With new and expensive innovations such as ground source heat pumps regularly making the headlines, you might wonder whether there's anything you can do to make your home more environmentally friendly on a tight budget. Below are three great ideas that will help you protect the planet from the comfort of your home – all without breaking the bank.
Switch your cleaning products to eco-friendly alternatives
Many of us fall into the habit of always picking up the same old cleaning products in our weekly shop. You're happy with the price and know that they work, so why make a change? The problem is that many popular household cleaning brands use detergents made from toxic chemicals. When these are washed down the drain, they can end up in rivers and streams, causing water pollution and damaging ecosystems.
If you use aerosols at home, these often contain VOCs (volatile organic compounds) that can damage the ozone layer and harm your family's health. The good news is that there is now a growing number of reasonably priced eco-friendly cleaning products on the market. All of these cleaning products have been designed with the environment in mind, meaning you can brush, polish and scrub away, safe in the knowledge that you’re doing the right thing for our planet.
Reduce your water usage
If you want to lower your household bills while also helping the environment, using less water is an easy way to do this. You can make a start with just a few small changes, such as remembering to turn off the taps while brushing your teeth. You might also choose to have showers rather than baths, and could even go one step further and replace your shower head with a low-flow design. These feel just the same when you're showering but can drastically bring down your water usage.
Using a cistern displacement device is another great idea. These are easy to install inside of your toilet cistern and can save up to 5,000 litres of water per year. You can even get one free from many local water companies.
Invest in insulation and draught-proofing
You may have heard about the benefits of external and internal wall insulation and UPVC windows. However, if you don't already have these, they can cost thousands of pounds to install. To make your home cosier and more energy efficient on a budget, there are a few cheap and easy steps that you can take.
If your windows aren't already double-glazed, you can purchase a special double glazing film to use on them during the colder months. This is a bit like cling film and is designed to be secured over the window, reducing heat loss and preventing draughts. Another inexpensive way to keep your home warm is by laying insulation in the loft. This allows you to retain heat that would usually be lost through the roof and, if you lay it yourself, this will help to bring down costs even further.