With the awareness of climate change and the need to cut carbon emissions, current and future homeowners are looking for ways to reduce their carbon footprint. A more environmentally-friendly approach to energy usage, construction and sharing of resources can help homeowners save money and lower the environmental impact of a home. As the demand for green homes continues, homeowners are looking to upgrade their current home or purchase homes designed to reduce their energy requirements. There are a number of options for homeowners in the UK to build green, while at the same time strengthening their communities and supporting local suppliers and contractors. Get more details on ways to incorporate more environmentally-friendly approaches within your home.

Become More Energy Efficient

There are many ways to work toward reducing a home’s environmental impact. Using less energy is one of the first ways many homeowners begin to decrease their reliance on outside resources while often saving money on energy bills. The purchase and installation of energy efficient appliances has been known to decrease carbon pollution by as much as two billion metric tons. In addition, such products have also saved residential and commercial property owners billions on associated utility bills. Small changes at home can decrease energy consumption. Select bulbs and fixtures which are energy efficient to consume less energy and need to be replaced less often. Insulate and seal a home to reduce the costs of heating and cooling a home. Look to seal air leaks and add insulation, especially in older homes. In addition, do a load of laundry or dishes during off-peak hours. This is a cleaner alternative that is also more energy efficient for homeowners. More homeowners are turning to clean energy sources to power their home. With the installation of solar panels on many homes, homeowners can cut their environmental impact and be more conscientious of their energy use. Newer solar panels actually now look like standard roof tiles, and the price of solar panels has become more affordable. Purchasing a house or residence closer to important community infrastructure can reduce a homeowner’s commute, allow for walkable recreation and shopping options, and make it easier to take advantage of accessible bike paths and parks. These are all easy ways for homeowners to reduce their carbon footprint and energy consumption but still make the most of their home and their community’s resources.

Go Local for Upgrades

Is it time to freshen up your house or put on an addition? Look for local suppliers and use sustainable resources. When it comes to repairing or updating your place, select a qualified local supplier who can incorporate more environmentally-friendly features in a home. In this way, a homeowner can reduce carbon emissions from the transportation of materials and work with suppliers and contractors who have experience with green home construction and maintenance. Choose products made from sustainable resources and recycled materials. With this approach, a home upgrade or repair can reduce the burden on traditional resources and support the use of reusable materials in home construction. In addition, the use of ‘passive design’ during the design and construction phases can greatly reduce future energy requirements. Design elements such as innovative shading, insulation and ventilation are used in green housing construction in the UK.

Share Your Space

When homeowners share a home and associated resources with other people, it can maximize the use of current construction, cut homeownership cuts and decrease energy consumption. People who choose to live with others or rent out a room or apartment make it possible for additional people in the community to enjoy affordable housing and share common resources while maintaining their own private spaces. Co-housing is a relatively new trend that reduces energy usage and may also combat feelings of isolation and loneliness in the UK.

Support Your Environment

Your outdoor environment can incorporate a diversity of native plants and trees to support the needs of a diversity of insects and wildlife. Owners should be selective in the trees to be planted on a property. Walnut and ash trees may work well on lower slopes with a good soil moisture content. Other species of trees, including the non-native Mediterranean Cypress, can also serve as a wind or firebreak. As more homeowners consider creating a greener home and property, it makes sense to incorporate plants and trees on a property to support the health of the local ecosystem and offer some natural protection from the elements.
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