In a time when climate change, the hole in the ozone layer, green house gases and a range of environment disasters are at the forefront of political, social and economic discussions, it can be difficult to know what we can do on a personal level to make a difference.
While there are a range of discussions, policies and taxes that will be decided for us by the powers above, there are also many other ways that you can personally contribute to a more environmentally friendly and conscious world. And you’ll probably find that your energy bills reduce nicely in the process as well.
So if you’re interested in jumping on the bandwagon and reducing your environmental footprint, here are a few ways to embrace your inner green spirit.
Recycle and compost
Recycling and composting is a simple way to reduce the amount of waste that we need to put in landfill. This in turn helps reduce green house gases, and the amount of water and non-renewable sources that we use. A compost bin is also a good way to make use of our green waste. More than half of household rubbish is made up of food and garden scraps, and this compost can then be used to sustain a worm farm. Yes, a worm farm – your inner green spirit will be impressed!
Make your home energy efficient
- There are a number of small changes that you can make in the home that collectively will reduce the amount of energy that you use:
- Install energy efficient light bulbs
- Use heavy curtains and drapes to keep cool air out in winter and insulate your rooms in summer. Also, using doors to block off areas of the house is a great way to reduce draughts and thus the need for heating.
- Take shorter showers! A significant portion of the energy bill accounts for the energy needed to heat your water for the long hot showers that everyone wants. By reducing shower times, you reduce the amount of energy that you use in the process.
- Use the cold water setting on your washing machine, as this will also reduce the need for that water to be used.
- Don’t leave your appliances on standby. Did you know that standby power accounts for 10% of your energy use? By simply turning your appliances – whether that be the TV, computer or DVD player off at the wall, you cut down the amount of energy you use.
Use renewable energy sources
Renewable energy comes from natural sources that are easily replenished (unlike non-renewable sources such as coal and gas which are not). There are a number of different ways to approach using renewable energy sources in the home. Firstly, you could install solar panels and use that solar energy to power your house. Alternatively, you can elect to buy green energy from your electricity retailer. You can elect for all or a portion of the energy your house needs to run to be renewable. While renewable energy is marginally more expensive, you’ll have peace of mind that you reducing your carbon footprint.
If you’re interested in making a personal change and reducing your environmental footprint, these are just a few simple ways that you can begin to harness your inner green spirit. And don’t forget – these small habitual changes will also lead to a less hefty energy bill!