We’d all like to make choices that don’t harm our planet – but sometimes working out the greenest option isn’t that easy.
A new village at Cambourne in Cambridgeshire (built by Taylor Wimpey) is leading the way in showing how sustainable living can be achieved – and could help demonstrate to the rest of us how to go about it. In fact, the village was even recognised with a prestigious national accolade – the title of ‘Best Low or Zero Carbon Initiative’ at the Housebuilder Awards.
The revolutionary approach taken at Cambourne gives customers eco-friendly options and information on how to live sustainably in their new home. These choices don’t just apply to homes in Cambourne though there are a range of ways you could make eco-friendly changes to your home and lifestyle.
What are the eco-friendly options?
Well, what it all comes down to is pretty simple – use less energy and create less waste!
There’s a host of measures you can take to use less energy, from innovative systems such as heat recovery ventilation, to simple changes such as choosing energy-efficient A++ rated appliances and low-energy lighting.
Homeowners at Cambourne have the option to use a smart meter to track energy usage – it really brings home just how much electricity you’re using every time you boil the kettle or use the tumble dryer! Your energy supplier may be able to provide you with a smart meter, so get in touch with them if you’re interested in getting one installed.
Using less water is a straightforward way to use less energy, with grey-water recycling and low-flow plumbing fixtures both popular options for Cambourne homeowners. Even simple water butts can help by providing recycled water for the garden.
Choose building materials carefully
The materials we choose to build a home have a significant impact on the environment. That’s why our home-buyers can choose sustainable flooring, doors and furniture made from renewably sourced materials and even environmentally-friendly paint. Think about this when you’re redecorating your own home – you can get many eco-friendly materials from big-name stores these days.
Diverting waste from landfill is also a key issue for sustainability – so ensuring there’s plenty of space to store recycling and compost bins is something else we considered at Cambourne.
Make small lifestyle changes
Small lifestyle changes can make a big difference when it comes to living sustainably.
Growing your own vegetables, for example, is a much greener way to feed a family than buying produce that’s been flown halfway around the globe and wrapped in plastic packaging – so why not install some raised beds to make it easier to do so?
And think about where you’re going to store your bike – you’ll never use it if it’s hidden at the back of the garage behind the lawnmower, so make sure it’s accessible and easy to locate.
Protect the environment
Finally, remember that living sustainably means protecting the environment for wildlife too. Putting up bird, bat and insect boxes is an easy way to increase biodiversity in your garden and can give your kids (and you!) a fascinating insight into the natural world.
Buy new instead of old
With energy-efficient central heating, double glazing and the latest insulation materials as standard, new-build homes already provide a greener alternative than older properties – and with the eco-friendly upgrades often available, it’s even easier to live sustainably. For more information on why new homes are a sustainable option, take a look at our Why Buy New page