With so much emphasis on helping the planet, sustainability is a hot topic – especially when it comes to home life.
Going green and making eco-friendly living a lifestyle choice for yourself and future generations is not only hugely important for the planet, but it can also save on household bills.
There are lots of ways we can make more sustainable switches at home, and it all adds up. To point you in the right direction, here, MoneyExpert.com CEO Jason Smith shares 10 top tips for living more sustainably…
1. Switch to a green energy provider
"One of the simplest and quickest ways to make a difference to the way you live is to switch to a green energy provider. All of the electricity you use through a 100% renewable tariff is effectively zero carbon.
"It’s so simple and easy to switch, and you can do so at any time – there really isn’t any excuse."
2. Switch off!
"Leaving the TV on standby should be a thing of the past. It wastes needless energy and really increases your bills. It’s simple: if it’s not being used, switch it off! The same applies to lights, heating and any appliance.
"Having a smart meter in the house, in clear view, is also a clever way to track which electricity sources using the most energy. Noting this down can be an easy way to reduce consumption and your bills."
"Recycling couldn’t be easier nowadays, so it’s a mystery as to why more people aren’t taking the time to do so. If you’re confused, your local authority website will be able to share details of local recycling policies and what’s being done in your area.
"It’s never too late to consider what happens to packaging when it’s been used, so we should all be making this change."
4. Eliminate plastic
"Eliminating plastic can be extremely tough, however, with more places offering paper bags and household products being more widely available in unpackaged form (everything from cleaning products to pulses and pasta), things are getting easier.
5. Get walking
"There’s no longer any justification for jumping in the car for short journeys. If you can walk to your destination in 20 minutes or less, then take some fresh air. Consider the impact of these short car journeys on the environment, and being more active can benefit our health too."
6. Cut-down as much as possible
"Ask yourself this simple question: how long do I spend in the shower? If you’re shocked at your answer then it’s time to rethink. Whether it’s the time spent showering, how long the heating is on full whack, or how much time you spend re-boiling the kettle for that cup of tea you still haven’t got round to making – all this time, and energy, adds up. So, if you can shave a few minutes off your morning shower, then consider making that small change.
"We can also look to cut-down on our meat and dairy consumption, and buy fresh produce from Ireland, as this has a huge impact on the environment (increases pollution and fuels climate change). It’s not too much of a challenge to introduce ‘Meat-free Mondays’ to your household as a starting point."
7. Turn down the thermo
"Moneyexpert.com recently revealed a number of heating hacks that we can use to keep our heating switched off for as long as possible. It’s cold outside, there’s no denying that, but our bodies are capable of surviving more traumatic things than the weather. Wear an extra jumper, wrap up in a blanket, put your coat on when you’re outside so you can feel the benefit.
"All tips we’ve heard time and time again, but they work. And you’ll thank yourself when your next electricity bill comes through."
8. Switch to reuseable cups for morning coffee
"So many of us need a barista-made morning coffee to begin our day, and it’s so encouraging to see the amount of coffee shops who reduce the cost if you bring your own reusable coffee cup. This is such a simple change that anybody can make, and is also an effective way to live more sustainably."
9. Light up with LED
"Using LED light-bulbs is a no-brainer. Not only do they last longer, but they're far more energy-efficient than conventional bulbs. And there’re so many different designs around now, you can achieve whatever effect you want for your home. You’ll be replacing the bulbs far less frequently too, so lots of savings in the long-run."
10. Spread the word
"Speaking about environmental issues frequently will help other people to develop more of a green conscience. Setting an example is such a powerful thing, so we really shouldn’t forget how influential we can be."