A Simple Guide to Creating and Maintaining an Eco-Friendly Household
Many of us know we need to be doing more to protect our environment; according to a January 2023 survey, 50 percent of British consumers pledged to increase their environmental commitments this year. So, how’s it going?
Maybe you’re struggling to maintain your dedication, or perhaps you’re simply looking for new ways to make your household even eco-friendlier. Either way, your promises don’t have to be complicated.
Contrary to popular belief, you don’t need to go to the ends of the earth to protect the earth, nor do you need heaps of disposable income and free time. Here, Oceans have put together a simple guide to help ensure your household is an eco-friendly one.
Household cleaning products
Chores around the house are inevitable, but using harmful products doesn’t have to be. One simple way to create and maintain an eco-friendly household is to use only cleaning products that are kind to the environment.
Steer clear of any products that are made with harsh non-biodegradable chemicals, or that come in non-compostable packaging or single-use plastic. Here’s what you could be looking out for on your next shop:
Refillable toilet bleach
Plastic-free kitchen and toilet roll
Artificial fragrance-free surface sprays
Laundry sheets (over capsules)
You should also find out if the brand you’re buying from has a strong environmental policy with transparent information on where and how their product is manufactured.
Jordan Kelly, brand marketing manager at Oceans, said: “Through green cleaning, you can help to reduce the amount of plastic waste that ends up in our oceans and landfill, protect wildlife from plastic pollution, and preserve precious forests.
“We need every brand in Britain to adopt this kind of mission in the fight against climate change. If some can do it, all can do it. There are no excuses anymore and that can only be a good thing.”
409 kilograms (around half the weight of a horse) of waste per person was collected by local authorities in 2021 alone. What happened to the “waste not, want not” mantra that was drilled into us as kids?
To ensure you’re running an eco-friendly household, start improving (or completely eradicating the need for) your waste reduction processes. Oh, and of course, recycle whenever possible, wherever possible.
Doing this successfully means changing your habits from the top; make purchases wisely to minimise the chance of losing any need for the items in the immediate future.
Plan your meals in advance, try to upcycle existing furniture or buy second-hand, and compost the likes of fruit and veg scraps, grass clippings, and eggshells.
An energy efficient household is a happy household – just ask the ecstatic families that are saving around £1,000 per year on their energy bills.
The term ‘energy efficiency’ can be confusing to some households because it sounds rather scientific, but really, it’s just about using less energy to perform the same task or produce the same result.
Fortunately, there are an increasing number of household solutions that enable families to do exactly that! Here are some options you could implement quickly:
Energy-efficient appliances and electronics – When upgrading your appliances, take note of each A to G rating. If a television or microwave has an A rating, for example, it means it’s the most efficient product of its class, while G means it’s the least efficient.
LED lighting – Make the switch from incandescent light bulbs to LED and consume a staggering 80 per cent less energy! What’s more, the annual running cost of LED bulbs is actually cheaper, too. Not only is it a bright idea, but also a cost-effective one.
Renewable energy sources – While this suggestion is unlikely to happen overnight, it’s still worth thinking about how adding the likes of solar panels or an air source heat pump can dramatically improve the energy efficiency of your home, saving you money in the process.
Sustainable food choices
If you’re not making the best possible choices when it comes to what you put in your fridge, freezer, and cupboards, now is the time to start. Your diet has a direct impact on the environment, which is something many people overlook.
From today (no need to wait until the next new year!) purchase only locally sourced and organic produce to play your role in reducing how far the food has travelled. In turn, this cuts down on associated fossil fuel consumption, greenhouse gas emissions, and air pollution.
Additionally, you could limit how much meat your household consumes and adopt a plant-based diet where possible; going vegan could reduce your food carbon footprint by up to 73 per cent! If you’re not ready to completely overhaul your diet, just start with one or two days per week.
Be honest with yourself here: Do you give enough thought as to how much water you use and what for? The shocking truth is, every single day in Britain, more than three billion litres of clean water is being wasted. That’s enough to fill 1,200 Olympic-sized swimming pools.
Start being more mindful and practice water conservation throughout your household. It doesn’t have to be complex, either.
Simply adopt a responsible approach to water usage if you haven’t already, which may include:
Taking shorter showers
Fixing leaks as soon as you spot them
Turning off the tap when brushing teeth / shaving
Using the washing machine and dish washer for full loads only
Reusing rainwater and greywater where possible.
Education and awareness
While it’s great that you’re determined to do more for the environment, you must remember that the responsibility doesn’t start and end with your household.
Another simple way to extend your awesome work is to make sure you’re sharing your thoughts, tools, and tips with others, encouraging them to do the same.
If you have any little ones in the house, teach them about the importance of sustainability early on, so that they can build positive habits from the get-go.
Additionally, share your eco-friendly practices with neighbours and friends, giving them the opportunity to improve their household and help save the planet at the same time. We’re all in this together, so it makes sense to broaden your knowledge and spread awareness.
Save money, save the planet
Many households are put off the idea of committing to an environmentally friendly lifestyle because they believe it costs too much money. As we continue to battle through cost-of-living challenges, no one can blame them for feeling this way.
However, many of the eco-conscious suggestions we’ve made in this article can help you save money, not spend it. This coupled with the fact that you’ll be significantly reducing carbon emissions and thus saving the planet is a pretty good deal, if you ask us.
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