Posted on: 6th November 2018

The countdown to Christmas has begun and it’s time to send that letter off to Father Christmas.  Before you put pen to paper, take a look at Carpenter Oak’s festive guide for the eco-conscious self-builder.  With something for every budget, it’s a good time to consider a few items that will make a difference to the planet and enhance your lifestyle and home.  

Here are 10 ideas to get you started.


Must Haves

1.  The energy saving Hive Smart plug is a plugin device that allows you to control your electrical items remotely with Wi-Fi.  Perfect for busy people and a simple way to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Hive smart plugs require the Hive Hub to connect to your home.  Available from John Lewis the Hive Smart Plug is £24 and the Hive Hub is £79.

2.  Make the most of the wet weather and save water for the dryer summer months.  Raincatcher’s slimline, wall mounted water butt offers a discrete solution to conserve water.  Partner with irrigation devices to water your garden, flush loos or utilise the water for car washing.  Available in 200 litres for £189.99 or 750 litres for £399.99 from Even Greener and made in the U.K.

3.  For an ethical gift for the bedroom, take a look at mattresses from Naturalmats.  Organic, fair trade and handmade in the UK. Naturalmats offer a wide range of mattresses to suit every comfort level.  Priced between £1000-£2000 for a king size mattress with made to measure options available.

4.  Why not treat your beautifully landscaped garden to the ‘most’ nutrient rich soil you can make.  Invest in a wormery such as the 3 Tray Deluxe Tiger Rainbow Wormery and recycle your food waste into compost.  Available from Original Organics for £69.99

5.  Beat the winter blues with wireless, energy efficient, mood enhancing lighting.  Customise your lighting to fit with your daily routines. Fully controllable and customisable from your smartphone or tablet.  The Phillips Hue LED lighting starter kit is available for £169.99 from Phillips.


Eco design features

6.  Inspire yourself with the natural world.  Indigenous offer a range of products that are individual and eye-catching.  Their focus is on natural and often handmade products. Carpenter Oak loves the Bianco wash basin, carved from a sustainable solid ash beam each basin is unique.  Available from Indigenous, starting price £1500.

7.  Many Carpenter Oak homes include huge expanses of glass as part of their design.  While many of our homes utilise glass for solar gain, you may want more control than a standard glazing unit offers.  Solar control is important for energy saving and Solar Control Glass helps to control the temperature in your home. Available from Pilkington, prices on specification.

8.  Instead of buying unneeded or token gifts why not invest in natural insulation.  Granted, it is less romantic than opening a present on Christmas day but come next winter you will be warm and cosy and glad of those natural fibres in your walls.  Discover Warmcell – made from recycled newspapers, Thermafleece – made from British sheep’s wool and Wood Fibre by Steico.


Investment pieces

9.  If you are committed to reducing your carbon footprint, a biomass heater could be perfect for adding some winter warmth to your home.  Biomass units offer a sustainable energy solution, many are programmable and remotely monitored, so you are never without fuel. Prices start at £5000 and you may be eligible for the Government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)AMP Energy have products to suit home and commercial environments.  

10.  Treat your family to a £0 electricity bill every day and make your way to a zero carbon home.  Invest in Tesla’s Powerwall and you can store solar-generated electricity to power your home. Prices start at £6200 for a single unit.  Visit Tesla for more information on which unit is suitable for your needs.


NOTE: Prices correct at the time of publishing – Dec 2018