It’s impossible to ignore the recent awareness surrounding the environmental impact of humans across the world. It’s easy to feel like one person can’t make a difference either – but that’s not true.

The difference you can make to the environment by creating a greener home also affect your cash flow, too! Simple changes you can make to help reduce your carbon footprint also mean significant long-term cash savings for you, too.

Being eco-friendly doesn’t have to cost a lot of capital investment, either. These easy steps will help you to make positive shifts to protect the environment – and your wallet!

Turn it down, switch it off

Turning your thermostat down just a couple of degrees in winter can save you hundreds of pounds in electricity each year. Even better, switching it off when you’re out of the house – such as during the day while you’re at work – can save even more energy and money.

Investing in a smart home heating system, like Nest or Hive, means you can easily control your heating when you’re away from home, too. Keep it switched off while you’re out – and turn it back on when you start your journey home, to make sure it’s toasty when you arrive.

You can also save a lot of energy by switching appliances off at the wall instead of leaving them on standby. Switch off all appliances at the wall, except essential appliances like your fridge and freezer, to save a ton of electricity and potentially hundreds of pounds each year.

If you leave your phone charger plugged in all night, you’re not only wasting electricity but also damaging the battery – meaning you could face an expensive phone replacement sooner rather than later. Try plugging the charger into a timer switch instead. This keeps the switch on for a set time, to make sure your phone charges, before turning it off to save energy.

Use eco-friendly items (and reuse them again and again)

Reusable household items, such as silicone bowl covers instead of clingfilm, will help reduce your household waste and carbon footprint.

You’ll also spend less buying refill products instead of new bottles or boxes with each purchase. For example, a bulk-buy eco-friendly household cleaner, like Ecover, can be decanted into a reusable bottle. Bulk purchases save you money while eco-friendly products reduce the use of harmful chemicals and minimise your household waste.

Install solar panels

Solar panels aren’t as costly as they once were – and there may be a scheme in your area to have them installed for free.

These schemes ‘rent’ your roof space. The solar panel supplier sells the electricity gained from the panels on your roof back to the grid; you’ll also benefit from free or discounted electricity.

If you choose to buy solar panels yourself, you can spend a few thousand pounds to have the best ones installed on your roof and immediately start recouping the cost through free electricity. You can also sell unused power back to the grid for additional profit.

Use draft excluders and thermal curtains

Turning the thermostat down is one thing, but if you want to stay warm as the central heating stays cool, make sure you’ve draught-proofed your home.

Seal up any gaps in doors and windows that tiny draughts can seep through. Use excluders behind your doors, too – this’ll reduce the amount of cold air that can blast in under doors.

Finally, thermal-lined curtains can significantly reduce the amount of central heating you’ll need at night. They’re designed to keep the warmth in and the cold air out – so once you’ve got the heating on, close those curtains to stop heat escaping into the night air!

Boost your loft insulation

Your loft insulation may not meet current minimum standards if it was installed many years ago. Check your current insulation: if it’s old, not thick, or lacking altogether, you might qualify for a grant from your local council to pay for new insulation.

Improved insulation can save you up to £225 per year – and reduces your carbon emissions, too!

Upgrade your ancient boiler

An old and inefficient boiler wastes more heat than it generates. You also risk an expensive and uncomfortable freeze if it breaks down in winter!

New boilers are energy-efficient and designed to reduce your overall emissions. The more efficient a boiler is, the lower your energy costs will be.

You may also want to consider switching your old water tank and traditional boiler to a combi-boiler that provides on-demand hot water. Doing this means you won’t have to heat an entire tank of water every time you want to run the hot tap. Instead, you’ll heat only the water you need.

Buy second-hand furniture

Reduce, reuse, recycle: we’ve heard it all before but furniture is one of the best reasons to make use of this mantra.

When you’re moving house or renovating your home, furniture is the first thing you’ll consider buying. However, before you go to the new furniture stores, visit local second-hand furniture shops to see if they have what you need.

You could snap up a bargain at a fraction of the price – and also reduce your household waste if you take along your old furniture as part of a swap. Most of these shops are run by charities, too – so giving your old furniture or buying second-hand from them will support your local community.

Consider an eco-friendly mortgage provider

Did you know there are environmentally-conscious mortgage providers? It’s true!

A growing number of eco-friendly mortgage lenders are popping up to help you invest in the planet’s future while paying off your home loan. These providers invest a proportion of their profits into environmental programmes such as tree-planting schemes.

Find out more about your eco-friendly mortgage options: speak to your local mortgage expert on 01642 386319 or fill out the contact form for a call back.


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