Sustainability and eco-friendly are big buzzwords at the moment, and rightly so. You can’t switch on the news without hearing about protests being held in London, and various world leaders making climate change a big part of their agenda. That’s without even thinking about the recent devastation caused by horrendous high temperatures and subsequent bush fires in Australia – all down to climate change and global warming.
All of us have a huge responsibility now: to do what we can to contribute to a more sustainable environment. The world/s resources are finite – one day we will run out of gas and oil and coal, and what the hell do we do then? Many people believe that the small changes that they can make are too small to make a difference, and while it is the big corporations and governments that need to make the biggest changes, if we all implement little things into our lives, we can all collectively make a difference. We have taken steps towards reducing our plastic waste, which you can read about here, but there is still so much more that we can do – and many of them will save you money in the long run, so it is a win all round!
Solar panels can be quite a significant investment, to begin with, but it only takes a couple of years or so for them to start paying for themselves. Some energy companies ‘buy-back’ any excess solar power you create, so it can even end up making you more money! We have seen an increase in the number of homes around us that have solar panels built in, which is excellent and shows that they must be an efficient way of making energy for the average home. Rusty Tweed has some excellent information and resources about this use of sustainable energy,
Create a compost bin
I know many councils, including ours here in North Wales, have food waste schemes, but I’m really surprised that some, such as Birmingham City Council, still don’t have food waste initiatives in place, which is pretty rubbish! If you don’t have a council-run food waste scheme, you could look into making your own compost bin, if you have space in the garden.
The most obvious solution is to buy and cook only what you need, but let’s face it, that can be a lot easier said than done. What you can do is to pop in your peelings and food scraps (check to see what you can and can’t put on a compost heap because I’m not entirely sure!) in a domestic compost bin in your garden and pop bits in there. When it breaks down, you can use the resulting compost to fertilize the growth of new plants in your garden.
Having a visual reminder of how much food you throw away can also be pretty eye-opening and encourage you to make big changes.
Be clever in the kitchen
It is easy to make clever and sustainable choices in the kitchen, which can lead to a much more eco-friendly home and save you money. For example, get out of that habit of opening the oven door while you are cooking. Even if the oven is only open for a short time, it will then need to use more energy to heat back up. If you have access to a slow cooker or a halogen oven, use those where possible as it uses significantly less energy.