With the current economy taking its toll on us all, coupled with the rising concern for the environment, many people are trying to make their homes more self-sufficient in a bid to tackle both of these issues. As you drive around your local neighbourhood you may have already noticed solar panels adorning the roofs of some houses. Solar panels are popular at the moment because once they are fitted they save you money on energy bills because they are harnessing the free power of the Sun to make electricity. Of course the initial outlay for solar panels can be quite substantial, however there are some companies that will install the panels for free and then collect the government subsidies in return. Not everybody has the option of solar panels because of planning permission, the hassle of installing them or where they are situated. A good option for the majority of people is better wall insulation. If you invest in cavity wall insulation you will find the need to use another heating source reduced to the point where you are saving massively on energy bills and securing the future of the environment.
OK – so both of these ideas sound like they are going to cost a small fortune and perhaps you don’t want the hassle right now. If this is the case then turn your sights to the garden. An excellent way to make your home self-sufficient is to grow fruit and vegetables and even consider keeping some chickens. If you do not have outside space then window boxes work just as well for herbs and tomatoes. Living self sufficiently has so many benefits, such as the activity and enjoyment gained from your new hobby, the achievement when you cook with your own produce and finally the air-miles you will be saving from exported veg. By starting off small you may find that your enthusiasm continues to grow until the point where you could start selling your produce to family, neighbours or at local farmer’s markets. There is a whole host of ways to make your home more self-sufficient which will not only benefit yourself but also the environment.
Buying all weather garden chairs made from rattan instead of metal or plastic is another great way to save money and help the planet. Like bamboo, rattan is a natural material that looks great and is also extremely durable.