9 swaps to lower your carbon footprint this new year
Viessmann shares with you nine swaps you could make to lower your carbon footprint. Read More
They might not all be practical options for you, but implementing even just a couple of these swaps could help to make your home noticeably leaner and greener. So, without further ado, here are our top 9 swaps:
1. Use smart heating controls
Smart heating systems connect your boiler to the internet, allowing you to control your heating remotely. Using a combination of sensors, algorithms and hardware, this technology allows you to tailor your heating setup to suit your exact needs, improving efficiency while also enhancing comfort.
Depending on your household energy usage and the system you choose, you could slash your energy bill by as much as 15%.
2. Install a renewable heating system
If you need to replace a gas or oil heating system, consider switching to a renewable alternative such as an air or ground source heat pump. These systems do require electricity to run, but there is the option of installing a solar PV system to help power it, and to provide electricity that can be used for other equipment and appliances in your home too. This will minimise your reliance on the grid and help to further lower your energy bills.
Replacing an old G-rated gas boiler with a standard air source heat pump in a three-bed detached house could save 2,800 kg of CO2 a year and cut energy bills by £395.
3. Draught-proof your home
Draught-proofing around doors and windows in your home is a relatively simple and cheap way to increase energy efficiency. You should be able to do all or most of this work yourself, meaning no expert help is required.
This step could prevent a fifth of your home’s heat from escaping. This equates to a reduction of 145 kg of CO2 a year in an average house. You also stand to reduce your annual energy bills by around £60.
4. Switch to low energy lighting
If you still have halogen lights in your home, it’s time to make the switch to low energy options. By replacing these bulbs (which are now banned from sale in the UK because they don’t meet efficiency standards) with modern alternatives such as LEDs, you can save energy and money, all without sacrificing the quality of light in your home.
Replacing all the lights in your home with LEDs could lower CO2 emissions by up to 40 kg a year. Given that lighting makes up around 11% of the average household electricity consumption, you could also save some serious money over the long term.
5. Choose pedal power
Whether you’re travelling to the shops, work or elsewhere, taking your bike instead of the car can benefit your health, your wallet and the environment. Thanks to the government’s Cycle to Work Scheme, purchasing a bike might be cheaper than you think.
Choosing to cycle or walk one mile to work and back once a week rather than taking the car could save 29 kg of CO2 a year and shave £11 off your fuel costs.
6. Pay attention to efficiency when choosing appliances
When you’re buying new appliances for your home, pay close attention to the energy efficiency rating. Cooking, washing and refrigeration appliances account for around 13% of a household’s energy consumption, so it’s well worth making the effort to find the most efficient designs. Even if you have to pay a little more upfront to get the most efficient models, you could make significant savings over the long term.
An A-rated fridge freezer could cost you around £800 less to run over its lifetime than an F-rated model, and it could save up to 670 kg of CO2 over this period.
7. Reduce, reuse and recycle
We live in a throwaway culture, which can hit not only your purse, but also the planet. By reducing the number of products you consume and reusing and recycling old items, you can save money, reduce waste and cut your carbon footprint.
According to climate action charity WRAP, UK households could save a combined £1 billion a year and cut CO2 emissions by 1 million tonnes by increasing the re-use of key household products such as electricals and clothes.
8. Buy less meat and dairy
We’ve all noticed an increase in grocery costs recently. One way to bring your shopping bills down and be kinder to the planet is to reduce the amount of meat and dairy you buy. For example, perhaps you could have one day a week when you don’t eat meat. Meals like beans on toast can make a tasty alternative to a meat-based option, and they’re often cheaper too.
The carbon emissions associated with a vegetarian diet can be around 2.5 times lower than those of a meat diet. If you don’t want to go completely vegetarian, a flexitarian diet (one which contains low amounts of meat and dairy) also reduces carbon emissions - and it can cut grocery costs by 14%.
9. Avoid fast fashion
The allure of fast fashion can make it tempting to buy lots of low-quality clothes, but this is bad news for the environment, and potentially for your pocket too. By purchasing fewer items but choosing higher quality products, you could reduce waste and actually save money long-term because you’ll get more wear out of your clothes.
Wearing an item of clothing for an extra nine months can lower its carbon footprint by up to 30%. And with around £140 million worth of garments being sent to landfill every year in the UK, you may be able to save money by being more selective in your fashion choices.
Join the conversation
We hope our suggestions will help to inspire you to make positive changes to benefit both the environment and your budget. Have your own sustainability hacks you’d like to share? Join the conversation using #StartAtHomeTogether