Going green doesn’t have to be daunting. Start today by buying these products that can instantly make your house more sustainable
1. LED lighting
There have been some negative conceptions of energy-efficient LED lights over the years, but the technology has come on significantly, and today they really can’t be ignored. They could save up to 90% of lighting energy use, plus they last longer so you’ll save on too. The selection of designs and fittings has massively increased, too.
Find out more: Lights.co.uk or visit any major retailer
2. Secondary glazing
The role of wall art has grown in recent years. No longer is it merely a classical background, or a vertically-arranged family photo album: it’s an active, stand-out part of the feel of many rooms. Create a gallery wall for full impact; the beauty of a gallery wall is that not everything in it has to match, so let your imagination run wild. We like combining monochrome artworks with brightly coloured pieces by Heath Kane, who adds pop-art overlays to historical images.
Find out more: heathkane.co.uk
3. Tap aerators
Dispense less water every time you turn on the tap. Install an aerator, which ‘pads out’ the water coming out of the tap with air, effectively meaning less water is expelled per second. It’ll keep the water bill down and reduce your water usage. You can also get this installed into a shower head to decrease the flow with little discernible difference when you shower.
4. Radiator reflectors
Radiators convect heat (fun fact: they don’t actually work via radiation) quite indiscriminately, meaning a large portion of the heat is emitted ‘backwards’ into the wall. By installing a reflector behind the radiator, you’ll ‘capture’ this heat and put it to better use. That means your house will be warmer with the same heating setting, meaning you can turn the heat down and save energy.
Find out more: radflek.com
5. Chimney Sheep
Putting a ‘chimney balloon’ in your chimney when the fire’s not in use will prevent heat escaping through the flue (essentially, it’s a draught excluder for the chimney). For the true eco option, go for the Chimney Sheep, made from the coarse fleece of the Herdwick sheep. It’s available in a wide range of shapes and sizes with an optional extension rod.
Find out more: chimneysheep.co.uk
6. Eco Kettle
Stop overfilling the kettle and using more energy than you needed. Fill an eco kettle as full as you like, then select how many cups you’d like to make, from one to eight. It’ll release exactly the right amount of water into the boiling chamber. Today, there are many eco kettles on the market, and some also incorporate filter systems, keep-warm functions and precise temperature control.
Find out more: duronic.com
This heat-saving timer attaches to your boiler, and looks like a thermostat – but it isn’t. Instead, it simply turns your heating off for a portion of every hour, allowing it to turn back on before you notice a drop in temperature. As a result, you reduce energy usage and save on bills. You can ‘chop’ as much time as you like off every hour by adjusting the dial.
Find out more: Chop via Amazon
8. Loft legs
Putting your loft on ‘stilts’ has a beneficial effect that’s not immediately obvious. It stops your loft insulation getting ‘squashed’, allowing it to expand to its full thickness – which means it does a better job. In fact, it could make your loft insulation function twice as well. The legs themselves are easy to install, strong, and made from recycled plastic.
Find out more: loftleg.com via major retailers
9. Smart energy systems
If you think creating ‘eco homes’ means weaving everything from hemp and hanging up dream catchers, it’s time to update your preconception. Cutting-edge technology plays a vital role in making homes greener and more efficient, and an active management system from the likes of Tado or Nest can reduce your energy expenditure by monitoring temperatures in real time and turning the heating down. They also give you close control via an app and even deliver an energy saving report each month so you can scrutinise your energy usage and work out how to cut it further.
Find out more: store.google.com
10. Fire up the barbecue
Yes, you heard right – invest in a barbecue and you can (just about) claim it’s in service of the environment. In the summer months, cooking on a charcoal barbecue, using sustainably sourced charcoal or wood as the fuel source, will reduce your oil or gas usage. While you’re at it, be sure to use your regular crockery rather than disposable plates, and look into a briquette maker, which converts waste paper into usable logs.
Find out more: Paper via Amazon