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As people start becoming more aware of their environmental impact, reducing carbon footprints has become a sought after goal.

For those looking for ways to positively contribute to the well-being of the planet, lowering your carbon footprint is one of the most crucial things that you can do. As more people than ever are attempting to achieve the least amount of carbon emissions as possible, it has become easier than ever to make sure that you minimise your energy use and increase sustainability. The benefits of lowering your carbon emissions are many, but even from a bank balance perspective, more ecological living can reduce your energy bills as well.

Eating Local

Food is one of the most significant expenses for a household, and all too often the priority is convenience. That’s why big chain supermarkets are always so busy. Unfortunately, those big chains have a less than stellar approach to sustainability, although they are making improvements. Buying local food means that your weekly meals have travelled significantly less in terms of distance, and that means less environmental impact. If you want to start eating a little more environmentally aware, then look out for the following local food options:

  • Use the internet to find your local food outlets
  • Start visiting local farmer’s markets
  • If you have a local farm, then they often have their own shop
  • Independent food shops tend to rely less on mass-produced products and more local fare
  • Find a local farm that encourages Pick Your Own days

Alternatively, you could go even further than this by investing some elbow grease and time into growing your own food. This not only drastically reduces your weekly food bills but also seriously lowers your carbon emissions. You might also want to consider just how much meat you eat. While not everybody wants to become a vegan, simply reducing your intake of meat is one of the most effective ways to lower your carbon emissions. The meat industry is one of the biggest producers of carbon emissions in the world, so if you can start to create family meals that aren’t reliant on chicken, beef, or pork, then you’ll be going a long way to becoming more sustainable.

Insulation

It can be expensive to go for a full insulation overhaul on your home, but it can save you a lot of money when it comes to your energy bills. Double glazed windows are one of the most popular methods of insulation, but there are plenty of options available to you. Insulation means that warm air stays where it should be, and that means you will be less reliant on your radiators being turned on full-blast all the time. That decreases your energy use, lowers your bills, and is far more environmentally friendly. Look at eco-friendly insulation materials for your attic, and your home will stay warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer.

Use Natural Light

If you have your lights turned on as soon as the sun starts to dip, then you’re wasting energy when you don’t need to be. Natural light is not just good for your electricity bills; it’s good for your mental health as well. There are plenty of ways to ensure that you get more natural light into your home. Consider moving furniture around so that light blockages caused by tall furniture pieces aren’t blocking natural light sources, and trim any exterior plants that are blocking sunlight. You should also consider removing tired old curtains and replacing them with shutters or blinds. The options available can be surprising, so look at sites like shuttercraft.co.uk and choose a style that matches the rest of your decor. Blinds and shutters give you much more control over natural light than curtains and can make a noticeable difference to your energy use.

Water, Water, Everywhere

As one of the biggest and most intimidating of bills, water use is something that we all need to pay more attention to. It’s very easy to waste water in the home, but with some smart thinking, it could be much easier to reduce how much you waste. Doing so means that you are putting less pressure on water waste facilities, and that means more environmentally friendly water usage. Consider:

  • Fixing leaking/dripping taps
  • Only boiling the amount of water in a kettle that you need
  • Showers instead of baths
  • Investing in a low-flush toilet
  • Steaming vegetables instead of boiling them
  • Turn off the tap when brushing your teeth (this can save you up to six litres a minute!)

Being more aware of your water usage is the first step to using less. Consider how much water you waste when you do the washing up with a running tap rather than a full bowl of hot, soapy water, and you’ll start to appreciate just how much money and energy you could be saving.

Vampire Energy Use

Electrical devices drain energy even when they aren’t being used. Your phone, laptop, and even your vape will all be using energy when they are charging, and even when they are fully charged, they will still be putting out emissions. It’s convenient to go to bed with your phone plugged in, so that’s fully charged when you wake up, but it’s not ideal. Smart plugs are making this easier to address, as they can be set to turn off at a specific time. If you know that your phone needs one hour to charge 100%, then you can even set your smart plug so that it starts charging an hour before your alarm goes off. It’s not just your phone either. Start being more aware of how many electrical appliances you have that are left on standby overnight. Remember to unplug them, and your environmental impact will be noticeably reduced, as will your energy bills.

It doesn’t take much to start being more sustainable in terms of your home life. Most of the time it’s merely a matter of being more aware of where you are being wasteful. Start looking at your home habits and both your carbon emissions and your energy bills will be seriously lessened.

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