Solar panels on house roof

30-day challenge launched to encourage simple lifestyle switches to make a positive impact on the environment

Censuswide research indicates a desire for more education on the benefits of solar energy

A challenge has been launched to encourage more consideration for the environment by the UK’s leading solar energy company.

The Project Solar Simpler Switches initiative throws down the gauntlet to make a change-a-day for 30 days to make a difference in the fight against global warming.

Those who rise to the challenge by completing their downloadable checklist will receive a signed certificate in recognition of their achievement.

The company which retails and installs more than 25% of the UK’s solar panels, has commissioned research to provide insight into the solar energy market.  Their statistics show there is much to be done in educating the UK public on environmental issues.

69% (over 37 million) of the British population agree more needs to be done about educating the public on the benefits of solar energy according to the survey conducted by Censuswide. 65.64% (over 35 million) of 16–24-year-olds agreed that more should be done about educating the public on the benefits of solar energy compared to 72.45% (over 39 million) of 45–54-year-olds,  indicating that it is the younger generation that is still not familiar with the role solar can play.

The data also showed a geographical divide on the need for further understanding around solar with only 57.5%  (just over 31 million) of people in the North East agreeing that more should be done about education around solar energy.  In Greater London 74.04% (over 40 million) felt there was a need for further education on the role solar energy can play indicating there is still a major knowledge gap and a North South divide on knowing the details around how solar energy works and therefore the benefits it can bring to the environment.

Understanding how the solar panels systems and batteries combine to create and store energy from the sun would be helpful to anyone looking for a clean renewable energy source that does not produce greenhouse gases.  As coal and gas are finite resources, which means their prices will continue to rise as they become scarcer, the cost of solar energy continues to fall. However, a general lack of understanding across the British population of this solar panel system may be holding back those who are unsure of the details.

The instigator of the challenge, Project Solar CEO Simon Peat, says, “The climate emergency is a real concern and may be overwhelming to some people.  We’ve created our challenge to provide people with simple and effective day to day actions that they can take so they actually feel they are having an impact.  If we all play our part, even if it is through tiny steps, then we will start to make progress to tackle some of the major environmental concerns.  As someone who has worked in the solar industry for over a decade, I still see that people do not know anything about the major role solar energy can play in saving the environment through avoiding emissions and reducing carbon footprints.  Our challenge will help focus people’s attention on everyday life hacks for a better world – and switching to solar energy would be one I’d really advocate as I see the benefits in terms of environmental impact on a daily basis in my job role.”

Let’s start simple, when you’re brushing your teeth in the morning and at night, don’t leave the water running

This may seem obvious, but a family can save up to 20 litres of water a day by making the switch

Only have a bath once in a while

No, we don’t mean go au natural! Showering uses two times less water than a long hot bath. You’ll also save energy by heating less water

Don’t rinse the dishes

Before sticking the dishwasher on, it’s standard practice to rinse the dirty plates and bowls. Skip this step and scrape your dishes, this will save up to 90 litres of water a week!

Cut your shower short!

Don’t compromise your cleanliness, but by reducing your shower by a few minutes (or verses of your chosen shower song) each day will save litres of water every year, and save you money on your energy bills

Get your food shopping delivered

Not only will this save you time, one driver doing several food deliveries is far more environmentally friendly than lots of cars heading to the supermarket

Switch to energy saver bulbs

If every household in the UK switched to energy-saving lightbulbs it would be the equivalent of taking roughly a quarter of a million cars off the road

Switch off standby!

Working from home, or watching tv at night, it can be tempting to leave your appliances on at the wall overnight, but if everyone turned off their devices instead of leaving them on standby, it would save almost 40 watt-hours per day

Make your printing double-sided

We throw away millions of kilos of wasted office paper each year. Cut expenses and excess waste by printing double-sided where you can

Go paperless!

Even better, switch to paperless options where you’re able to! Most concert and flight tickets are now available via email, as are many bills and bank statements

Invest in an Electric Vehicle

Okay, this one’s a slightly bigger switch, but swapping your gas guzzler for an EV has a hugely positive impact on the co2 emissions in the atmosphere

Air dry your clothes

British summer can be unpredictable, but don’t be tempted to bundle everything in the dryer. Air drying clothes saves loads of energy, and it’s much kinder on the environment

Go veggie (one day a week)

It takes about 15,000 litres of water to produce 1kg of beef! Going meat-free once a week (or more!)  is great for your health and the environment too

Up your recycling game

We all know to split our plastics and papers, but what about glass? Recycling glass bottles reduces air pollution by 20% and non-recycled glass can take years to decompose

Keep your hands off the thermostat

By constantly changing the temperature on your thermostat, you’ll use far more energy than necessary, where you can leave the temperature alone for as long as you can

Buy local

Supporting your local community by purchasing your fruit, vegetables and other items locally reduces air travel and benefits your local economy

Switch to organic soap

You may not have thought of this one, but soaps can contain products that are full of pesticides and nasty chemicals that can irritate your skin and are terrible for the environment. Going organic is kinder to your skin and the planet

Wash your clothes at 30 degrees

Research shows turning the temperature down on your washing reduces your energy consumption by 60% per cycle

Turn off the lights

Don’t sit in the dark, but if you’re leaving a room for more than 10 minutes, flick the light off when you go. It’ll save money, prolong the bulb life, and keep your energy bill down

Mend and make do

Just like your grandparents used to do, mending your clothes before throwing them away can save a family hundreds of pounds a year, and means your clothes won’t end up in an already overflowing landfill

Bring your own bag

Remembering to bring a reusable bag to the supermarket can be a pain, but once you’re into the swing of it you’ll never look back. Also, think of the 10p’s spent on single-use plastic bags over the years start to mount up!

Ditch the baby and makeup wipes

While they might be convenient, single-use wipes are notoriously bad for the planet. Rethink your use with reusable cloth options or trusty soap and water

Get a reusable water bottle

Treat yourself to a fancy one, or pop down to your local supermarket, but stop using plastic water bottles! Almost 90% of plastic bottles aren’t recycled and they take hundreds of years to decompose

Grab a travel mug

While you’re at it with your water bottle, pick up a travel mug for your morning beverage, too. They’ll keep it much hotter for longer and you’ll probably get a discount at your local coffee shop too. Win, win!

Give away, don’t throw away

Having a clear out? Give your clothes to charity or sell them using an app like Depop, you could make some cash and save your clothes from a landfill

Invest in an EV charger

If you’re already an EV convert, you’ll know the benefits of charging at home. Find out more about vehicle charging options here

Think about pre-owned

If you need to make a big purchase, scope out second-hand before making the investment on brand-new. Facebook Marketplace, eBay and even charity shops often stock nearly new items

Plant a tree (or some garden plants)

Help the bees, and the planet by planting a tree or garden plants in your yard. No space? Head to the National Trust to have a tree planted in your name with a small donation

Swap up your shopping habits

With a staggering 10,000 items of clothing sent to a landfill every 5 minutes, we can all switch up the way we shop. Try to reduce the number of clothes you buy, go vintage, or even rent clothes for special occasions

Think about the way you travel

Once international travel restrictions are lifted, you can be forgiven for wanting to jump on the next flight to sunnier climates. Air travel is one of the biggest contributors to climate change, so why not think about a staycation or eco-vacation for next summer?

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