With sustainability and environmental awareness becoming more and more important in our day-to-day lives, one of the easiest and most accessible ways to improve your carbon footprint starts in your home.
As our understanding of what it means to be green changes and develops over time, we have access to a wider variety of ways we can lower our impact on the planet, from better recycling to smarter energy choices. In this blog, we're going to take a look at some under-the-radar ways you can help the environment by making your house or apartment more sustainable in 2021.
There are so many ways you can make your home sustainable by making the right choice with fixtures and installations. Your first step should be to get a smart meter installed - these handy devices can give you real time information about your energy usage. Use this data to measure the changes you make around your home - these changes can include things like using energy-efficient lightbulbs, blocking up drafts in winter, adding energy-saving windows and more.
To clear up a bit of a misunderstanding, here in the UK, we do get enough sun for solar panels to be worth the installation. Since these handy power generating panels were first introduced, engineers and scientist have worked to make them cheaper and more efficient so that everyone can have access to the free, green electricity the sun has to offer. With energy that comes straight from the natural world, you'll see a significant dip in your bills from month-to-month too!
Ask anyone - a leak in your water appliances at home is a real nuisance. However, leaks are also one of the leading causes of water waste, with non-watertight plumbing seeing large amounts of water simply disappear. For this reason, it's important to get straight on any leaks that happen in your home, whether in your taps, shower, toilet or pipes. The added benefit here, a theme you might notice running through this blog, is that you can save money with this sustainability tip.
It can be tempting to always go for the brand new option when buying furniture, clothes, electronics and gadgets, but the sad truth is that the more we buy new, the more we harm the planet. More new purchases push up demand, which means more products are produced and packaged, resulting in more waste. Thanks to the internet, there are enormous markets for second-hand, quality goods that are still in excellent condition and you'll get access to some of the best bargains out there.
While we're on the food side of things, have a careful think about the food products you bring into your home. Try to pick local produce wherever you can to minimise its travel footprint, and if possible, try to go for organic foodstuff. This is food grown as naturally as possible, using the smallest amount of pesticides and chemicals which can prove harmful to local flora and fauna. All of this information can be found on the label for most products, so keep an eye out when shopping.
The meat farming industry has an impact on the environment, contributing greenhouse gas into the atmosphere and playing a part in the deforestation that's reducing natural habitats across the world. Consider switching to a vegetarian or vegan diet (consult your doctor first), and be a part of reducing the effect of the industry.
Houseplants are experiencing something of a revival at the moment and with good reason. Greenery in your home is a delight to have around, so it's well worth investing in potted plants and flowers that will do their bit in converting carbon dioxide back into oxygen for cleaner air. Start with relatively easy plants to grow, like monstera or hedgehog aloe, and then move on to more challenging choices like Venus flytraps and peace lilies.
Bumblebees are great aren't they? Small, fuzzy, dashing and colourful, these little guys are sadly having a hard time of it at the moment, with populations falling across the country. You can help them out and the environment out if you want, by planting pollinator-friendly plants in your garden. The good news is, these plants are bright and beautiful to attract bees, so they'll look great in your flowerbeds or yards. For more information about what plants are best for bees, see the list here.
This is one of the most obvious you might expect to see on this list, but it's always worth mentioning. Driving less is a sure-fire way to reduce your environmental impact - you don't have to get rid of your car completely, but for manageable distances, try to choose alternative, greener ways of getting around like a bike for example, an electric scooter or even just old fashioned walking. If you rely a lot on your car, out in the country for example, consider trading in for an eco, electric model.
Those are just some ways you can make changes around your home to help create a greener future for the world. For more tips, tricks and guides on sustainable living, visit our news and insights page here, and to learn about how we at Berkeley Group are working to level-up our approach to Sustainability, discover how we work with the environment in mind.