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Submerged UK

A climate campaign

By Lauren Darn

around the home

It's surely our responsibility to do everything within our power to create a planet that provides a home not just for us, but for all life on Earth."

Sir David Attenborough.

This is a room-by-room guide to tackling climate change around your home. You may already know a lot about this already, as much of it is common sense, but it is helpful to keep on top of things with a checklist.

kitchen
  • Use a composter to turn your veggie peels into wonderful compost for the garden. 

  • Make sure food is cool before putting it in your fridge or freezer, and avoid overloading them as this affects airflow and reduces energy efficiency. 

  • Use less heat! Most often, food which hasn't been cooked has much better nutritional value, so cut your energy bills and improve your health by bringing more raw foods like nuts, fruit, patés, guacamole, salads, luxurious raw coconut chocolate and cool soups like this one into your diet. In summer a diet high in raw foods is especially invigorating, refreshing and immune boosting.

  • Try to pour in just as much water as you need into your kettle. If it's overfull it will take much more energy to boil.

  • Use eco settings on your dishwasher and switch it on only when it's full.

Bathroom
  • If it's yellow, let it mellow! Waterwise.org.uk estimate that 7 million toilets in the UK 'are old style single flush toilets which use 13 litres of water per flush'. Flushing your toilet less often can actually stop the spread of bacteria and can significantly reduce your household water consumption. If that doesn't appeal to you, then you can quite easily change a cistern into a 'low flush toilet' by installing a Hippo Water Saver. This device can reduce your carbon footprint and will reportedly save the average home 'approximately £20 per annum'. Alternatively you can recycle a container to reduce the water volume yourself.

  • Most quick showers use significantly less water than baths. 

  • Consider the amount of plastic, chemical and energy waste created by disposable period products. Trying out a menstrual cup like OrganiCup sets you back around £20, but over a lifetime it could save you thousands of pounds on the cost of pads and tampons.

Living room
  • One lovely way to reduce your carbon footprint is by turning down the lights and turning off the television. Sit under some solar powered fairy lights and unwind whilst spending a night in with your family and friends, just having a chat or playing games.

  • Another alternative to consistently watching the television is to read more. Join your local library and unlock your imagination!

  • Make sure you don't leave your TV, computer and games consoles on standby. They will still be using electricity.

Bedroom

  • Keep warm. Using an extra blanket and some fleecy pyjamas could save you on the heating bills and electricity consumption.

In the garden
  • Hang clothes out to dry whenever it's warm enough.

  • Use a watering can rather than a hose to water the plants. Water early or late in the day to reduce evaporation by sunlight and be more efficient. 

Roof
  • Properly insulate your home. The National Insulation Association estimate that ' for over half of all homes in the UK, a significant proportion of the money spent on energy is literally being thrown out of the window as a result of inadequate levels of insulation, with around 50% of the heat being lost through the roof and walls'.

  • Depending on the location and orientation of your home, adding solar panels to your roof could be a big investment in green energy, and you could even sell the energy you've generated back into the grid. 

General tips

 

  • If you want to really commit to a green home, consider switching to an energy provider like Ecotricity who supply sustainable green electricity made from the wind, the sun and the sea, and green gas made from organic material .

  • Swapping all your regular incandescent bulbs to energy saving bulbs. Friends of The Earth report that 'as a country, switching from incandescent bulbs for domestic use could see savings of up to 5 million tonnes of CO2 – the equivalent of emissions from a medium-sized coal-fired power station'.

  • ​If you have them, use eco settings on your dish washer and laundry machines.

  • Recycle to save energy, resources, and to slow demand for the oil drilling required to make new plastic.