5 Ways to be more green in the home.

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  1. Change your energy supplier – Divest in fossil fuels and invest in green technology ( http://www.ecotricity.co.uk/ ) ‘When we talk about green energy, we mean electricity and gas made from renewable sources – we mean green electricity; made from the elements, the Wind, the Sun and the Sea – and green gas; made from organic material and algae.’ While you’re changing this you might as well enrol for the rest of you bills to be on-line and opt out of junk mail from Royal Mail
  2. Eat less meat – Producing a kilo of beef requires 15,000 litres of water, 30kg of carbon dioxide or equivalent greenhouse gas emissions, and 5 square metres of land [1] A simple dietary change can “substantially lower” emissions, so why not try meat free Mondays?  “Preventing catastrophic warming is dependent on tackling meat and dairy consumption” [2] Arnold Schwarzenegger: Eat less meat, save the planet [3]
  3. Clean with white vinegar – Regular cleaning products are full of toxic chemicals and yet we use them every day to clean our homes, getting rid of the dirt but leaving behind a residue of chemicals in the air that our family breathes and which contributes to allergies. Vinegar is a remarkable natural cleaning agent. It is cheap and very effective for killing germs and bacteria, lifting grease and dirt, and sanitizing surfaces. In a clean spray bottle mix half vinegar and half water. Keep this spray bottle to hand for wiping down all surfaces, from counter-tops to stainless steel stoves, windows, kids’ toys and plastic fittings. The only surface that vinegar should not be used on is marble. Other natural ingredients such as lemon are also brilliant for keeping your household clean and fresh. Here are some DIY cleaning recipes
  4. Wash at 30°c – If all UK citizens currently washing their clothes at 40°C instead washed them at 30°C, the UK would save of 12 percent of the energy that is currently consumed on clothes washing annually (approximately 0.5 TWh, equivalent to 0.22 Mt CO2 emissions). Lowering wash temperature could therefore potentially be more beneficial than increased washing machine efficiency Cost savings to a consumer of reducing their wash temperature from 40°C to 30°C could be in the region of £3 per annum. [4] This change should be coupled with buying fewer clothes and extending the wear time in between washes as well as using concentrated, ecologically friendly detergent, which also reduces water and electricity consumption.
  5. Switch to LED lights  – LEDs yield at least five times the return on investment of incandescents. A high quality LED lamp or fixture will generally last 25,000 hours or more, and some LED lamps can go for 100,000 hours. Consider that the average household typically uses their lights for 2,000 hours or less each year, and the longevity of LEDs becomes clear.[5]

 

[1] http://www.theguardian.com/commentisfree/2015/nov/28/eating-less-meat-save-planet-dietary-guidelines [2] http://www.theguardian.com/environment/2014/dec/03/eating-less-meat-curb-climate-change [3] http://www.aol.com/article/2015/12/09/arnold-schwarzenegger-eat-less-meat-save-the-planet/21281062/ [4] http://www2.wrap.org.uk/downloads/Reducing_the_environmental_impact_of_clothes_cleaning.8441da83.10844.pdf [5] http://www.motherearthnews.com/green-homes/weighing-the-switch-to-led-lighting-zbcz1502.aspx