by creating your own compost?
Coffee grounds, fruit and vegetable peels, eggshells, napkins and paper towels can all be easily recycled to produce compost, and are all likely to be substances you’ve been getting through a lot during your time in lockdown.
Change Your Washing Technique
You can be eco-friendlier when it comes to doing your laundry. Firstly, since 80-90% of the energy used by washing machines is focused on heating the water, try and use the cold wash or ‘eco’ modes when you can. Unless it’s for bedding or towels, you should rarely need to wash above 30oC.
Secondly, try and line-dry when you can instead of using the tumble dryer. Tumble dryers – albeit much easier and quicker to use than line driers – are energy sumps, contributing a substantial amount towards your energy bill.
Especially now while you’re in lockdown and likely to be doing more washes than usual, allow the natural environment to dry your clothes instead.
Save On Water
Water may make up 71% of the world’s surface but it may surprise you to learn that it is actually a finite source. In other words, it’s perfectly possible for the world to run out of water as a drinking resource, thus highlighting the importance of conserving it when we can.
With this in mind, there are several things you can think about doing to be eco-friendlier in your water use. If you have an older toilet model fitted, for example, these typically use between 3.5 and 7 gallons of water each time you flush. Therefore, avoiding flushing or investing in a flush-saving device could significantly reduce your water bill.
Similarly, turning off the tap while brushing your teeth, installing a low-flow shower head, and buying a water butt for the garden could help reduce your water usage as well.
Now that you’re self-isolating, you may find yourself browsing through the internet looking for things to buy. If this sounds like you, then try and buy recycled or eco-friendlier products where you can.
While it may be tempting to splash out on brand new furniture, clothes and appliances, it’s not a particularly eco-friendly way of shopping. By choosing to buy recycled or second-hand items instead, you will not only save yourself a lot of money, but you’ll also help protect the environment as well. So, talk about a win-win.