I discovered something at last weekend. Friday 5th June was World Environment Day.
This got me thinking. We have all become more aware of the environment in recent times. From David Attenborough’s Blue Planet Series to the Extinction Rebellion protests this is a topic that it’s hard to avoid.
It can be easy when confronted by the media messages to feel overwhelmed and think that our individual contributions are too small to matter, but collectively they can have a major impact.
So I thought I’d take a look at the ideas that we can use in our homes.
Heating is of course a major source of energy use. The popularity of ground source heat pumps is increasing. Ground source heat pumps (GSHPs) use pipes that are buried in the garden to extract heat from the ground. This heat can then be used to heat radiators, underfloor or warm air heating systems and hot water in the home. According to the Energy Saving Trust, some of the benefits are
1. Potentially lowering carbon emissions
2. It heats the home as well as the water
3. Minimal maintenance.
So, worth considering.
Saving water is not necessarily the first thing you think about when considering eco friendly measures as we tend to focus on saving energy. However, it is equally important. If you have any dripping taps or leaks get them fixed. Simple things such as not keeping the tap running when brushing our teeth or washing our hands all adds up. Fit a shower head that aerates the water, giving your the same experience but using less water.
3. Solar Panels
Solar energy is renewable and can be used to reduce electricity bills and even generate income through selling surplus back to the grid. Solar energy can be used to generate heat or electricity (photovoltaic). Although installation costs can be high maintenance costs are low. Installing panels is not a step to be taken lightly and is a long term investment but if you have found your forever home it might be worth considering.
4. Energy Efficient Light Bulbs
Replacing traditional tungsten light bulbs is one of the simplest ways of saving energy. Whilst energy efficient light bulbs such as LED’s (light emitting diodes and CFL’s (compact fluorescent light) seem more expensive, they will last a lot longer and use less electricity so they are cheaper in the long run. Some can seem to emit a very harsh white light but if you check the pack there are variations, you need to look for the number of kelvins, the higher the kelvin the harsher the light. Brightness is measured in lumens. The most commonly used traditional bulbs are 60 w and 100 w which corresponds to 700+ and 1300+ lumens
5. Recycle and Buy Vintage
Another aspect of being eco friendly can be found in our shopping habits. I think that we have begun to rebel against the throw away culture that has prevailed recently. There is a definite move towards investing in quality rather than quantity and recycling. This can include renovating items of furniture by painting and/ our reupholstering them. It also includes buying what is described as vintage (this tends to refer to clothing but can apply equally to furniture).
I hope that you have found at least some of these ideas helpful. If you need help with any interior design inspiration or preparing your home for sale call now on 07745 876182.