Imagine if the idea of protecting the planet isn’t the right one, after all, it’s just a massive piece of rock suspended in space. It will always exist in some form or other, yet the people who live on it may not.
It’s hard to start thinking green as the issues can seem overwhelming. The news brings daily reminders of hurricanes and storms causing chaos all over the world. But if we’ve never visited these far off locations it’s difficult to feel connected enough to care. We all know about melting icebergs, animals like the panda suffering because their natural habitats are disappearing and rainforests being destroyed, but it’s difficult to know how to start trying to make things better as an individual when the issues are so large.
Looking at the big environmental picture can seem overwhelming. It’s impossible to know where to start. Our human instinct is to seek shelter, even denying scientific evidence of global environmental issues on the grounds that we cannot possibly make a difference. That’s why it’s crucial to start small with individual changes that can make a difference.
But what can be done? These are big problems. The easiest way is to start small. You can’t afford to change the whole city, but there are simple changes you can make to your own home and lifestyle which will help to save the planet and also save you money.
It’s hard to care about saving the world when you can’t even afford a holiday. The cost of living continues to rise every day. But by making small changes around the home, for example by switching off PCs and mobile phone or tablets, you’ll see smaller fuel bills. That’s good for the planet and good for your holiday budget.
Some property developers have implemented policies for building new housing developments that make it easier for homeowners to save energy. For example, the Berkeley Group instigated a Climate Change Policy in 2007. Local planning authorities also insist on certain standards for new homes as detailed in the Code for Sustainability.
Even if you’re not in a brand new, highly insulated home there are easy ways to make savings. Use a guide like this Greener Living Tool to find ways to save on expensive energy bills. If you’re sitting in front of the television listening to predictions of rising gas and electricity prices with dread, don’t be too concerned. Take action by taking small measures. Turn off unnecessary lights. Turn the heating down by a couple of degrees (this could save you up to ten per cent on your annual heating bill) and put on a jumper. Unplug any mobile devices that are fully charged – a large percentage of mobile phone chargers are simply wasting electricity.
Easy Ways to Save:
- Never forget that around 60% of your fuel bills are for central heating.
- Want to save 10% on your annual heating costs? Turn down the thermostat. One degree is enough.
- Make sure dishwashers are fully loaded and it’s still more economical than hand washing the dishes.
- One less load of laundry each week could save up to five thousand litres of water per year.
Don’t try to save the world all alone – start small and make a difference locally first. As well as saving the planet you’ll also be saving money. Win win! Now unplug that mobile phone charger, check the central heating and put your feet up, you’ve earned it.
Charles Roberts has been writing on eco related topics for nearly a decade. He is an independent sustainability consultant in UK. 56% of new homes developed by Berkeley Group in 2011/2012 incorporated renewable or low carbon technology.