5 Ways To Encourage Your Flatmates To Be More Eco Conscious

Sharing accommodation is almost never simple, especially when trying to live more eco-consciously. It can be frustrating when trying to live sustainably and your yet your flatmates’ lifestyles can seem counterproductive to your goals. Sometimes trying to convert them is less effective than simply teaching or encouraging them to adopt more sustainable habits.

According to recent study from Rated people, 57% of UK residents want to be more eco-friendly in 2021 – whether that’s recycling more, eating less meat, or making green upgrades to their homes. However, not everyone is proactive about incorporating sustainability into their lives. With a few tips, you can help spread sustainability by encouraging others to live healthier, happier lives.

1)     Experiment with Meals

If you’re looking for a creative way to bring your flatmates together, while promoting eco-friendly habits, then try cooking for the whole flat. This will not only reduce the amount of energy consumed, by minimising how many appliances you use, but will also encourage a varied diet by cooking something more organic. Sharing mealtimes and rotating who cooks is one habit that can reduce wasted energy from powering multiple appliances. Eating together is an opportunity to connect and share ideas, stories and even recipes.

As you become more dedicated to healthy living, you could experiment with recipes together and try to reduce your consumption of meat and fish, instead getting playful with vegetarian or vegan options. A plant-based diet is a great way to contribute to helping the planet and there are some appetizing meat-free options to choose from.

2)     Save Water

Water usage should be a major priority for your flat. It can be quickly wasted and lead to costly bills.  You no longer need to have shorter, colder showers to save water, because sites such as ‘Save Our Streams’ will supply you with fittings for your taps to reduce usage. These are usually free of charge and very easy to fit to your taps. Resources like this work in a way to reduce water being used without compromising on water pressure. Thinking creatively about water reduction is a clear priority, because it helps minimize waste and costs. 

3)     Window Heat Loss

One of the more subtle changes you can make is switching your current windows and doors as these are the hotspots where heat is most likely lost. In fact, windows account for 50% or more of lost energy. Replacing windows will result in better energy efficiency, less fading of your belongings and quieter rooms.

Investing in windows that have an ‘energy rating’ of A+ with added features, such as double glazing, sleek metal frames and welded corners can help to reduce costs and make your flat more enjoyable. This is because less heat is lost, which will shrink the operational costs of keeping your flat heated in the colder months. Additional draft-proofing will ensure that your flat is air-tight and the likes of temperature becomes easier to regulate. This simple change could save you plenty of money in energy bills and ensure you are living sustainably.

4)     Lighting Countdown

Another option to reduce energy wastage in your flat is to buy some timer plugs or encourage flatmates to reduce wasted electricity. If anyone is well-known for leaving the lights on, then a solution that times electricity usage might be ideal. For example, if a particular flatmate routinely leaves the lights on when they’re away, then an automated timer could ensure that electricity isn’t being wasted.

Much like replacing your windows, this option is environmentally friendly as much as it is economically wise. The bonus of saving money while saving the planet may even incentivise your flatmates to find other ways to reduce energy usage, such as turning sockets-off if not in use, taking shorter showers, or even layering clothes rather than turning up the heating.  

5)     Reduce, Reuse, Recycle…

Finally, and popularly, many UK homeowners are recycling as a key priority. From greater (and more responsible) waste management to reusing clothes and recipes, this theme of recyclability is starting to feel like a lifestyle.

Recycling is a meaningful and inclusive way to ensure that waste is reduced in your flat, and this doesn’t have to feel like a chore. Ensuring there is a separate recycling bin in the flat is the first step towards recyclability and printing off advice from your local council to explain the dos and don’ts can offer critical guidance. Recycling helps to preserve resources, reduce waste, and can even help flatmates lead better, healthier lifestyles together. Something else you can do is make the switch from bottled water to a reusable water bottle. If you don’t have the best tap water quality, get yourself a good water filter and start making your own drinking water at home!

Some flatmates are bound to be more receptive to these changes than others, but any change is positive. Encouraging change should, ultimately, start with your own life. Lead by example and by gently reminding your flatmates how sustainably can save them so much more than just what appears on the monthly bills. 

Written by Henry Martin, a residential and commercial developer with years of experience in real estate.