COP26 – Climate change under the microscope

November 2021 saw the 26th annual summit of the ‘Conference of the Parties’ (COP) where the United Nations come together to tackle climate change. In the run up to the COP26 the United Kingdom worked alongside 200 other nations to reach an agreement on the best possible course to tackle the climate change issues.

The UK were the COP26 Presidents, meaning their main responsibility was to act as an independent chair to draw all other countries into finding an agreement by consensus.

COP26 was important due to the recent events that took place during COP21 (2015) which saw a momentous occasion unfold: for the first time ever, every country involved agreed to work in unison to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees, adapt to the impacts of a consistently transforming climate and free up funding to deliver on these objectives. This pact was named The Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement is hugely important as every slight degree increase will result in further damage to lives, environments and communities.

Therefore, it is now essential we all do our parts in contributing to the 1.5-degree target set by the COP26, not only for ourselves but for generations to come. Furthermore, due to the current ‘cost of living crisis’ meaning the continuous rise in energy bills, it is becoming increasingly important to reduce our consumption.

There are many ways in which we can play our part in this movement and drastically reduce our energy consumption including:

  1. Growing your own food – Planting a vegetable patch within our gardens will not only help us to eat our five a day but will reduce transportation energy costs, avoid the use of pesticides, and reduce the global farming impact. Start a traditional vegetable patch by purchasing seeds in your local garden centre or use seeds from vegetables you already have in.
  2. Using natural light – Now that a lot of us are working from home its evident that our energy usage is going to accelerate. However, by designing your office or workspace around natural light it can reduce your electricity consumption. In addition, now the nights are growing longer and warming up, we can reduce our heating and lighting expenditure further. Alternatively, you can replace regular bulbs with longer-lasting, eco-friendly LED bulbs.
  3. Unplug electronic devices when they aren’t in use – It’s easy to see why people think that just because a device appears offline or in stand-by mode that it is not drawing power. However, New York Times reported that about a quarter of all residential energy consumption comes from devices on idle power mode, meaning $19billion in electricity bills. Therefore, take time to unplug or switch off the switch on devices such as laptops, speakers, televisions, and computers when they’re not in use.
  4. Audit your homes energy – By simply auditing your household energy consumption you can identify how much energy your home is consuming at what times and how to make it more efficient in the future. An audit can significantly reduce your home’s carbon footprint and help you to save between 5-30% on energy bills.
  5. Rethink your laundry – Washing and drying our clothes immensely impacts your household energy consumption. In a time when energy prices are only set to rise, it is important we wash and dry clothes in the cheapest and most environmentally friendly way possible. Washing in cold water, is just as effective and costs significantly less – it is also much better for the environment. When it comes to drying clothes, using the washing line is the cheapest and friendliest way. However, if drying your clothes outside isn’t an option, investigate heated towel rails which cost comparatively less or use on a clothes horse near radiators when in use – but remember to open trickle vents on windows to avoid an overly damp atmosphere.

A large portion of carbon dioxide emissions are caused from heating our homes. The UK has some of the oldest and least energy efficient homes due to their traditional nature, with mainly modern new builds being completely up to date on energy efficient standards.

This means for the older and more traditional properties throughout the UK to become more energy efficient and bring rising costs down, they need to ensure they have modernised insulation and heating measures.

Loft, wall, and cavity insulation as well as various boilers and electrical heating measures are some of the best ways to keep your home warm and save on energy bills. Eco Home Insulation works in unison with the Ofgem, and Government backed Energy Companies Obligation grant, which aims to provide low-income, fuel poor and vulnerable households with free insulation and heating measures. The purpose of this grant is to reduce the UK’s carbon footprint and amount of fuel poor homes. By properly insulating and heating your home you can save hundreds on energy bills and drastically reduce your carbon footprint.

For more information on how we can help & to check your eligibility for free insulation and heating upgrades try our 2-minute eligibility checker

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