Unless you've been living with your head in the sand for the last decade, you'll have noticed global warming and the environment have been a huge part of the news agenda for quite some time. There are still arguments over whether burning fossil fuels is the cause but it's beyond question that the world is warming at an alarming rate.
In 1814, the last of the London Frost Fairs was held, with shops, stalls and gambling on the frozen river. Now, the Thames hasn't frozen over since 1963. Today, the Champagne makers of France are moving to Sussex because their native land is too hot. It's clear global warming is here, so the time has come for consumers to contribute to change, rather than assuming it's the job of multi-national corporations to bear the burden. With this in mind, below are my tips to help you become greener:
• Buy responsibly
Everyone buys energy. Without it we wouldn't be able to heat our homes in winter, cook food or even Netflix and chill. However, far too many people don't take note of how much energy they are consuming - at least until their energy bill comes through of course. Once they see how much they are spending, many begin questioning how they can bring this down.
A third of all household energy is used in the kitchen so consumers should look at the whitegoods they buy as a first port of call. All manufacturers of these goods worth their weight now produce eco products which use much less energy than traditional whitegoods. Although this may seem a large one-off purchase, the money saved in the long term means it's a no brainer.
• Switch the lights off
It may sound obvious, but switching the lights off saves energy. A walk around London or any other major city at night shows how many businesses light up their offices like a Christmas tree after hours, despite nobody being in. Although this differs slightly at home - only adults who are still scared of the dark will leave them on overnight - people still need to be wary of how much energy their lights consume. If natural light is enough, then leave them off and during winter, use energy saving light bulbs which last for months.
• Update legacy technology
Although an increasing number of us now use our smartphones to browse the net, most still use more traditional hardware on a daily basis at home. However, any of you who are at home reading this on a desktop machine which looks like it probably saw its best years back in the late 90s then it may be time for an upgrade. Not only will the new machine be faster, take up less room and have increased capabilities but the amount of energy used powering on and off will cut energy consumption considerably.
By incorporating these simple steps into your everyday life, your carbon footprint will begin to decrease rapidly without breaking the bank - after all, not all of us can afford to buy an electric car. Before you know it, you'll be on track to living in a home as green as your local, environmentally friendly data centre.