Look at you, being good and trying to do your bit for the environment! If you're keen to embrace the green lifestyle, without making many sacrifices or heavy investments, you're in the right place. Here are 16 effortless tweaks you can make from the comfort of your home...
Don't panic, these simple ideas don't include installing solar panels, servicing your boiler, or carpooling with colleagues you're not keen on. Although we'd actively encourage you to go the whole hog if you're that way inclined, let's be realistic. Baby steps. This is about everything from encouraging wildlife into your garden, to opting out of junk mail and sleeping on an organic mattress – basics that may well have slipped your mind. Until now.
Let There Be Eco-Friendly Light
Not keen on using dimmer switches throughout your home? Make a small compromise, swap your traditional light bulbs for energy saving CFL light bulbs - these days, they're both as bright as each other, but the latter’s greener.
Turn Off, Never Standby
Unplug every electricity devouring device, shut down your laptop and turn the TV off at the switch, before you drift off to sleep tonight. Why should they consume energy for no justifiable reason? Think of the planet and your pocket.
You Rolling, They Hating
Let's say goodbye to kitchen roll… nope, not when you put it in the bin, but when you make the green decision to clear your spillages with a microfiber towel or an old t-shirt. Anything that can be washed and reused.
Clean Your Fridge
Run a damp cloth over the coils at the back of your fridge, to keep it dust-free and running in tip-top condition.
Encourage Wildlife into Your Garden
Whether you build a bird table, install a bird bath, or plant native shrubs and greenery that local insects and wildlife will love - your family and the environment will benefit from a lush, wildlife friendly garden. Especially in urban areas.
Start a Compost Heap
It takes five seconds to throw food waste into your compost heap, instead of your bin. But your kitchen will smell better without the rotting fruit and veg, plus compost literally makes your grass grow greener.
Ask For Digital Subscriptions
Lucky enough to have received a magazine or newspaper subscription for Christmas/your birthday/a random treat? Ask that it's delivered straight to your digital device, not you front door. Let's save paper! While you're at it, perhaps you'll opt out of printed invoices, statements and catalogues too? Just a thought...
Recycle, Recycle, Recycle
Plastics, paper, washed metal tins, empty cans, glass jars, cardboard... all in your green recycling bin please folks! Unless, that is, you can invent a handy way to reuse your rubbish and give it a second lease of life - as storage, decoration or such like.
Help Yourself to Houseplants
Not only are plants one of the hottest design trends of 2016, but these guys absorb carbon dioxide and remove pollutants from the air you breathe at home. Better yet, you can change your flowers with the seasons, or grow yourself some tasty organic herbs.
Sleep on an Organic Mattress
The Cotswold, Dartmoor, Devon and Wensleydale organic mattresses pack a double-whammy of eco-friendly goodness. Hand-stitched using hemp thread and full of long-life wooden springs, they are as natural as mattresses come - there's no glue, solvents or adhesives here.
Sleep toasty warm in winter, and cool in summer, without heating or air conditioning. The natural fibres wick away moisture to regulate your body temperature for a great sleep. Not really much of a compromise this one…
Low Flow Shower Heads
Don't panic, while shallow baths are widely considered best for the environment, you can still sing in the shower. To save money on hot water, opt for energy efficient shower heads, designed to conserve it. Some offer spa like 'rainfall settings', so you won't necessarily feel the difference.
100,000 litres of rainwater fall onto your roof every year! Put it to good use, washing your car, watering your plants and surviving the unlikely event of a hosepipe ban this summer. Just connect your new, camouflaged green water butt to your guttering, and enjoy.
Cotton Curtains in Your Bedroom
Feeling a draft? Inexpensive cotton drapes block out sunlight, which will lock heat out in the summer, and in during the chilly winter months. You can turn your heating down now.
Spritz Natural Fragrances
Air fresheners are really no good for the environment, but your home can still smell of roses. Add your choice of essential oils to a bottle of water and spray it about your home, guilt free.
Watch For Microbeads
Sea creatures hate them, water treatment plants can’t filter them. The microbeads in your shower gels, face washes and exfoliating scrubs pose a non-biodegradable nightmare for the environment. Let’s opt for products without these tiny plastic pellets.
Line Dry Your Clothes
Once you’ve freshened them up with an eco-friendly low-temperature spin in your washing machine, why not air dry your clothes outside? They’ll smell better, and you’ll save energy.
So there you have it, going green isn't as hard our as scary as most of us would imagine, right? No matter how many of these minor changes you can muster, you'll be doing your bit for your bank balance, your home and the world around you. That's a good job well done.