The world is slowly being suffocated, with plastic, greenhouse gases and air pollution all contributing to the environmental problems we face moving deeper into the 21st century.
World leaders have become more aware of the problem, and the activism of Greta Thunberg has continued to drive that message home and keep the issue in the news. Whilst Australia has not yet stated it will reach net-zero carbon emissions, every state and territory has pledged to reach carbon neutrality by at least 2050. That will hopefully see Australia follow some of the world’s superhero countries, such as Sweden, Denmark and Finland. Indeed, even the US has recently re-entered the Paris Agreement, making this a global fight.
That means an increased focus for residents on how they live their lives, with the fight against climate change beginning at home, with your living habits. So how can you positively impact the environment, live a more sustainable life and help reduce carbon emissions? There are many practical things you can do to live a greener life in 2021, the best of which we have picked out below.
If you have a draught in your home, then you have a problem that needs attention. A post on how to draught-proof your home by HomeServe states that there are plenty of good reasons to draught-proof your home, the main one of which is that you will use less energy to heat your home. That results in lower bills, but it will also see you lose less energy. Simply put, if you can feel cold air coming into your home, that means warm air that you have paid to heat, is escaping. Think about gaps under doors and around old windows, and look to remedy those areas. In wooden homes, make sure air is not getting in through the walls too, which it may do because of cracks or splits.
Following on from draught-proofing, another key aspect of the home to consider is the attic. You can lose a quarter of the heat you produce in your home through the roof, which is all wasted energy. As with a draught, it is energy you have paid for and that has produced carbon whilst being created and delivered to you. Make sure you have adequate insulation between the rafters in your loft, so any heat you do need in the home is kept there, and not simply lost.
An article on Compost Week discusses how almost half of the household waste thrown away is organic matter, which could be composted and used in gardens. By turning food scraps and organic waste into compost, you can improve the quality of your soil, suppress plant disease and pests and reduce the amount of waste heading to landfill sites. That alone will impact the amount of greenhouse gas emissions, which can pollute land and water. Composting is extremely satisfying and straightforward. There are several compost bins on the market and plenty of tips on creating your own, too.
Warmer months can often bring times of severe drought, so making the most of your water supply is important. Use water butts or the like externally, so that any rainwater that does fall can be used to water the garden, wash the car or any other outdoor tasks you may feel are needed. Inside, try to be a little wiser with water usage, take short showers instead of long baths and remember to turn off taps during washing up, teeth cleaning or washing your face. You may even want to go as far as changing your toilet, shower and taps to low-flow products which use much less water.