The idea that youâ€™re polluting by simply living in your home is terrifying to the more left leaning amongst us. But, in many cases, thatâ€™s exactly what a vast number of the population is doing. If your home isnâ€™t optimised to be eco-friendly, then you might as well be living in as puttering Victorian smokestack.
But there are cost effective ways to turn your home from something out of a Dickens novel into a futuristic green zone. Here are just a few of your options.
When the sunâ€™s out, which isnâ€™t exactly frequent in dear old Blighty, youâ€™ve got to make the most of it.
You can conserve those rays with a well-built conservatory. The middle class dream for many, conservatories (provided theyâ€™re double or triple glazed) can retain heat effectively, and act as a barrier from the weather outside.
For even more use of those life-giving rays, install solar panels to catch the sun and convert it into electricity. While you wonâ€™t be able to use it during those dark winter months, youwill be able to cut your carbon footprint while the sun is shining.
Reflect your heat
You probably associate tinfoil with either cooking or conspiracy theorists, but that reflective material can have at least one other use. By sticking some foil-based goodness on the wall behind your radiator, any â€œlostâ€ heat will be reflected back into your room.
In the long run, this will heat up your home more effectively and cut down on heating bills. But just make sure youâ€™ve placed the tinfoil neatly â€“ you donâ€™t want it to look like youâ€™re roasting a turkey behind your radiators.
Breathe in the flora
Although you donâ€™t want a greenhouse in your home, dotting a few plants around can effectively lower your carbon footprint.
Thanks to a neat process called photosynthesis â€“ in which plants â€œbreathe inâ€ carbon dioxide and convert it into oxygen when it â€œbreathes outâ€ â€“ any air pollution is offset by the flora youâ€™ve purchased.
And, if thereâ€™s one thing you should want in your home, itâ€™s effective air circulation. According to national newspaper The Telegraph, a vast number of homes can be more noxious than traffic-choked streets, and doing nothing about it in the long term can lead to breathing difficulties and other respiratory illnesses.
From a design perspective, try to make sure the plants you pick donâ€™t clash with the rest of your decor. After all, what good is photosynthesis if it isnâ€™t done with style?