9 Ways Homeowners Can Reduce Their Carbon Footprint
To reduce theThe Climate Change Act 2008 sets out legally binding carbon emission reduction targets that the UK must meet. Under this law, the UK has to ensure carbon dioxide emissions are at least 80% lower by 2050 than the 1990 baseline.
However, back in June 2019, the then Prime Minister, Theresa May, committed to an even more ambitious target: “net zero” greenhouse gas emissions by 2050. In other words, in just thirty years, net UK greenhouse gas emissions will be cut to almost zero.
That means emissions from houses, farming, transportation and industry will have to be eliminated completely or – in the case of the most difficult examples – offset by planting trees or using artificial systems to suck CO2 out of the atmosphere.
Now, the good news is homeowners can absolutely do their bit to help the UK meet its carbon emissions target. By making a few small adjustments and consciously thinking about how energy efficient your home is, you can make a difference.
Here’s how you can do your bit to help the UK hit its carbon emissions target:
1. Unplug electronics when they are not being used
Did you know that even when electronic devices are switched off, they still consume some power if they are plugged into a wall socket? Okay, so it’s nowhere near as much as they draw when they’re switched on, but it all adds up.
While it might be a bit inconvenient to unplug your electronic devices every time you’ve finished using them, doing so will have a positive impact on your carbon footprint.
2. Dry your clothes outdoors
Tumble dyers use a lot of power. That’s why whenever you have the opportunity, you should always look to dry your clothes outside. Not only will you lower your energy bills – which equals extra money in your pocket – but you’ll also reduce your carbon footprint.
3. Grow your own vegetables
It’s so easy to pop to the supermarket and pick up some fresh vegetables. But have you ever stopped to consider how far all that produce has been trucked and how much carbon dioxide has been released into the atmosphere as a result?
By growing your own vegetables at home, even just a modest amount, you can make a small, yet positive difference to the environment. New ways to grow small amounts of veggies indoors means that even those without a garden can still participate.
4. Switch to LED lightbulbs
Another really easy and relatively cost-effective change you can make is replacing your old lightbulbs for more energy efficient LED ones. While the initial purchase price is inevitably higher, LED lightbulbs quickly pay for themselves.
If you can’t afford to change all your lightbulbs in one go, start by switching the ones in the rooms you use the most.
5. Purchase energy-efficient appliances
Not all appliances are created equally (unfortunately) and some use a lot more power than others. However, modern refrigerators, washing machines, dishwashers, etc. tend to use a lot less energy than their older counterparts.
There are even schemes out there which will see you receive some money – £50 in some cases – if you proactively replace an old appliance with a more energy-efficient new one.
6. Seal and insulate your home
If they’re not properly insulated and/or have draughts, houses can really add to your carbon footprint. While fixing an issue can sometimes be as simple as adding some more insulation in the loft, a much more effective course of action might be to replace outdated windows with more energy-efficient versions.
Obviously, your available budget will dictate what you can and can’t do when it comes to sealing and insulating, but start with the basics and work from there.
In the case of rooflights – especially if you’re considering adding one or two in the near future – look for a product that boasts low Ug-values.
Here at Roof Maker, we are extremely proud of the exceptionally low Ug-values of our products. Take, for example, our fixed flat rooflights. These high-performance, non-opening skylights are triple glazed as standard and boast Ug-values as low as 0.6 w/m2k. Opt for our specialist Reflex solar control glass and you’ll have a rooflight that has Ug-values as low as 0.5 w/m2k.
7. Conserve water
It is easy to overlook water because it’s so readily available. Simply turn a tap on and out it comes. But consider how much energy and effort is consumed to get that water in a drinkable state to your home. It has to be processed and pumped, which adds to our country’s carbon footprint.
By reducing the amount of water you use – whether that’s taking a shower rather than a bath, or getting rid of leaks that make your toilet constantly run – you can make a positive difference.
8. Reuse, recycle and repurpose
Even though we said earlier that replacing old appliances with newer, energy-efficient models is a step in the right direction, there are plenty of other situations where you should look to reuse, recycle and repurpose your stuff.
Enquire with your local council about any relevant initiatives in your local area and get actively involved to help reduce the carbon emissions associated with manufacturing and transporting new household items.
9. Drive less. Drive smart
It can be all too easy to jump in your car and pop to the shops – especially if it’s raining. But please consider whether walking is an option every time you make a short journey.
Not only will your health benefit from the extra physical activity, but you’ll also be leaving a smaller carbon footprint in your wake.
The same goes for commuting to your place of work. If you can get a lift or give someone a lift, you’ll all save money and benefit the environment – it’s a win-win.
Interested in finding out more about our super energy-efficient rooflights? We’d love to tell you all about them, listen to your needs and help you discover which of our products is perfect for you.