New Years Changes

With the swirling pressure of making New Year’s resolutions, it can be easy to get a little too introspective – most of the time, these resolutions centre on self improvement (or sometimes self flagellation disguised as self improvement!) but what if this year, instead of looking in, you looked out? 

We are all aware of the impact, both positive and negative, that we can have on the environment – so this year, we are investigating the ways we can be more sustainable in our daily choices and lifestyle. Information overload is a real threat though, pushing those with the best intentions into an environmental existential spin – to keep it simple, we’ve summed up a few small changes that could have a big impact that are easy to adopt into every day life. 

Home Energy Saving

Our homes are big energy guzzlers. Both the emissions made by our central heating and the greenhouse gases created in electricity production are huge contributors to our carbon footprint. But lots of changes can be made in the home, which also have the added benefit of being money savers too…

The UK’s leading price comparison website, MoneySuperMarket, reveals the costs and savings associated with the most readily available renewable energy sources and efficiency-improvers around the home.

Renewable energy, defined as an energy source that is not depleted when used, offers the greatest monthly savings at £28.33 on average a month. On the other hand, efficiency measures, including energy-saving lightbulbs and reduced-water showerheads, offer an average of £6.92 in savings each month.

• Energy-saving light-bulbs: Changing the light bulbs around your house to energy-saving would cost you around £51.80 which could result in a financial saving of £27 a month. Generating significantly less carbon dioxide whilst last much longer than a traditional lightbulb this investment would pay for itself in a month.

• Cavity wall insulation: With an installation fee of £466, you’ll begin to see a return on your investment after three years and seven months. Not only does cavity wall reduce the cost of your energy bill, it also keeps your home warmer for longer and therefore reducing your carbon footprint.

Other small changes include turning power off at the switch, adding insulation to windows, doors and the loft, reduce the temperature of your washing machine and fix broken/leaking taps. 

Reduce single use plastic

Single use plastics contribute hugely to landfill, but some products are hard to replace, like the pods for coffee machines. Capsulier is the World’s first single-push, reusable, mess-free capsule maker. Simply load roasted and ground beans into the Capsulier Lite, close the lid and push the lever. You’ll have a unique capsule ready for use in seconds. The best bit is you can completely tailor the coffee flavour to your favourite beans. £100,
amazon.co.uk

Another simple way to help reduce your single use plastic is to look at the products in your bathroom. With shower gels and shampoos, it’s easy to have the plastic mounting up, but did you know you can buy solid soaps and shampoos – great for you and the planet.

Chateau du Savon produce Natural French Soaps, and with a zero waste philosophy, they refuse to sell any plastic bottles or products using plastic pumps or bottle tops. Furthermore, they are so passionate and committed to their cause and the environment, your products will arrive in 100% recyclable material.

Their range includes exfoliating soaps, Beauty Kubes which include a shampoo and conditioning range, soaps on ropes, and many more. See the full range here. They even have dish washing and laundry soap!

Greener Cleaning

How often do we think of the chemicals we are using in the home? And worse, that end up in the water system.

Green cleaners have a bit of a bad rep, but an amazing selection of products from Microbz might provide the answer – these clever cleaners are probiotic and restore the balance of positive microbes in your home, which naturally protects against pathogens – this means they continue to clean the surface long after they’ve been applied.

The 250ml concentrate bottle is extremely economical and makes 50, 500ml diluted spray bottles. See the full range and find out more about the science at microbz.co.uk

On the topic of cleaning, did you know that every synthetic sponge you use ends up in a landfill and takes up to 52,000 years to decompose?

Enter another natural solution, Todd’s coconut coir scrubs – these little natural pads replace conventional scourers and sponges and are 100% eco friendly, 100% bio-degradable, retain less water and are more hygienic than synthetic sponges – each one lasts 6-8 weeks too, longer than conventional sponges. Plus, they support local communities in Sri Lanka where they are made. hauslife.co.uk are the exclusive UK stockists. 

Quick Tips:

• Shop locally and support local farmers where you can

• Reusable everything – use reusable bags plus try to buy glass containers that can be refilled

• Reduce household waste by using a compost bin

• Unsubscribe to letters/catalogues you don’t wish to receive 

• Dry laundry on a line

• Use cloth instead of paper to clean your kitchen

• Switch to cloth nappies – or at least combine with disposables (even one cloth nappy per day means 365 fewer disposables in the landfill annually)

• Ditch cling film and plastic bags for vegetables and use breathable, reusable bags and beeswax food wraps

• Walk and cycle where you can. If you use the car, try to reduce trips and avoid aggressive driving