Keep calm and resist climate change: seven tips for eco-proofing your home
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With President Trump pulling the USA out of the Paris Agreement to protect the Earth, what can you do at home to do your part for the planet?
In a surprising turn of events, Donald Trump has rather turned out to be one of those rare political birds who actually stick to the promises they make whilst trawling the campaign trail.
His latest regrettable decision to pull out of the Paris Accord will leave optimists who claimed he would never actually do the things he promised rather less hopeful.
The Accord was adopted in 2015 as an agreement between 195 members of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to mitigate the effects of global warming.
So with one of the planet’s largest polluters opting to shun the planet and lunge headlong into a future of rising sea levels, weather extremes and diminished resources, what can we do at home to try to mitigate the decision of the giant determined to trump out clouds of smog, greenhouse gases and rancid oil?
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Cara Jenkinson of the Highgate Society Sustainable Homes Group said: “With Trump pulling out of the Paris Agreement it is more important than ever that we continue to reduce the carbon footprint here in the UK. 40% of UK carbon emissions come from households, according to the Government’s Committee on Climate Change. Whatever your budget, there is a lot you can do to improve the energy efficiency of your home - whether it is replacing your lights with LEDs, draught proofing your windows and doors, or taking on some bigger measures like secondary glazing and boiler replacement. If each of us could reduce the energy used in our homes by 10% we could save 11.2 million tonnes of carbon each year.”
They say little changes mean big results, so that in mind here are seven easy and relatively inexpensive changes you can make in your home to play your bit for the planet.
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Insulation, insulation, insulation
Insulation is the number one thing you can do for your home to ensure that heat doesn’t seep out through the loft, causing excessive heating bills and using up more heating than is needed.
We all know recycling is better for the planet, so why not invest in furniture that’s pre-loved? Upcycled furniture is oh-so-boho and it’s far better for the environment than buying flat-pack, mass produced, identikit products from Ikea shippied in from overseas.
Double glazing can lead to huge savings on your energy bills. Period homes typical to north London should replace leaky, rattling windows with double glazed ones to avoid heat seeping out.
Smart thermostats might not be for everyone, but if you have a hectic and unpredictable schedule, it might just be for you since you can turn your heating on and off from your mobile phone, as and when you need it.
Doctor, doctor, I feel like a pair of curtains
If you’re in the market for new window dressing, glam up with thick curtains. Heftier curtains prevent heat escaping around windows and doors and can look quite charming if selected properly. Think plush purples and deep red velvets for cosy evenings in.
How low can you flow?
Switch your shower head to low flow, one that dispenses water at less than 2.5 gallons per minute. You just don’t need five gallons every minute to wash that shampoo out of your hair.
Light up my life
High watt incandescent lightbulbs are thankfully no longer being made, but many people have still not yet made the move to compact fluorescent lamps (CFLs) or LED lights. If neither of those take your fancy, there are also halogen bulbs on the market too offering a more energy efficient and money saving way to light your home.
Since Trump has vowed to stick two fingers up to planet Earth and undo the progress made in the last few years, there’s never been a better time to engage in a little DIY and spruce up your home with an eco refit.