There is now such a widespread knowledge of global warming and an awareness that immediate measures must be undertaken to help fight the burgeoning problem that consumers are understanding of what it takes to reduce their carbon footprint. However, there is a perception that saving the planet is a futile battle if not everybody does their bit, which is a genuine concern to consider. Indeed, an essential condition of local authorities and awareness groups requesting that households take steps to be greener is that it only really works on a mass scale – if only a small proportion of homes recycle, for instance, it defeats the primary object. Furthermore, there is also a fear that doing one’s bit for the planet means giving up a modern lifestyle – one that is entirely based on consumption.
Every Bit Helps
Going green does not necessarily mean that solar hot water heating panels must be installed on every roof, for instance, although a significant reduction in central heating costs can be saved by reducing lost heat through the home. This can be achieved with double glazing, as well as loft and cavity wall insulation. However, the tip for this Summer is to use less. No, that does not mean retreating into the caves and thwacking a club around – it simply demands that we are all watchful of our energy usage.
Caroline Laitner is a senior consultant at Waste Watch and has recently advised that we can do more to save the planet by purchasing electrical goods that will consume less power than their substitutes (for example, an LCD television will typically use less electricity than a plasma television) and which will hopefully last a while.
Turning off standby switches is another very simple way to save electricity and, in doing so, saves both money and reduces a home’s carbon footprint. Sky boxes, televisions, computers and dvd players are routinely left on standby and by simply turning these appliances off at the socket when not in use will make a difference. Furthermore, if it is not convenient to switch off the computer, ensure that the disk drives hibernates or its monitor switches off after a certain period of inactivity.
You can also visit the official Gov.uk website for more information on recycling in your area.