Ways to "go green"?

edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
9 replies 845 views
tbournertbourner Forumite
1.4K Posts
edited 30 November -1 at 1:00AM in Energy
I would really like to try and have an "eco" lifestyle as much as I reasonably can, but it seems to be very difficult!

We're going to replace some of our more used bulbs for LEDs, but these are still very expensive. We have LEDs in our new kitchen as well as more efficient fridge/freezer, combi boiler, induction hob etc.

I've looked at solar panels but a couple of companies have both said there's no point having seen our roofs.
We can't get a turbine put up due to regulations (it would be too close to our boundaries).
We can't get a PIEV as we're not allowed to convert our front garden to a driveway (not enough distance from footpath to building), so we wouldn't be able to plug it in.

What else can we do? I haven't looked into our shopping yet to see what are the 'green' things to buy - I know steak is supposed to be very CO2 intensive to get to your plate, but we don't buy much steak!
We don't use our cars much already, about 7000 miles per year, we could probably cut that down a bit more - electric would be ideal for us but as above is not possible (unless we go and get a coffee at a local charging point once a week).
Trev. Having an out-of-money experience!
C'MON! Let's get this debt sorted!!

Replies

  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    Presumably you've done things like draught-proofing and insulated to the max?

    Also turning down the central heating by a degree or so is usually suggested by the green sites.
  • BJVBJV Forumite
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    Being eco is not just about buying green or low emission items it is a complete way of life. No promise it is not that daunting. It is about making what you have last longer and be more efficient. It is also about thinking what impact your lifestyle and the things you buy affect the environment. There are lots of little things that you can do which when added together makes a big difference. Silly things like not using plastic bags at supermarkets, making sure that you recyle as much as possible to avoiding food waste. This not only helps your pocket but also CO2 footprints. Bring green does not mean having to spend a lot of money either.
    Happiness, Health and Wealth in that order please!:A
  • tbournertbourner Forumite
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    Yep fully insulated and had my walls filled!

    We tend to have the heating off most of the time, the dogs like the cold so even in winter we only have it set to like 15-16 degrees. Hopefully with the combi this year will be a bit more efficient as well.
    Trev. Having an out-of-money experience!
    C'MON! Let's get this debt sorted!!
  • tbournertbourner Forumite
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    BJV wrote: »
    Being eco is not just about buying green or low emission items it is a complete way of life. No promise it is not that daunting. It is about making what you have last longer and be more efficient. It is also about thinking what impact your lifestyle and the things you buy affect the environment. There are lots of little things that you can do which when added together makes a big difference. Silly things like not using plastic bags at supermarkets, making sure that you recyle as much as possible to avoiding food waste. This not only helps your pocket but also CO2 footprints. Bring green does not mean having to spend a lot of money either.

    I think we're pretty good with that generally, the dogs get fed BARF which we buy from butchers, so it's leftovers that would otherwise be chucked away. We are just setting up a public drop off point for terracycle for yogurt pots and Tassimo. Generally we recycle as much as we can.
    I disagree with carrier bags though, it seems to be a commonly brought up problem but I think it's actually a tiny problem compared to other waste that we produce! We do reuse our carrier bags whenever we can though.
    Trev. Having an out-of-money experience!
    C'MON! Let's get this debt sorted!!
  • Define "fully insulated". What are your U values? How many air changes does your house undergo per hour?

    It is possible to construct a house that does not require a heating system, but that is extremely hard in retrofits.

    This is an extremely interesting area, and there's much to learn. However, if you're worried about the cost of an LED, you will certainly baulk at achieving the above. As ever it becomes a balance. Some people aim to consume no more than a set number of kWh per day in all activities.
  • tbournertbourner Forumite
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    Smiley_Dan wrote: »
    Define "fully insulated". What are your U values? How many air changes does your house undergo per hour?

    It is possible to construct a house that does not require a heating system, but that is extremely hard in retrofits.

    This is an extremely interesting area, and there's much to learn. However, if you're worried about the cost of an LED, you will certainly baulk at achieving the above. As ever it becomes a balance. Some people aim to consume no more than a set number of kWh per day in all activities.

    I have no idea what you're talking about. :D

    Essentially as you say we just want to be more eco than we are, we're not planning on building a super home with 0 emissions. I don't mind paying the costs if they're worth it I was more commenting on the fact that they're still very expensive (compared to other bulbs), not exactly promoting green living!
    Trev. Having an out-of-money experience!
    C'MON! Let's get this debt sorted!!
  • MojisolaMojisola Forumite
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    There's forums like https://www.thegreenlivingforum.net/forum/ where you'll find lots of information and like-minded people.
  • tbourner wrote: »
    Essentially as you say we just want to be more eco than we are, we're not planning on building a super home with 0 emissions. I don't mind paying the costs if they're worth it I was more commenting on the fact that they're still very expensive (compared to other bulbs), not exactly promoting green living!

    Talking of "super homes" - http://www.superhomes.org.uk/ might give you some inspiration.
  • rach_krach_k Forumite
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    Don't LED bulbs last a lot longer than standard/old-fashioned bulbs, so perhaps expensive to buy in the first place but better value over all?

    I try to cut down on chemicals we use, for both toiletries and household cleaning stuff. You can go all the way and use vinegar and bicarb if you like or just get the more eco brands like Ecover and Method, they're still a massive improvement over standard detergents, shampoos etc and better for your health.

    I try to avoid excess packaging on products and try to buy local produce when I can. I agree with BJV that it's more a way of life than just slapping a turbine on your roof. Things like turning off lights, turning down heating, air drying clothes, washing at lower temperatures, not wasting food etc - just a little here and there but it adds up. It's easy to get sucked into the idea that you have to buy stuff to be eco but it's actually more about buying less :)
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