It’s no secret that climate change is at the forefront of many peoples’ minds. With the temporary, all-for-one nature of house shares, it can be difficult sorting out how to make yours green – but even house shares have the ability to be environmentally friendly.
With a few simple tweaks like working a little more closely with your housemates, making easy switches to eco-friendly energy providers and sharpening up your recycling knowledge, you can achieve a green house share – and save some money at the same time. Here’s how.
1. Cut food waste
We’ve all seen the fridge in a student house share. There are three half-used bottles of ketchup and four containers of out-of-date milk. To avoid food wastage, devise a system with your housemates where you agree to share certain household food items that you all use on a daily basis.
That said, this isn’t license to steal your housemates’ food. Make sure everyone is on board. Furthermore, find out whether or not there’s food wastage collection in your area and apply for a food waste bin to ensure that what you don’t use goes to a good place.
2. Switch to eco-friendly lightbulbs
Lightbulbs might seem like small, simple things, but using the right one can go a long way when it comes to energy consumption. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that we could all save £35 a year on electricity bills if we switch to LED lightbulbs.
While that might not seem like a lot in savings, consider also that LED bulbs tend to last much longer than ordinary lightbulbs. That means that in addition to monetary savings, you’re also saving on wastage, too.
3. Turn off, don’t stand by
If you turn off your appliances at the wall, rather than leaving them in standby mode, you could save another £35 a year. You can even buy a “standby saver” to switch off multiple devices in one go.
Similarly, make sure you’re monitoring how much you’re using your kitchen appliances. Small things like only filling the kettle with the water you need can help you save the planet and save around £6 per year – and all these little extra savings add up for you and your housemates.
3. Recycle, recycle, recycle
In today’s climate, recycling is more or less a given. But you’d be surprised on what you can recycle and what you can’t. For instance, the Guardian reported that, according to the British Science Association, many Britons wrongly think you can recycle dirty kitchen roll and paper towels. To ensure you cut down on purchasing and using items that can’t be recycled, it’s important to do your research.
On top of that, you can recycle more than just waste. Repurposing or repairing old items instead of buying new ones, or buying vintage furniture from charity shops can help cut down on consumption.
4. Use an eco-friendly energy provider
Not all energy providers are created equal, especially where green energy is concerned. Instead of using traditional methods of acquiring energy, some are going above and beyond on the green front, getting their energy from renewable sources like the sun, water and wind.
If you’ve found that your energy provider isn’t getting their energy from renewable resources, consider switching – although you should do your research first on the rates they charge and how firmly established that supplier is while the energy crisis is ongoing.
5. Commit to less waste as a house
As we all know, it’s going to take a lot more than just one person’s commitment to helping the environment to make a lasting impact on the world. It’s a group effort, one that you can make with your housemates by sharing reusable household items and committing to going green as a home.
Start by bulking up your supply of reusable containers for leftover food and reusable bags for shopping. Additionally, if one of your housemates has a car, take group trips to the grocery store instead of relying on individual home deliveries.