We all know the importance of taking care of the planet- reducing our carbon footprint, minimising waste and using less energy and fossil fuels. While this can seem like an impossible task for a single person, actually all of our combined efforts really do add up and can make a massive difference to the world. One of the biggest ways we can help the planet is by being more careful at home, here are a few ways we can go about it.
Compost and Recycle
Every time we throw items in the bin, they end up either in landfill or are incinerated- both are incredibly bad for the environment. One thing we can do at home is reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill, as we can do that by recycling plastics, glass, metal, cardboard, textiles and other materials. We can also separate things like food waste, and compost this instead. You can build or buy a compost bin for your back garden, and break down things like cardboard, egg shells, tea bags and uncooked waste food items. Around nine months later you’ll have a rich, nutrient dense compost that can be used in the garden and has saved additional material going to landfill or being incinerated. For larger jobs, for example if you’re renovating and have a lot of waste, use a professional waste management company that recycles for peace of mind.
In the modern world we take for granted the fact that we can turn on a switch and get light, or a socket and get power instantly. If we’re cold we can turn on the gas and get heating, and if we’re warm we can turn on the air conditioner. However all of these things use power which is gained through burning fossil fuels. The more power you use, the more fossil fuels and burned. It’s of course not to say you should give up using these things entirely, but it’s always worth being mindful of. Switch off lights and appliances when they’re not in use. Put air con and heating on a timer when they’re needed most rather than running them all day. Use energy efficient bulbs, these aren’t expensive and are a simple swap that anyone can do. Be mindful of the energy you use at home, cutting back is good for your pockets since your bills will be cheaper, as well as for the environment.
Processing and cleaning water again uses fossil fuels, and so wasting water unnecessarily uses uses environment- damaging fossil fuels. Just like with gas and electricity, we should be mindful of the water we use. Small changes like not running the tap while we brush our teeth, and taking showers instead of baths can all add up. Instead of using a hosepipe to water your garden in the summer, why not install a water butt and collect rainwater and use this instead? That way you’re not wasting clean water that has been processed to be acceptable for drinking.