Over the last couple of years, it has become increasingly apparent that everyone needs to do more when it comes to their own carbon footprint. Sustainability has become the major watchword for businesses and individuals, as we have seen the evidence of climate change becoming more and more drastic. With forest fires, flooding and extreme weather events, everyone is sitting up and taking notice. Here in the UK, we saw a record-breaking heatwave last summer that was truly alarming. However, it can sometimes seem like there is only so much that you can do as an individual.
But while governments discuss what steps they are going to take and businesses look at their carbon footprint, it is important to remember that everything we do has an impact. The steps that we can take may be small, but these are the things that must be done if we want to make sure that we keep climate change to a minimum. If you own your own home, you may be surprised by just how much you can do to be greener and more sustainable. Here are a few tips to help you to get started.
Talk To Your Children About How Important It Is
One of the most encouraging things about this issue is seeing how much more aware each subsequent generation has been about how important it is. Of course, we should not have to rely on someone like Greta Thunberg to sound the alarm, but just think about how much more you pay attention to things like sorting recyclables than your parents’ generation did. It is important that you sit down with your children and talk to them about how climate change works and what they can do to be a part of the solution, not part of the problem. Remember that there are a lot of resources online, and that they may actually be better informed than you are.
Practice What You Preach
Following on from the point above, if you are going to talk to your kids about the importance of going green, you need to lead by example. It is a fact of life that children will be looking to see what you do, not just listen to what you say. Just remember that if they see you putting non-recyclables into the wrong bin, for example, they may wonder why they should bother.
Don’t Forget The Little Things
If you are wondering where the best place to start is to take major steps toward more sustainability, it is always a good idea to make sure that you are taking care of the little things. That means making sure that you are recycling properly and doing your best to avoid picking up plastic bags at the supermarket when you can take bags for life from home. Think about taking a reusable water bottle to work with you instead of picking up a plastic bottle on the way and investing in a thermos for your coffee. Most coffee places will be more than happy to put your drink into a reusable cup for you. Remember to turn off your appliances like your TV and your computer when you are not using them instead of leaving them on standby. Finally, remembering to turn the lights off when you leave a room is the kind of thing that makes more of a difference than you may realise.
Look At Solar Panels For Your Home
Energy has been one of the biggest conversation points of the last year or so, as prices rose by a staggering amount. The government has been working on ways to make sure that the cost of living does not impact people too much, but the fact remains that everyone is going to be looking at a lot more on their energy bills over the next few months. If you have been thinking about how you could reduce your dependency on traditional energy, as well as reduce your impact on the environment, then it may be time to think about solar power. Over the last several years, we have seen more and more people embrace solar energy by installing solar panels in their homes. If you have been wondering how much solar panels cost, then take a look at this detailed breakdown by the Federation of Master Builders. They’ll take you through everything from costs to the best solar panel system for you right now.
Recycle Your Electronics Properly
We’ve talked about the importance of making sure that you recycle your household waste, but one of the biggest problem areas out there is electronic waste. It is a huge issue globally, and it is easy to see why. With new models of mobile phones coming out every year and computers only lasting a limited amount of time, there is always going to be a steady flow of e-waste coming from every household. But if this waste is not disposed of properly, then it goes straight to the dump where it sits and starts to become a serious problem. If you need to throw away anything from a pair of old headphones to a broken kettle, you must take it to the nearest facility that handles electronic waste.
Think About Your Car
One of the biggest contributing factors to any household’s carbon footprint is always going to be its cars. Now, there may be a limit to how much you can reduce how much driving you and your family are doing, but this is an important area to focus on if you can. To start with, if you are a two-car household, you need to think seriously about whether you could get by with just one. Next, it’s time to think about your commute. Is driving really the only option, or could you walk or use public transport? If you do need to drive, could you talk to any of your colleagues about setting up a ride-share system? Not only is this better for the environment, but it will also help you to save money on those rising petrol costs! If driving regularly is absolutely essential, maybe it’s time to think about investing in an electric car. They are getting more and more affordable, and you can set up a charging point at home instead of relying on finding a petrol station that has one.
Don’t Forget Your Garden
If you are thinking of ways to cut down your carbon footprint, one of the best things that you can do is to turn your garden into something that benefits local wildlife. Growing your own vegetables is a great way of cutting down on how much you rely on imported foods but remember that you can be doing more to make your green space more welcoming to local wildlife. Small birds and hedgehogs have been having a hard time thanks to climate change, so look at what you can do to provide them with some shelter. Put in some bushes that offer plenty of hiding places and which will attract insects for birds to feed on. A hedgehog house is a great way to give the little creatures somewhere to hide during bad weather. Think about getting your kids involved to help them learn more about the wildlife living in your area.