We are literally days away from completing on our first ever owned family home and my brain is full of plans and ideas of what we need to do and what is to come over the next months and years.
One thing that has played on my mind since we have been city dwellers, is that we are not as environmentally friendly as we could be. We don’t recycle as there is no facility to do so in our apartment complex (literally all waste goes in the same bin) and we use electricity and water as if it is going out of fashion, meaning not only are we impacting the environment, but we are also costing ourselves a bomb in utility bills.
I’m determined to become more environmentally friendly once we move into our dream home and here are the five ways I am going to challenge myself to be so.
Recycling comes naturally to me when I’m at work by using a recycling bin like this one: https://uk.glasdon.com/recycling-bins/cup-recycling-bins but when it comes to recycling at home, everything just ends up in the same bin. I’m excited that when we move to our new home in the country, there will be three different bins for us to use: one for general waste, one for recyclable waste and one for garden waste. I will no longer have an excuse not to recycle at home and it’s going to be a great opportunity for me to teach Dex how important recycling is for the environment as well.
Moving into a new home can also be a chance to look for your old gadgets. Don’t just toss your old iPad or iPhone with a shattered screen. For some extra cash, consider recycling old gadgets. You can sell your iPhone by checking out a website that shows a list of recyclers that provide the best price.
2. Cutting down on plastic consumption
This is a slightly more challenging way to be environmentally friendly as we are faced with so much plastic in this day and age. Plastic is everywhere you turn, from the cartons of milk you buy in the shops, to the bags you carry your milk home in, to the bin bags you put the waste in to. It can feel as if reducing your plastic consumption is a nigh on impossible task. I’m going to start by making some very small changes. Firstly, I am going to get a milkman who delivers milk in glass bottles and collects them again on his next delivery. Secondly, I’m going to look into getting a Lush shampoo bar to use on my hair instead of the endless supply of plastic shampoo bottles I invariably buy month after month. Finally, I’m going to ensure I take a bag for life with me wherever I go so I don’t need to get any more plastic bags. I counted 48 in my cupboard this week when I was attempting to pack up a few kitchen bits which is just ridiculous! If you’re looking for more ideas on reducing plastic in your home, be sure to check out Laura’s post here on how to become plastic free in only six weeks.
3. Reducing water usage
I’ve been very guilty of using water willy nilly and his has resulted in high water bills over the past three years. In our new home I’m going to try to shower more instead of having a bath, hanging out washing as soon as it’s finished in the washing machine, instead of leaving it in there for days then having to put it on again; and turning the tap off when we are brushing our teeth. I’m hoping these small changes will have a big impact on the environment and our bills.
4. Reducing electricity use
Our electricity consumption is also through the roof and some months our bills can be as high as £200 which is silly for a small two bedroomed flat. Our new house is considerably bigger so changes will need to be made to ensure our bills don’t double in size and we are considering the environment at the same time. Again, I’m going to be making small changes such as only boiling what I need to in the kettle, refusing to use the tumble dryer, taking the time to learn how to use the timer on the heating system so that it only stays on for a set number of hours per day and making sure lights are turned off when they’re not in use.
5. Meal planning to avoid food wastage
I loved meal planning when I was on maternity leave and I can promise you not a scrap of food was wasted, the reality since returning to work has been so much more different. Food waste has become the norm again and I’m determined that once we move I am going to go back to meal planning which will not only save us money, but will help us eat healthier and have a big impact on the environment as well. I’m also going to plan in meat free days which I believe is something we should all do to help reduce the impact that meat farming has on the environment.
Disclaimer: This is a collaborative post