As a wise frog puppet once said: “It’s not easy being green.”

Kermit wasn’t wrong, but as environmental awareness spreads, it’s certainly getting easier. Indeed, whether you live in a town or the countryside, following some simple steps (along with some bigger ones, practicalities and budget permitting) could turn your home from a fuel-guzzling glut of greenhouse gases, into something approaching more of an environmentalist’s Eden.

There is no one right way to go about this - more a series of small steps which, taken together, will reduce your home’s environmental impact from ‘heinous’ to ‘mostly guilt-free’. So grab your recyclable coffee cup and discard your plastic straws, it’s time to slash your carbon footprint with a thousand tiny cuts...

Watch out for wasteful waterworks

The most straightforward way to make your home more sustainable is to cut down on needless waste.

Water is a perfect first port of call. Employ the ‘navy shower’ approach, by switching off the water while lathering. You could pick up a waterpebble (£9.99, Amazon) - a waterproof timer that sticks to your bathroom wall and flashes green, amber or red to let you know when it’s time to switch the shower off.


While you’re at it, you can save energy by turning down your hot water thermostat by one or two degrees (we guarantee you will not notice the difference).

Go back to basics

Minimising waste is largely about shifting your mindset and changing how you shop too. It goes without saying that recycling is a good idea - but even better is to purchase products that don’t come with as much packaging in the first place. For example, swap disposable kitchen towel for longer-lasting cloths - or cut up an old shirt to make reusable rags.

Be more switched on about energy efficiency

As for reducing your home’s energy usage - and bills - slightly cooling your water is a good start, but we’re betting you can manage a degree off your radiators too. Insulation is the word of the day: The more heat stays within your home, the less your heating system has to work overtime.

Arrange an annual home energy audit to pick up on any cracks or fractures in your brickwork that might be leaching precious degrees into the outdoors. Windows are a common culprit: Double glazing provides a formidable defence against heat loss, while for the unclothed window, a simple set of curtains works wonders for heat retention too.

Not leaving electricals and chargers on standby

Try attaching several devices to a multi-plug extension cable, allowing you to shut everything down with the flick of a single switch when leaving the house in a hurry.

Up on the roof - install solar panels or a ‘green roof’

Solar panels are an established option for the eco-conscious builder, and hundreds of thousands of UK homes have now had them installed. While initial costs may apply, homeowners could save money in the long term as well as denting their energy usage, by harnessing the sun’s rays as a planet-friendly energy source.

Another rooftop solution? How about installing a ‘green roof’ or ‘living roof’. Halfway between a regular roof and a garden, this basically means having live plants or grass occupy the space.