Originally posted on https://hodgepodgedays.co.uk/blogs/little-changes-that-make-your-home-super-eco-friendly/
If you’re continually running around after your kids, making your home more eco-friendly is probably pretty low down on your list of priorities. But just like you invest time in your kids’ education to build their future, making your home more eco-friendly is an investment in their future too. It’s a way of preserving the world so that your children can grow up and enjoy it as much as you have.
It turns out that homes consume around a third of all energy produced nationally, with businesses and motor vehicles taking up the other two thirds. Making your home more eco-friendly, therefore, is a priority. Take a look at some of these simple ways to do it.
Make Your Own Mason Jar Herb Garden
Many people have a herb garden in their main garden. But if you’re short on space or don’t have a garden, you can make your very own indoor herb garden and cut down on food miles.
Making a mason jar herb garden is simple. Start by attaching a couple of wooden supports to a wall. Drill them into place and then attach small pedestals or metal zip ties for the jars. Next, fill the jars with soil and plant food and plant the herb, either by using a cutting or the whole thing from the supermarket. Then all you have to do is put the jars in place, tighten the zip ties, and ensure access to light, and that’s it. Your herbs should continue to provide fresh leaves every day, no matter what you’re cooking.
Create Home-Made Lamps
Making a lamp is much more straightforward than people think. And the great thing about it is that you can make a lamp out of practically any durable, robust object.
Say, for instance, that you’re refitting all the plumbing in your bathroom and you suddenly have a load of waste copper pipes lying around. Don’t just throw them out: use them to craft new lamp. Often pipes will fit together without any need for soldering. But if you do have a soldering iron lying around, you can create exciting shapes and create a stand. Then all you have to do is feed the wire through the pipes until it pops out of the top, attach a bulb, and that’s it.
Make Tin-Can Lanterns
If making a reading lamp from copper pipes sounds a little too complicated, then your next best bet is to make lanterns out of tin cans. Punch a series of holes in some tin cans with the labels removed and then put a candle in the bottom. The can will light up beautifully, with little shafts of light emerging in all directions. Just remember not to use any cans lined with plastic, or you may have a fire on your hands.
Upgrade Your Living Room Radiator
Heating uses up a lot of energy in your home, but it’s also a necessity: you can’t allow your family to go cold in the winter. However, if you check out Electric Heating Expert, you’ll find a range of radiators that are more eco-friendly than the average. For instance, some eco radiators are now smart enough to switch off if they detect an open window, preventing any energy from going to waste.
Make Sweater Pillow Coverings
As a parent, you probably get through a lot of school uniforms. Every year, your child grows, and you have to replace them. Often, you can’t hand them on to another child because the cuffs are worn or there’s damage to the hemline. But what you can do is reuse the material to cover your cushions.
Select an appropriate garment that you’re about to throw away, like a jumper and then start by cutting along the edge with a sharp pair of scissors to create a single sheet of fabric. Then, hop online and take a look at the many internet tutorials on how to make a cushion or pillow-covering from old clothes. You’ll be amazed at just how versatile school sweaters can be.
Start Using Natural Cleaning Products
For many years, companies have sold us products with untested chemicals which they claim are safe for both families and the environment. But as the science catches up, the results aren’t looking pretty. There are concerns about a wide variety of chemicals found in regular household cleaning products, many of which harm the environment and the creatures that live in it.
There’s been a boom in the number of retailers offering natural cleaning products as an alternative. You can make your own natural cleaning products from white vinegar and bicarbonate of soda, but you can also find better-smelling, yet equally environmentally-friendly version from eco-conscious manufacturers online.
Start Making Your Own Compost
Sometimes, food waste is inevitable. You can eat orange peels and banana skins. But rather than just throwing them in the bin, take all your food left over and put them in your compost bin. Over time, bacteria and worms will break down organic matter, extract the energy, and turn it into soil. At the end of the process, you should be left with a rich mulch than you can use to fertilize the plants in your garden.
Put Solar On Your Roof
Putting solar on your roof isn’t a DIY job, so it’s not something that you’re advised to do yourself. But installing it can profoundly reduce your dependence on the grid, most of whose energy is still drawn from fossil fuels.
Solar panels are a long-term investment, but they’re also cheaper than ever, thanks to improvements in manufacturing capabilities. It usually takes about 15 years for solar panels to pay back the initial investment, but it could be less than that.
Insulate Your Loft
Loft insulation does more than practically anything else to bring down household heating bills and reduce your energy use. What’s more, it’s easy to install. Ideally, you want around 270mm of loft insulation for full effect. And you want to avoid placing walk boards on top of it. If you do, it crushes the insulating material, causing it to lose its efficacy.