This year we all need to make a contribution to reducing the emissions that are having such a negative impact on our planet. From saving electricity to changing our mind-set about cars, shopping and plastic bottles, Ellina Webb looks into ways you can save the world from the comfort of your sofa.
“There’s a superhero in all of us, we just need the courage to put on the cape”
As cheesy as this inspirational quote might sound, doing your bit to save the world doesn’t require a bit of courage (or a cape for that matter) but it does require you to open your eyes and look at the devastation happening to our planet year on year.
The biggest positive impact you can have on the planet right now is by ZAPPING your carbon footprint which in turn can help with issues caused and likely to be caused by climate change.
Thankfully making these changes are extremely easy and do-able for us all and as a starting point, only require a bit of energy-saving SHAZAM at home.
With great power (usage) comes great responsibility (to our planet)
Say KA-POW to wasted power
Only plug in what you need to be running, or ensure devices/appliances are switched off at the wall after use. According to the Energy Savings Trust, leaving appliances on standby can cost households up to £80 per year.
Of course it depends on the number of appliances you have and how new they are (usually the newer appliances use less energy under EU regulations) but it’s worth taking a look at the figures because regardless of age or number there will be a cost unless you unplug.
Why so serious?
The cost to you will be higher bills and the cost to the environment will be higher emissions, after all fossil fuel electricity is one of the main sources of C02 emissions so every little saving will help.
ZAP those unwanted letters
GDPR comes into force in 2018 meaning companies across the EU will be clearing their databases of all personal details, so now is the time to evaluate what digital and physical mail you still want to receive.
Sick of that magazine subscription you’re still receiving through your door? Or fed up of the piles of unopened bank statements? Where you can, cancel unwanted mail or request items like bank statements to be digitised.
SNAP off those lights
Try to remember to turn off lights in rooms that aren’t being occupied. Also look into LED light bulbs that create less heat and so therefore use less energy. Using LED lights can reduce your bill by around £35 a year – as I have previously discussed here in my article How to Hygge without increasing your energy bills.
WHACK down the heating
We all know how important a warm home is but ensuring your thermostat is set correctly and that it’s on a timer will help you conserve energy by ensuring heat isn’t wasted when the property is unoccupied.
Improving various aspects of your home’s fabric will also help with energy conservation – so while this isn’t something you can really get done from your sofa, you can start by an online investigation into home improvements like loft insulation, draught-proofing and double glazing.
Be a renewable technology HERO
Reducing your energy use or switching to solutions that use less energy and provide the same service (like LED bulbs or renewable heating systems) is a good idea for any household. This is especially true of those who use fossil fuels to supply their homes with heating and hot water.
The majority of homes in the UK are on the gas grid so energy savings and conservations will help to reduce emissions. However if you use or are looking at installing low-carbon renewable systems like air source heat pumps – which harvest heat energy from the air and make the most of any electricity they do consume, your carbon footprint will already be low which is why swapping to low-carbon systems are one of the best options available and are backed by the Government.
It's not always necessary to replace your existing heating system completely as it is now possible to add an air source heat pump to your existing system and this can still earn you 7 years of income from the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).
Ellina Webb is a Senior Marketing Executive at Mitsubishi Electric
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