Top Ten Tips for a Greener Home

One of the most effective ways of making a difference to the environment is to adopt a 'little and often' approach. Small changes add up and if everyone does their bit, the positive impact will be huge. So don't wait for someone else to get the ball rolling - today is the perfect day to take a new eco-outlook on your home life.

Loft Insulation

1. Recycling

Nine out of ten households now have recycling collection schemes, so if you haven’t got boxes or bags from your local council, give them a call to make sure you haven’t been forgotten.

2. Heating

Don’t waste energy heating your home to tropical temperatures. Put on another layer of clothing, throw on a blanket at night and turn the dial down a degree.

3. Clothes

Vintage chic is so now, but if you prefer new clothes to second hand, why not go organic? Stylish and urban, ethical fashion has never been more fabulous. Take a look at Traidcraft, People Tree, Howies and Gossypium.

4. Beauty

Choose organic, petroleum-free, chemical-free and cruelty-free products. Ren, Dr Hauschka, Green People and Marks and Spencer are among those keeping it real.

5. Tea

Only boil as much water as you need and go for tea, coffee, milk and sugar that’s organic or Fairtrade. Tea leaves and coffee grounds also make great compost for the garden.

6. Cleaning

White vinegar is a natural disinfectant and stain remover; mixed with water, baking soda cuts through grime and dirt; lemon is great for disinfecting and removing grease and olive oil keeps wood shiny.

7. Lighting

Looking for illumination? Turn on an energy saving bulb - it can save you £100 over its lifetime. Look out for LED lightbulbs too. They can reduce energy consumption by 80-90% and last around 100,000 hours.

8. Hot Water

Check your water temperature - the thermostat shouldn’t need to be set higher than 60°C/140°F. Keep an eye open for dripping hot water taps too - in a week it will waste enough hot water to fill half a bath.

9. Loft Insulation

There’s no point in heating your home if that warm and cosy feeling rushes out through the roof. Insulate your loft - it could save you £220 a year.

10. Air Fresheners

Instead of aerosol air fresheners with all their unnatural ingredients, try burning candles or boiling cloves or cinnamon. Tried and tested, a spot of bread making creates a great welcome home too.