Life at UCB through the eyes of our student bloggers

How to make your home sustainable

How to make your home sustainable

Hi everyone!
I hope you’re staying home and staying safe!

As you may have read in my previous blogs, I love the idea of being environmentally friendly.

Firstly, I’d love to let you know about David Attenborough’s movie which is being released on Netflix this spring. He says this movie is his witness statement and he will show us why it is vital for us to work with nature and how we can do it. Please watch the trailer here! 🙂

I recently participated in a live webinar by Astral Power about how to make your home sustainable and I’d love to share the answers with you! I found out about this conference through The Fair Earth Foundation (AWdF who I volunteered with, in Tenerife). You can follow them on Instagram and Facebook! They’re awesome 🙂

Tips to make your home sustainable:

1. Install low-flush toilets

2. Insulate floor, loft, boiler (wrap it)

3. Place a 1 or 2-litre bottle in your toilet water tank to save on water

4. Get a smart thermostat installed

5. Check for leaks

6. Build water tanks to collect rainwater. Water can then be used efficiently and won’t be chlorinated so won’t harm the environment

7. Buy biodegradable cups, reusable cloths and buy wisely

8. Get CFL or LED lights. This is equivalent to removing 1 million cars off the road in terms of decreasing carbon dioxide levels. It will also save money and last longer

9. If you use paper towels, instead you should get a reusable towel. If this isn’t possible, use them wisely because they create 70% more CO2 than a hand drier

10. If you’re only going to cook for yourself, you should try to get a toaster oven because they use half the energy of a normal oven

11. You can get a pressure cooker which is great for cooking all sorts of food!

12. Try using cold water instead of hot because your boiler uses more energy to generate heat for the water. This applies for washing hands, showers or baths and washing clothes and dishes.

13. Use smart power strips to plug your devices into. Your television still uses electricity when you switch it off with the remote

14. Install motion-sensing lights so that when you’re out of the room the lights automatically go off

15. Make use of the sun’s heat and use curtains and blinds with thermal backings to trap more heat into your home after the sun sets. Adding a skylight to your rooms will allow better usage of natural sunlight. During the summer months, you can keep blinds drawn in order to trap cool air in your home during the daytime

16. Check for draughts (carry a flame near your windows and doors, and where the flame flickers is where the draught is). You can also use draught excluders and sealant strips while brush trims can be used in letterboxes. Fill in gaps around your skirting boards and window frames. Rugs can also be used to trap heat from escaping through your floor

17. Get an energy audit (an inspection to determine how energy efficient your home is and how you can improve your energy efficiency)

18. Power your home with solar or wind (depending on where you live). You can get community solar power through the National Grid


19. Use non-toxic cleaners which don’t contain volatile chemical compounds (these chemicals will go down the drain and not all contaminants are removed before entering the environment). White vinegar will kill mould and bacteria. Baking soda will deodorise. Lemon juice is also another bacteria killer. Sodium borate is a multipurpose cleaner useful for scrubbing walls and floors. You can also buy environmentally friendly products online

20. Decorate your home with spider plants and use soil to plant them with because the soil is great at purifying the air

21. Grow your own fruit and vegetables!

22. To reduce your carbon footprint you could lay down artificial grass. This would stop you from using a lawnmower, fertilisers, weedkiller and pesticides and will also reduce your water usage

23. Use native plants, shrubs and trees which will absorb the carbon dioxide and release it as oxygen. They will also provide a home for insects. Using plants from the local area will require less maintenance as they will thrive in the local environment

I hope you are able to make your home sustainable!

Thanks for reading!

Charley x

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