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How To Improve Your Home’s Green Factor

Today was have a guest blog post by Christine Heeley, a freelance environmental writer.  

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As someone who’s always cared about the environment, it really does make me happy to see more and more people start to make the effort around the home to try and keep things as ‘green’ as possible.  If you haven’t yet started to get involved (shame on you, obviously), then you might find it a bit confusing as to how you can actually begin to get involved: there are, after all, a lot of potential ways in which you can start to contribute.  That’s why I’ve put together this little list of the four best ways to get started: 

Recycle.  Without doubt a biggie, this is one of most effective starting points for anyone hoping to contribute to the environment: partly because it’s so wonderfully simple.  Rather than simply chucking all the rubbish into a bin (something I admittedly did back in my much younger days), you can now purchase specialist waste units that are divided into the separate areas of recyclable material: glass, paper, rubbish etc.  All you have to do is put the right things into the right area of the bin, and the rest is taken care of.  Simple, and yet it still makes a big difference. 

Cleaning green.  Whilst I’m not saying you should 100% avoid bleaching the loo, overuse of the stronger cleaning products is definitely a bit of an environmental sin.  How, though, can you combat this on a day-to-day basis?  It’s not as if you can just stop cleaning: that wouldn’t be pleasant for anyone!  Again, the solution is beautifully simple: a cleaning solution created from the combination of baking soda and vinegar.  Trust me: it’s wonderfully effective, pretty cheap and about as environmentally friendly as you can get. 

Don’t overdo the heating.  You’d be amazed just how much more energy is wasted by only a tiny adjustment on your thermostat: below 68 farenheit, every degree saves around 3%.  Yes, really!  If ever there’s a reason to tone down the heating and put on an extra layer of clothing, then that’s it!  Not only will you be saving yourself money on the bills, you’ll also be helping the big old wide world too. 

Buy recycled and recyclable products.  Whilst most people are typically aware of the potential for recycling household goods, it’s less common for them to be aware of exactly what that results in: plenty of products in the shops that are made from recycled material.  Tailoring your shopping so that you pick up as many of these products as possible is a really good way to further contribute to the environment without actually affecting your day-to-day life.  There are the standard products such as paper, shopping bags and the like, but there are also those whose packaging itself is recycled: many drinks bottles, coffee and tea packets now come in environmentally-focused packaging.  Oh, and when picking up fresh fruit and veg, avoid the plastic bags!

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Christine Heeley is a freelance environmental writer, who currently works with Fugro renewables, a firm she randomly discovered when reading into offshore wind and the effects it can have.