Christmas is approaching and people will be looking forward to spending time in their living room with their families, watching movies, playing board games and passing around the mince pies. As with any room in your eco house, there are many ways you can make your living room more eco friendly. Whether it’s using eco furniture or eco appliances, you can make greener choices that will both reduce your energy bills and be kinder to the environment.
LED TVs – These have backlit screens which are much greener than conventional LCD or plasmas screens. For example, a 42” plasma TV uses 277 watts when it’s on, whilst a similar sized LED TV uses less than half that amount. LED TVs also have a long lifespan, saving you even more money in the long run.
Eco friendly mains adapter – Thanks to TV ad campaigns, it’s now well known that leaving electrical appliances on standby still consumes a significant amount of electricity. In fact, it’s estimated that £900 million is wasted leaving appliances with the red light on. One option is to simply switch TVs, DVD players and set top boxes off at the mains. Or you could buy a mains socket adapter, for your eco living room, that learns how much standby power connected devices use and then overrides them by reducing the electricity supply by that amount.
Eco lighting – Lighting accounts for 15% of your eco home’s electricity bills. So switching to eco friendly bulbs is a simple way of making your eco living room greener. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that one CFL (compact fluorescent lamp) bulb consumes 80% less electricity and lasts up to 10 times longer than standard bulbs. This can translate into savings of up to £6/year in electricity for regularly used lights. When you consider how many bulbs there are in your eco home, this can mount up to a significant saving.
Eco fireplace – Bio-ethanol fireplaces are clean burning, which means they produce no dirty pollutants and can be used in any eco living room. Bio-ethanol (a.k.a. methylated spirits) can be produced from a wide variety of renewable crops, such as sugarcane, potatoes, rice and beetroot, adding to its green credentials. When the bio-ethanol is burnt it creates a beautiful dancing flame but without the dirty smoke to go with it, which means you don’t need a chimney or need to install pipes.
Eco wallpaper – You could use FSC approved eco wallpaper, made from ethically sourced wood pulp, or another option is eco paint, which uses the minimal volatile organic compounds (VOCs) to protect your family from exposure to pollutants.
Eco sofas – These are made from FSC approved wood and eco upholstery that’s made from ethically sourced materials, such as bamboo, organic cotton and hemp, which are all plant based and can be harvested sustainably.
Eco accessories – It’s often the little touches that can make the most impact in your eco home. Fairly traded bamboo coasters, seagrass picture frames, linen plant pots and natural recycled leather photo frames are just a few examples of eco accessories that will give your eco living room an environmentally friendly green glow.