5 sustainable home upgrades to make in 2019

5 Sustainable Home Upgrades to Make in 2019

According to the Committee on Climate Change, the United Kingdom can end its contribution to global warming within 30 years. And seeing as homes account for 20% of our total emissions, there’s no better place to start to enact changes than our houses. Read on to see how you can make small changes for a more sustainable home and future.

 

 

Responsibly sourced furniture

 

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This isn’t to say that you need to replace your furniture right away. But when something does break or needs replacing, be sure to keep an eye out for furniture made from responsibly sourced materials. You can also try your hand at upcycling, which The Independent states will get you into the habit of taking old components, and giving them a new purpose. This can mean taking something like driftwood and turning into a rustic table or using PVC pipes for gardening. By doing this, it reduces the need to buy new materials and will also reduce your carbon footprint.

 

 

Energy efficiency

 

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Artificial lighting makes up around 15% of your total energy bill. And while switching to natural lighting would be the most energy-efficient option, we understand that not everyone can go out and remodel their homes. A quick fix would be to switch from incandescent bulbs to LEDs. Incandescent bulbs only convert 10% of electrical energy into light, with the other 90% wasted through heat. Not only do LEDs require less energy, but they can also last up to 22 years, making them a much more sustainable artificial lighting alternative.

 

On top of lighting, heating is also an important variable to consider if you want to save money and energy. One of the UK’s leading home assistance providers, HomeServe recommend replacing old boilers with more modern combi-boilers, which can heat up water more efficiently while using less energy. But if you want to take it up a notch, investing in solar power by installing panels on your roof is one of the best upgrades you can make. Not only can this minimise your carbon emissions, it can also help you save on energy bills in the long run.

 

 

Water consumption

 

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Your toilet consumes more water than any of your other household appliances, accounting for around 30% of the total water used in your household. Each flush amounts to around 7 gallons of water. An easy fix for this would be to replace your existing toilet with a low-flow alternative. Even better, you can also opt to install a dual-flush system with one button for liquid waste and another for solid. This in turn, will drive down unnecessary water costs.

 

 

Waste Management

 

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The United Kingdom sends 18 million tonnes of waste to landfills each year. The Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs states that the UK recycling rate for waste from households is at about 45.7%. This is still a long way off the targeted 50% recycle rate for households by 2020, so a change in your own household might just give the UK that extra push it needs.

 

One small thing you can do is to switch from single-use plastic bags to reusable bags. Simple acts like this can go a long way, considering that 91% of the world’s plastic isn’t recycled. Another thing you can do is to start composting, as a large chunk of what you throw into the trash everyday can actually be composted instead. This also results in healthier soil for your garden — making it as a win-win situation.

 

 

Insulation

 

5 Sustainable Home Upgrades to Make in 2019
Insulation can go a long way if you’re looking to cut back on your energy use. By making sure your home is properly insulated, you ensure that your home retains heat throughout the winter, and can help you avoid overusing your radiators and save on bills.

 

One basic step you can take when insulating your home is to fill any holes up in your walls, as about a third of all heat loss escapes through the walls that haven’t been insulated. You can double down on this by using recyclable or organic materials such as sheep’s wool or recycled plastic as insulation — both cheaper and environmentally friendly options.

 

 

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