Monthly Archives: August 2016

Environmentally Friendly Renovation Tips

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When you think environmentally friendly home, do you think expense? It doesn’t have to be so. There are many ways one can start to make one’s home environmentally friendly, while actually saving money.

In the UK, the government, through local authorities, offers a plethora of grants to help homeowners reduce their energy use via better home insulation and state of the art energy efficient heating systems. But there are so many other ways householders can reduce their carbon footprint bit by bit, and save at the same time.

Energy Efficient Lighting:

Lighting is an obvious one. Each time a bulb blows, replace it with an energy efficient LED unit. Slightly more expensive I agree, but if you can afford to replace all your household bulbs in one go, especially if your house is lit up like a Christmas tree at night, the extra cost should soon be recouped in cheaper energy bills.

At least Install Room Thermostats:

Don’t just rely on your central heating boiler thermostat. Fitting programmable radiator thermostats can regulate the temperature in each individual room. Why have your bedrooms at the same temperature as your living room, when they are empty for 15 hours a day? Fitting room thermostats can again help reduce your energy consumption, save you money, and reduce your carbon footprint.

Old Kitchens for New:

In most homes the kitchen is probably the room most likely to get the first make-over. If you’re considering having your old fitted units ripped out and replaced with new, think again. There are many kitchen fitting companies who specialise in keeping your old kitchen carcasses, and just replacing those tired old cupboard doors, drawer fronts, and worktops with new composite accessories. Even if your new plan differs from the old layout, the carcasses can be removed and replaced in different positions – a cheaper and more environmentally friendly alternative to scrapping and replacing with everything new.

A Big Market for Salvaged Materials:

Demolition companies spend as much time salvaging old building materials as they do knocking the buildings down. Everything from cleaned house-bricks to roofing and flooring joists, old fireplaces to doors and windows are available should you decide to add a garage, or expand your living space rather than move house.

Eco Friendly Products:

Many decorating materials and furniture accessories are treated with what are known as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) and slowly leach these chemicals back into the environment, for you to breathe in and out in the comfort of your own home. Look for paints, paint-strippers, lacquers, carpets, curtains, and other materials which contain no VOCs.

Starting to change things at home little by little by using more environmentally friendly products, you will be surprised just how quickly you can start to boast to friends that your house really is an environmentally friendly home.

 

How Much Do We Really Recycle?

Recycling tips

Recycling is a part of most homes’ daily routine and our gardens and driveways are now stocked with a variety of bins to collect recyclable materials. What used to be called dumps are now recycling centres where everything recyclable is separated and accumulated for collection and recycling on a massive scale. But how much do we really recycle? What does it all translate into?

Statistics suggest that in one year alone we generate seven and a half times our own body weight in waste. When considering how much material we actually throw away, and this includes materials we separate for recycling, the statistics are staggering: in glass it is 2.1 billion wine bottles; that is enough to make six stacks that would reach from the Earth to the Moon. In aluminium cans it is 2.9 billion, enough to circle the world nine times. 6.6 billion newspapers are disposed of, enough to produce when recycled nine out of every ten sold in the UK. The average dustbin per year is said to contain sufficient unreleased energy to fuel 5,000 hours of TV viewing, produce 500 baths and 3,500 showers. One tin can when recycled can save enough energy to power a TV for 3 hours. Recycling tin cans is extremely energy efficient and saves raw materials as the energy needed to make one from raw materials can make twenty recycled. It has been suggested that enough paper to equal six whole trees is thrown out by the average family every year.

Clearly recycling is of huge importance as demand increases every day and resources are in turn depleted. So how well are we doing? According to Government statistics the rate of household recycling increased to 44.9 per cent in 2014. This is against an EU requirement for the country to reach a target of 50% recycling of household waste by 2020. Biodegradable municipal waste (BMW) committed to landfill disposal fell in 2013 to 9.2 million tonnes.

How much each individual or family commits to recycling clearly depends upon their attitude towards the subject and the opportunities and facilities to do so. Overall, however, there is evidence that we are becoming more and more committed to recycling.