The Green Bay: How can you act green at home?

IT’S EASY for someone to say that you need to be more ‘green’, it’s easy for us to say that we are ‘green’, but how can we actually achieve this? We get bombarded with articles, news stories and more telling us that we need to reduce our carbon footprints and live in an environmentally friendly manner – it can seem daunting.

green homeHowever, doing the minimum to live sustainably can be quite easy and just a few small changes to your lifestyle can make all the difference. It’s the little changes that will eventually lead to bigger and long term change. Everyone should get involved and do their part to live more sustainably and going ‘green’ at home is the perfect way to do that. It might even make you feel good about yourself as well!

So without further ado, here are my top tips:

  • Firstly, the easy thing to do is think before you buy. This can account of any number of things. For example, are you buying a new appliance? Make sure it has a good energy rating. When it comes to food, is there an organic alternative that isn’t too expensive? Check labels a little more often and you may be surprised!
  • Reduce needless waste. Recycling is key for this and it’s one of the easiest ways to do your bit – make sure you know what can be recycled in your county and your set. Think more about what you are using, for example you don’t need to use kitchen roll for every spill, why not have a washable cloth – much more efficient and it can save you more money because kitchen towel is very expensive.
  • Light bulbs! Make sure that when you replace your next bulb that it is a CFL (compact fluorescent light bulb) or a LED (light-emitting diodes) light bulb, as they use much less energy.
  • Make sure you use bags for life rather than plastic bags. This is an easy way to reduce your plastic use. You can go further by making sure you always have one with you or somewhere you can access one so that you’re never caught out.
  • We’re getting towards the summer now, do you really need the heating on as much as it is now? Albeit we’re all students, but those who are lucky enough to use heating regularly think about turning it down a few degrees now that the temperatures are warming up.
  • Another advantage of the temperatures warming up is being able to utilise outdoor washing lines. Although tumble dryers are easy and can save time, they are expensive to run and hanging you washing outside is much more energy efficient.
  • In one of the previous outings of this column, we talked about Meat Free Mondays as a way to cut down on eating meat to both reduce pollution and also help to reduce the risk of food related illnesses.

There we have it, a quick list of ideas on how to live a bit more sustainably! Now I realise that you may be thinking that some of these are obvious or you have heard them all before, but do you actually undertake all of them? If you can say that you are doing everything above then give yourself a pat on the back. Don’t stop there though, find out what else you can do to help the environment. Those of you that can say that you are not doing everything above, then try thinking about you can go about adopting a few of them. It’ll be good in the long run!