Sustainability is catching on in the UK as a growing number of homeowners are finding ways to make their houses more eco-friendly. New research has found that as of 2018, there were 107,000 homes in England built with energy efficiency in mind, and this number is expected to rise over the coming years. However, building a sustainable home isn’t cheap: one can expect to pay anywhere from £150,000 to £354,000 for a zero carbon home. The good news is that there are ways to make your existing home more eco-friendly without breaking the bank. By making small changes, you can rest easy and have a comfortable home without harming the environment. Here are a few affordable and effortless ways to create a sustainable home.
Let the sunshine in
If you find yourself constantly switching on the lights during the daytime, then you may need to make a few adjustments to brighten up your home. In cases like this, designers will usually recommend a major renovation, but there are a few tricks that you can do to fill your living space with natural light and cut down on electricity costs. First, consider installing a skylight in the living room. You can have a professional do it, but if you’re a DIY enthusiast, then this project should be right up your alley. Going for a light colour scheme can also help to naturally brighten your home. Easier still, getting rid of heavy window treatments should increase the amount of natural light in your house.
If health and wellbeing is on your list to improve in your home, it may also be worth investing in an air purifier. Even in your home, you can breathe in a harmful amount of pollutants each day. Sterilise 99.99% of airborne pollutants within 30 minutes with a FitAir® Air Purifier.
Replace your old water heater
Most homeowners are unaware that having an old water heater is one of the reasons they have a high electricity bill. Consider the fact that 20% of your home’s annual electricity expense comes from heating water, and if your old heater isn’t working properly anymore, then you’ll understand why your bills keep skyrocketing, despite all the efforts that you’re making to be frugal. An electronic, tank-less water heater or a solar heater can help to reduce energy consumption. Moreover, it can provide a steady supply of hot water without taking up too much space in your home.
If you're looking for a cheaper option, check out these personal heating products to keep you toasty on a low budget.
Rethink the way you cook
Instead of using your oven to heat food, use the microwave instead. This uses about 50% less energy than a conventional oven, and as a bonus, it heats up food quicker too. You can also experiment with recipes using your microwave oven for added savings. In fact, you can use it to bake a cake - it may lack that golden brown crust that you normally get when baking a cake in an oven, but otherwise, the taste is much the same.
It may also be worth looking into specially-designed kitchen gadgets, such as food dryers and dehydrators, to ease prep and cooking.
Apart from all these tactics, you can have an eco-friendly home by including more plants in your living space, switching to low-energy appliances, and using DIY solutions such as vinegar and baking soda to give your home a thorough clean. Having a sustainable home shouldn’t be complicated; nor does it have to cost a fortune. By making a few changes, you can save money and reduce your home’s negative impact on the planet.
 UK GBC (2018) Driving sustainability in new homes: a resource for local authorities [online]. Available from https://www.ukgbc.org/wp-content/uploads/2018/07/Driving-sustainability-in-new-homes-UKGBC-resource-July-2018-v4.pdf
 Gov.UK (2018) Electricity meters: high bills or meter readings [online]. Available from https://www.gov.uk/guidance/electricity-meters-high-bills-or-meter-readings
 Popular Mechanics (2012) How I Did It: Installing a Skylight [online]. Available from https://www.popularmechanics.com/home/interior-projects/how-to/g956/how-i-did-it-installing-a-skylight/
 IdeaHacks (2019) Top 10 Best Electric Tankless Water Heaters Reviewed in 2019 [online]. Available from https://www.ideahacks.com/best-electric-tankless-water-heaters/