Green information hub

The path to going green isn't always clear. Hopefully we can help with some handy tips.

This section is about the choices we can make in our everyday lives to protect our environment, for the benefit of all. We aim to empower you with simple information on how you can make a difference.  

Switch to renewable energy

Switching your energy supply to one which deals in “Green Energy” means getting energy from sources that won’t run out (unlike non-renewables such as coal or oil). These energy sources produce far less of a carbon footprint than fossil fuels, therefore reducing your impact on the planet. Renewables are far cheaper than they used to be due to investment and greater concern over climate change and in 2019 the UK had its first ever fortnight of electricity produced solely through sources other than coal. 

Cut down on energy usage in your home

There are a lot of ways to cut back on energy you use in your home, many of which are detailed on the Government's website Simple Energy Advice and independent website Energy Saving Trust. These will lead to smaller energy bills and more money in your pocket! That is a win for you and a win for the Earth. Start by lowering your thermostat in the winter and raising it in the summer. Unplug appliances when they aren’t being used, wash all possible clothes on cold (according to The World Watch Institute, 85 percent of the energy used to machine-wash clothes goes to heating the water) and use a drying rack or clothesline to dry your outfits when they are finished being washed. Reducing your energy around the home is literally as easy as a click of the button. Uncomfortable taking these steps at the same time? Try one at a time until your home is completely energy efficient!

Insulate your home

The first and one of the most important steps you can take in making your home greener is investing in insulation. By missing out on this step you will end up spending a lot more on producing heat in the home or cooling it in the summer and wasting a lot more energy in the process. The Energy Saving Trust have estimated that a three-bedroom semi-detached house can save up to £310 on energy bills via proper insulation. The good news is that most houses don’t require any planning permission for fitting insulation so along with the money you will save from this investment it is something to consider!

Plant a tree

We will plant a tree for every mortgage we complete and whilst planting trees is not the one solution that will resolve climate change, ecological health and sustainability plays a key role in protecting the environment. Many of us will not enjoy the benefit of a garden or indeed one large enough to accommodate the planting of several trees. As a worthy compromise, there are many UK and worldwide charities that are focused on reforestation and offsetting C02 by planting trees. There are many useful websites you can go to when choosing how you want to contribute to tree planting - such as Carbon Footprint - whether you do it yourself in your local area or donating to a charity that does it for you.

Switch your devices off

Conserving energy around the home is one of the simplest and most effective things you can do every day to reduce your carbon footprint and live a greener life. Leaving traditional incandescent light-bulbs on wastes 95% of the energy they use producing heat, with only 5% undertaking its main function of giving out light. Turning off your electronics when not in use will also help save valuable energy and prolong the life-span of your appliance as you won’t be running it down needlessly throughout the day. It is also a good idea to unplug devices such as chargers when not in use as many will still run continuously and waste valuable energy, costing both the Earth and your budget.

Grow your own food

Some foods will always taste best picked fresh from your own garden or windowsill. If you grow your own you can cut out food miles and recycle your own kitchen scraps by composting them as homemade fertiliser. It’s very green – and it’s an adventure that can take up as much of your life as you let it. Growing your own will also promote soil health by removing the use of pesticides and fertilisers as well as combating some of the vast mono-cultures present in the UK. When growing your own food you will also be getting valuable exercise and a meaningful hobby that the whole family can enjoy, and you don't even need much space - try checking this Veg Growing website for ideas. Children that get involved with growing food sustainability will also have a greater appreciation for the natural world around them and the importance of shopping seasonally. 

Buy local

Perhaps the most obvious way in which buying local produce helps the environment is in cutting down the miles it must travel to reach your plate. When buying from a supermarket much of the food will have travelled from overseas creating large carbon footprints through air travel and long journeys in food lorries. Buying local also supports local and small scale farms which often go to great lengths to protect the local environment and wildlife. Without this support farms often get sold off for development which disrupts this balance. By supporting local producers and markets it also keeps people working in the community rather than seeking jobs further away from where they live contributing to greater greenhouse gas output caused by transport.

Reduce water waste

This is one piece of advice most of us will have already heard of; reducing your water usage. There are many simple ways the whole family can do this. By installing a low flow water saving tap and shower-head you will automatically reduce you water usage and save money at the same time. There are also the personal steps you can take by reducing your time in the shower and turning off the tap while you brush your teeth or wash your hands. It is also important that we all cut back on purchasing bottled water, either by buying an eco-friendly water bottle to take out with you or by purchasing a water filter to improve the quality and taste of your tap water at home. This will also help to significantly reduce the output of single use plastics both into the environment and into landfill.

Recycle, recycle, recycle

The UK alone throws away 26.8 million tonnes of waste each year so finding out where and how to recycle a large amount of what we would otherwise throw away is an important consideration. For example, personal recycling by repurposing old items such as glass jars for food containers is another great way to prevent undue waste in landfill.

Whatever your budget and whatever you chose to do... keep up your good work. The planet needs more people like you.




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