Creating an eco-friendly home can be as good for your wallet as it is for the environment. Stepping into the new year, Matthew Currington, Technical Director of The Lighting Superstore, reveals his tips on how to make a sustainable statement without sacrificing style.
Incorporating natural materials are far more eco-friendly than artificial, plastic alternatives due to their lifecycle. Natural materials such as wood, bamboo and rattan are biodegradable, take in CO2 from the atmosphere and are long-lasting. Not to mention that natural materials are timeless and will last you through many decades to come. You can easily incorporate natural materials into your home with rattan chairs, wooden tables and bamboo light shades like this Amsfield Bamboo Ceiling light. Decorate with house plants to transform every room into a living, breathable green space, offering several other benefits, including improving mental wellbeing by reducing stress and lowering blood pressure.
Fuel bills are rising for millions of UK households, 15 million have seen their energy bills rise by 12 percent at the start of October 2021 and are expected to significantly increase next year in 2022. Investing in renewable technology such as solar panels will reduce your reliance on fossil fuels and save you some pennies in the long run. By installing solar panels you can reduce your home’s carbon footprint by up to 80 percent in one year and can reduce your electricity bill by as much as £120-£310 a year. Additionally, switching to LED bulbs are 80 percent more energy-efficient than conventional bulbs, and with smart technology, upgrade your home entertainment with smart LED power strips. They can be switched off via your phone rather than being on stand-by mode, saving money and energy. Upgrading to a smart thermostat allows you to monitor how much energy you are using and control your heating on the go via your phone. You can even connect to your smart devices so you can control your appliances with voice control.
One of the best ways to be sustainable is to work with what you already have. Upcycling is a trend that is not just taking over TikTok but people’s homes. Old furniture you have which no longer matches your room’s aesthetic or finding inexpensive second-hand furniture that needs a bit of TLC, upcycling is your answer. There are several inexpensive ways you can upcycle a piece of furniture, from applying a fresh coat of paint or wallpaper and upholster old chairs with new eye-catching fabrics.
Digital car boots
Facebook Shops has been reported having an average of one million monthly global users. That’s why it is sometimes referred to as a ‘digital car boot sale’, it is a highly convenient way to find items, embedded in an online community.
Purchasing second-hand furniture and other home items on platforms such as Facebook marketplace can save valuable resources and reduce your environmental impact without purchasing something new. Not only can you find some hidden gems, but you can also make money and sell your unwanted furniture and home goods, reducing waste. You know what they say, ‘one man’s trash is another man’s treasure’!
Britain’s poorly insulated homes are reported to be making the energy crisis worse. Earlier this year, research was carried out by The National Housing Federation (NHF) and found England’s homes produce more carbon emissions every year than is produced by all of the country’s cars. A well-insulated home should be a top priority to increase your home’s energy-efficiency and reduce costs. Roof and loft insulation should be a minimum of 270mm thick and will be effective for at least 40 years. And for a detached home in England, Scotland and Wales, homeowners can expect to save over £11,000 on their heating bills over 40 years. Bear in mind the type of insulation you should use may depend on your home design and when it was built.