From the rising global temperature to the shrinking ice sheets, we are all more than aware that climate change has reached a worrying level. Luckily, the UK is becoming more eco-friendly, and it is now easier than ever to make even the smallest of impacts. Whether you are committed to living a ‘green’ lifestyle or are new to making environmentally friendly lifestyle changes, we should all be actively trying to play a role in lowering the nations carbon footprint.
Why Is The UK Becoming More Eco-Friendly?
From reducing your use of single-waste plastics to switching to renewable energy, there are tonnes of ways that you can help the UK to become more environmentally friendly. Here we will run through the following changes that have already been successfully implemented:
- Smart Metres Are Installed In Homes
- ‘Green’ Energy Is Now Available
- Plastic Straws Have Been Ditched
- Reusable Items Grows In Popularity
- Grants Are Given For Electric Vehicles
- We’re Making Better Food Choices
- Companies Are Going Paperless
Smart Metres Are Installed In Homes
Central heating is one of the most significant users of energy and home gas. While we’re most definitely not saying that you must live without the cosiness of your heating, there are several ways that you can make your consumption ‘greener’ – the main of which is a smart meter. According to government research, approximately 15.97 million smart meters have been installed in properties, which is a fantastic 6.9 increase on the previous quarter. So what are smart meters? They are, in fact, very straightforward and are designed to track your energy usage, helping you to keep an eye on precisely how much you are spending. As a small digital device that can be placed anywhere around the home, smart meters communicate with your energy provider, allowing them to monitor your usage so that they can bill you the correct amount. One of the biggest benefits of a smart meter is that they provide you with real-time data, so you can spot when in the day your energy usage reaches its peak. Therefore, allowing you to make better choices to become more environmentally friendly. For more information on how smart meters work, take a look at Which?
If you are hoping to improve your overall energy usage to reduce your carbon footprint, then we suggest accompanying your smart meter with a smart thermostat. Smart thermostats are a fantastic way to gain full control over your central heating system. Connected to your smartphone, the thermostat enables you only to use your central heating when it is actually needed. For example, many opt for programming their thermostat to switch off when they leave for work then turn back on half an hour before arriving home in the evening. You will also have the power to turn your heating up or down without even having to get up from the sofa! Take a look at MoneySavingExpert for more details on the benefits of a smart thermostat and how to get your hands on your own.
‘Green’ Energy Is Now Available
As the prospect of running out of fossil fuels becomes more prevalent, more and more providers are now opting for offering customers ‘green’ energy from renewable sources. Not only is this ideal for reducing the usage of limited resources, but it is also increasingly kinder to the environment. According to an article by Futurity, fossil fuels alone account for 90% of all emissions caused by human activity, which, of course, heavily contributes towards global warming, air pollution and much more. With this in mind, property owners are now making the switch to renewable energy to reduce their carbon footprint and emissions.
The term renewable energy relates to a sustainable source of power which cannot run out as it is sourced naturally from, for instance, the sun, wind or water. It not only causes minimal impact on the environment but is also considerably cheaper than its fossil fuel alternatives. The most common types of renewable energy are:
- Solar energy – energy sourced from the sun
- Wind energy – energy sourced from wind
- Hydro energy – energy sourced from a controlled flow of water driven by a turbine
- Tidal energy – energy sourced from natural tidal currents
- Geothermal energy – energy sourced from natural heat below the surface of the earth
- Biomass energy – energy sourced by converting plant materials into electricity
If you are interested in switching your home energy plan or business electricity plan to a more eco-friendly solution, then please do not hesitate to contact Ampower. Our current energy is generated from a combination of conventional and renewable energy; however, our goal for the future is to provide only 100% energy. You can find more information on how our power is sourced by taking a look at the ‘Our Energy’ page.
Plastic Straws Have Been Ditched
We are all more than aware of the ever-growing number of businesses who are ditching plastic straws for paper alternatives. As featured in an excellent article by BBC News, popular household names including McDonald’s, Nandos, Wagamama and Wetherspoon have all banned the use of plastic straws, which is a massive step in the right direction. This is a decision that has been discussed for many years and comes as a result of the irreversible damage that plastic straws are having on the environment, particularly the ocean. Plastic straws are polluting the water surrounding us, injuring and killing some of the world’s most precious aquatic life. In fact, according to shocking statistics featured on Plastic Oceans, 8 million tonnes of plastic is dumped into the ocean each year. This results in plastic being found in the stomachs of over 90% of seabirds and 1 in 3 marine mammals becoming entangled in litter.
