Green property audit or put more simply, environmental auditing, is a relatively new service available to individuals in their own home, to assess and advise upon living in a more environmentally friendly way. Environmental auditing is a term that has been in use for a while – Governments and International bodies regularly audit themselves or bring in auditors to assess National and International impact upon the environment, and the environmental impact of businesses, assessed through environmental auditing services, has been in operation for a while, and a sharp eye is increasingly cast upon the impact that businesses make upon the planet.
But for the individual, living on a smaller scale, what can be done, or what are the sort of suggestions a green audit of our home – and indeed our lifestyle, might recommend?
Our Individual Impact – Upon the Climate & the Environment
The planet is experiencing a massive change in its environmental pattern – here in the UK alone we are experiencing the shift between floods and drought; the rising heat brings new agricultural challenges, damage to crops and wildlife, and infestations of pests. Coastal communities are feeling increasingly threatened, and in the North and West of the country will experience heavier rainfall and regular flooding. We now need to think collectively about finding solutions to this problem. As other articles on our site have detailed, our use of energy, resources, and particularly oil, has to change. Ultimately, it comes down to each individual, working through their work, community, and in the home, to change perspective upon energy consumption.
What Are the Household Changes We Can Make?
The Energy Saving Trust (EST), a National organization with offices in every region, is setting a goal for every householder to reduce their household energy consumption by 20%.
This can be achieved by a range of means – the simplest steps are to unplug electrical appliances at night, thereby eliminating the small but steady flow of electricity used by the appliance in standby mode, right through to installing specific devices on or in your home that can generate energy for you, like wind turbines and <#66#>solar panels<#>.
The EST can help the householder access grants that are available to help purchase the products and any potential installation costs. The UK Government has now committed itself to certain environmental targets, and to achieve these, has funded various grant-making schemes, such as the Low Carbon Building initiative, described in more detail on another page of this website.
A Personal Choice – For Change
Ultimately, changing our lifestyles for the greater good of the community and of the planet, is our choice alone. There is little point recycling if we are simply cajoled into it, and if we don’t believe or understand how by using energy efficient light bulbs, for instance, we are making a small difference to our energy use and output. But by using effective tools such as a personal or household green energy audit, where a knowledgeable person can guide you and your household members through little steps, (or big adventurous ones if you so wish, such as building a waterwheel to generate electricity, as demonstrated on the TV series ‘It’s not easy being green’), great changes will come, and spread through our human community, making the sustainable choice, conserving resources for generations to come.