We all want to be green… don’t we? But how do you go about helping to save the planet in a practical way? Here are our top tips on greener holiday home ownership.
Upgrade to energy-saving lightbulbs
The writing is on the wall for traditional ‘incandescent’ tungsten light bulbs, and even the European Lamp Companies Federation accepts that an EU ban is likely within a decade.
So, you might as well make the switch in your holiday home now, especially as each fluorescent bulb – though considerably more expensive than an incandescent, at anywhere between £2 to £10 each – could save you several pounds a year in electricity costs, or £150 over the lifetime of the lamp. If we all changed over to fluorescent lamps, the UK’s annual CO2 emissions would be reduced by 2-3 million tonnes.
Make sure you’re insulated
The BS EN1647 holiday home standards set minimum levels of insulation, but many companies pride themselves on exceeding these. This, and the use of energy efficient glass in window units ensures that modern holiday homes are very energy efficient.
If you have an older holiday home, though, you should make sure that you are as well insulated as possible. You could consider replacing existing windows – but make sure your new units are double glazed with ‘K’ glass.
Use energy-efficient appliances
By law, an EU energy efficiency label has to be displayed on all new electrical appliances such as fridges, freezers, washers and dryers, dishwashers, lamps, ovens and air conditioners.
There are seven basic levels which indicate how much electricity the product uses in kilowatt hours (kWh). If you want to save money on energy costs in the long term (and help the planet), it is worth paying more for a higher graded appliance when you replace your existing model. If you are currently buying a new holiday home, make sure the manufacturer provides you with the energy efficiency rating of any integrated or standard appliances.
Fit solar panels
Using the sun to supplement our energy supplies has yet to take off in this country, partly due to our cynicism about our climate, but also because of the cost of the kit and its installation. Who knows, maybe solar panels will be commonplace on holiday parks in a few years.
Visit the Global Action Plan website www.globalactionplan.org.uk for more information and ideas on how to become more environmentally friendly.