Moving into a new home is exciting and an opportunity to #thinkcarbon and look at how you live your sustainable lifestyle. An opportunity that presented itself to our very own Client Success & New Partnerships Manager, Alex, recently.
Here are his top tips for how he made his home more sustainable using inspiration from Giki Zero.
Compost your food waste
Food waste is responsible for 6% of global greenhouse gas emissions. That is around three times the global emissions that come from air travel! Composting will save carbon and methane. Food waste going in landfill is especially bad because it emits methane, one of the most potent greenhouse gases.
The easiest way of doing this is if your local authority recycles food waste but even better if you can do it at home for your garden.
Collecting your food waste for composting and seeing the volume of food waste created over a week will help you think about ways to cut back on waste.
Be mindful of the cost of your appliances
If you’re moving into an unfurnished property for the first time, you’ll probably be buying some large appliances, which can be pricey and come at a carbon cost.
The appliance that you buy can have a big impact on the amount of energy you use depending on how efficient they are. When shopping for any new appliance, you can check the energy rating and go for the most efficient one. An efficient appliance, with a top rating, can use 60% less energy than an inefficient one. That means 60% lower bills.
We know it’s tempting to look at the cheapest appliances but bear in mind that the most energy-efficient appliances can sometimes be more expensive as they are using the latest technology. However, if you look at the ‘total cost of ownership’, which includes running costs, they can make that back by using less energy when you use them.
A useful list of appliances where energy usage is important: TVs, refrigerators and freezers, lighting, computers, washing machines, tumble dryers, air conditioning units, dishwashers, and kettles.
Stock your shelves with veggie or plant-based food
Switching to a plant-based diet is one of the largest steps you can take to reduce your carbon footprint and doing the first ‘big shop’ is a great time to look at what you eat and take some planet-saving moves.
If you do, then you’ll be in great company. One in eight people in the UK are now vegetarian or plant based, and more than 50% of millennials are trying to eat more plant-based diets. This year, the Wimbledon men’s contested by two world-class athletes who eat a plant-based diet!
A plant-based diet cuts the carbon emissions from your diet in half and requires much less land because you don’t need to grow animal feed. A lot of soy animal feed is grown in Brazil and linked to deforestation.
It can feel tricky switching to a plant-based diet initially, so it’s great that there are some steps in Giki Zero that can help make it manageable, including trying a veggie lunch every day for a week, eating animal products just once a day, or have fun and cook a plant-based meal for a friend.
Switch to renewables
Moving home presents another big impact step you can take; switching your energy supplier to one that uses renewable energy. You can cut your electricity carbon footprint by over 90% if you use 100% renewable electricity.
Renewable energy uses nature to generate power rather than burning fossil fuels. Switching to renewables can lead to a big reduction in your carbon footprint and is one of the most important steps everyone needs to make.
Switching is now easy; many companies will do most of the work for you. You should be done in under 30 minutes, and there are now price comparison sites for green energy like Big Clean Switch and renewable companies including Octopus.
So, if you’re moving home or just looking to live more sustainably, there are steps you can take to cut carbon and save money. For more inspiration, log into Giki Zero where you can find your carbon footprint and 150+ steps to help you live more sustainably.