Advice

Government ‘must induce green-thinking approach among Britons’

The government has been told it must do all it can to ensure the people of the UK start to think in a greener way. Independent sustainability and environment advisor Tony Juniper told how there is plenty to be gained from triggering a change in attitudes among homeowners across the country.

Speaking at the Sustainabilitylive event in Birmingham, the expert told how a widespread revolution is needed if carbon targets are to be met. He said that the carbon dioxide per dollar level must drop from 768 grams to six grams by 2050 in order to achieve the goals set out – a reduction that is simply unrealistic. “We know that it is absolutely essential if we are going to get the kind of reductions and impact needed that we are going to have to go with the flow of people as well as the different kinds of technological solutions,” Mr Juniper stated.

A good place to start might be home improvements, which have the potential to improve the energy efficiency of a property and allow people to lead a greener lifestyle. For instance, hiring an electrician to install solar panels or a glazer to add double glazing could be the difference between running an eco-friendly home and failing to do so. It will also have the benefit of allowing homeowners to slash the amount of money they pay for their gas and electricity bills. “We have to start tailoring messages to seduce people to want to join in with sustainability by talking their language through understanding their values,” Mr Juniper continued. “Behaviour is a very big part of this, but it is not only about giving people more information; it is about understanding their values and appealing to their value-driven needs.”

As the green revolution continues to take hold across the UK, it may be that more and more people are attracted to the idea of certain home improvements. While these may have to date been completed purely with the intention of reducing bills, it could be that greater awareness of environmental issues leads many Britons to carry out such work in order to do their bit for their surroundings.

The move towards eco-friendliness was illustrated recently by the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which said that revenue taken in the low-carbon goods and services market is on the up. Indeed, it noted the revenue in the sector was £122.2 billion in 2010-11, up from £116.8 billion the year before, indicating the country is becoming keener to invest in green technologies.

Of course, the move to take up solar panels, insulation, ground source heat pumps and all manner of other solutions will continue to be strong and widespread, but people can contribute simply by using less power or fewer resources in their homes.

It remains to be seen how much of a contribution can be made by the UK’s assortment of local tradesmen – from builders to electricians and plumbers – as they are used to accelerate the green drive. What is sure is that the quality of work will be of a higher standard and more reliable if it is carried out by professionals rather than average homeowners.

Post your eco-enhancing job on RatedPeople.com and wait for local tradesmen to get in touch with their ideas and quotes on how to make your home better for its surroundings.

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