4 ways to be more sustainable

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energy-efficient-houseI don’t know about you, but I often focus so much on achieving my next goal, I forget what I’ve already done.

It’s a bit like that with my sustainable journey.

It’s almost impossible to remember that I used to throw things away without thinking, make bad purchases and was always chasing that ‘next fix’ without any thought for my impact on the environment.

The other thing I do is beat myself up for what I haven’t done, so I dwell on the fact my garden is full of weeds instead of food seeds, that I still drive a 4×4 and more recently I’ve been buying convenience items such as food wrapped in plastic.

So today I’m inviting you all to give yourselves a pat on the back for what you HAVE achieved and to focus on the positive.

Here’s some of the larger projects we’ve achieved over the past five years or so:


I can’t believe we didn’t get our home insulated earlier. Our home was built in 1936 and we benefit from really thick walls, but the house was pretty drafty! Cavity wall insulation was fitted in just a morning and it’s like having your home wrapped in a duvet! Not only does cavity wall insulation keep your home warmer, but it can reduce condensation too. The payback time is less than four years, you’ll save around 560kg CO2 per year and could save up to £140 on central heating bills.

Double glazing

We finally had double glazing installed a few years ago and it made such a difference along with the cavity wall insulation. According to the Energy Saving Trust, replacing all single-glazed windows with B-rated double glazing could save you around £170 per year on your energy bills and you’ll reduce your carbon footprint by 680kg a year. Not all double glazing is create equal however, so look for a company such as Safestyle windows who supply top quality energy efficient double glazing and offer a 10 year guarantee.

Efficient wood burner

Despite the fact I burn old, seasoned wood, you can still reduce your carbon footprint and running costs by choosing the right energy efficient wood burner. We installed a new wood burner two years ago and I reckon we burn a third of the wood we did before, yet the radiators and water are hotter! A wood burner can be up to 87% efficiency compared with up to 25% for a traditional open coal fire. And by choosing one with ‘cleanburn’ technology, like ours, you create less pollution too.

Tankless water heater in kitchen

Our tankless water heater means I no longer need to put the immersion heater on to wash up after a meal. I have experimented with boiling the kettle a couple of times to get hot water but I find using the tankless water heater more convenient. Our immersion tank uses 3Kwh to heat a tank of water and of course, once you take a bit of hot water out, the tank refills with cold which means the rest isn’t hot enough for a bath. As Mr Green made our tankless water heater from an old shower, there was no investment cost and I’m now saving around £100 per year.

What about you – which projects big and small have you achieved on your sustainable journey?

1 Comment

  1. [email protected] eco friendly homemaking on March 21, 2013 at 8:35 pm

    Wow you all have achieved so much! I also think it is so important to see what we have already achieved as well as what we want to achieve.

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