Another year has begun and the personal New Year resolutions are already almost forgotten. If this sounds like you, why don’t you set your aims a bit lower and start taking a greener step towards home improvement.
As with any new initiative, there is always the risk and issue of how much money will be involved versus the actual outcome. People are open to make a difference, but sometimes the costs involved are not affordable. There are many schemes to help fix this problem, such as ‘green loans’ or the Green Deal Initiative in the UK.
But don’t worry if you find it too difficult to find that extra cash from your budget. Here are five simple tips on making a positive impact on the environment without spending ridiculous amounts of money:
Installing curtains instead of blind will keep your house warm, before you consider turning up the heating system. High quality curtains can trap the heat in your home rather than letting it escape through your windows. So if you are on a low budget, this slight change can make you save money in the long term, when winter hits again.
Turn your lights off
An interesting fact: about one in every four homes in the US has electronic products running on standby. This includes leaving unnecessary lights on during the day, keeping computers on overnight or leaving the heating on while the windows are open.
People need to change those habits as many homeowners believe that they themselves as an individual wouldn’t make the difference. That’s WRONG –saving energy on something as easy as flicking a switch is better for the environment.
As we all know, studies have shown that there is a significant relationship between the output of carbon dioxide (CO2) and global warming. However, over half of our electricity output is supplied through the burning of coal, which produces CO2 as a waste product. Nevertheless, you can register to a ‘green’ electricity supplier, who uses electricity sources that do not have a negative effect on the environment.
Fun Fact: Over 10% of heat losses in your homes are accounted through windows and doors. Eventually this starts adding up in your energy bills. In order to avoid those unnecessary losses, you can buy composite doors, which will keep your home sufficiently heated. These doors have a U-value of 1.8, which is now a legal requirement. U-value is a simple measure of heat loss in your door.
People always underestimate the savings that results from home insulation. Studies have shown that one fourth of your heat is lost through the roof. Insulating your roof is therefore vital and in turn it helps keeping the heat in your room and reducing your bills.
This article was contributed by Sachi Jayatilleke.