While it is fantastic that some of the leading brands are banning plastic straws, this is also a change that we should be making from the comfort of our homes. If you regularly use plastic straws, why not swap them for reusable alternatives? Boobalou has a vast selection of options from stainless steel straws to colourful silicone options. It may seem like a small change, but we promise that it will make a huge difference!
Reusable Items Grows In Popularity
From sandwich bags and water bottles to shopping bags and cotton pads, there are hundreds of household items that are now available in reusable alternatives. And even better, as the switch to reusable continues to grow in popularity, there are now tonnes of companies who are offering stylish designs which makes the ‘kind to nature’ transition just that little more exciting.
The growing number of reusable items, similar to the above, have been designed to limit the amount of single-use plastic that we throw away, such as plastic water bottles and sandwich bags. Single-use plastics have a detrimental impact on the environment as they do not biodegrade and instead, will simply break down into smaller pieces. It can take thousands of years for just one plastic item to decompose, contaminating any surrounding water and soil in the meantime. For those eager to begin cutting their use of single-use plastic, take a look at Onya Life for 48 eco-friendly products to consider!
Grants Are Given For Electric Vehicles
Some of the leading names in the automotive industry are now trying their hand at designing the ultimate electric vehicles, filled with the latest technology and sleek designs. Based on research by Statista, the number of electric cars in use has dramatically increased from just 11,200 in 2012 to a vast 32,900 in 2018. This is a proven way to lower your carbon footprint, substantially reducing your greenhouse gas emissions and air pollution. As the vehicles are powered charging an electric battery, there is no need to burn fossil fuels in order to stay on the roads.
To encourage more drivers to make the transition to electric-powered vehicles, there are now an array of government incentives available. Those who opt for fully electric cars such as the Nissan Leaf or BMW i3 can enjoy up to a £3,500 grant, which can amount to 35% of your vehicles purchase price depending on the car that you opt for. However, there are limitations as this particular grant as to qualify; your chosen vehicle must be able to run for at least 70 miles on a single charge. For those who are considering the investment, EV charging can be done either at home or at a public charging station at, for example, the workplace or a supermarket. More information on finding the right electric vehicle to fit with your requirements can be found in our previous article, along with another on charging your EV.
We’re Making Better Food Choices
As featured in an article by Countryfile Magazine on how to live a greener life, more than 7 million tonnes of food and drink are wasted every year. To put this into perspective, this means that each Brit produces seven times their own weight in food and drink waste every year! While this statistic is somewhat shocking, we are, as a nation, finally beginning to make better food choices, including the following:
- Eating Less Meat And Dairy – You may be surprised to discover that eating less meat and dairy is the single most effective way to lower your carbon footprint. It is thought that animal agriculture creates more greenhouse gases than the world’s entire use of transport combined.
- Composting – Composting allows you to turn your waste into nutrient-filled food for your garden. All you will need to do is invest in a compost bin, which must be placed in a sunny spot in your garden. Your bin can be filled with a split between green and brown waste.
- Buying Local Produce – If you are lucky enough to be given the opportunity to shop locally from farmers, then use it to your advantage. Not only will you enjoy fresher ingredients, but you’ll help the environment. It means that you can cut the miles that your food travels to reach your kitchen, reducing the use of fossil fuels, air pollution and greenhouse gas emissions.
Companies Are Going Paperless
As we continue to embrace the digital world, an abundance of companies are now giving customers the opportunity to switch to paperless. From home electricity bills to smartphone contracts, almost all important documents can now be received via email, text message or through a smartphone app. Not only does this help the environment by reducing deforestation and pollution, but it also makes accessing data increasingly more convenient. Information can now be obtained in a matter of seconds from any location with no need to wait around for the post to be delivered to your home.
As a business, if you are yet to go paperless, then why not make this your new year’s resolution? The decision to cut down paper usage comes alongside a wealth of advantages from reducing an influx of mail to streamlining operations. This helps to future-proof your business and most importantly, create a more environmentally friendly corporation.
Join The Nation Is Building An Eco-Friendly Future!
While you may not have been making the most environmentally friendly decisions in the past, there is no better time than the present to begin. Even the smallest of lifestyle changes from using a reusable water bottle to ditching plastic straws can have a significant impact on your carbon footprint. By working together to build a nation that appreciates the planet we live on, we can begin to reverse the effects of global warming, creating a bright future for the generations to come.