With environmental disruption featuring more heavily on the public radar than ever before, practising sustainability at home and in the workplace has become much more than a passing trend. Making your everyday life more eco-friendly comes down to as few as five simple considerations, and you might even end up with a new living room design and vegetable garden for your trouble.
Keep It Out of the Drain
Every product we use on our bodies and around our homes can have an impact on the ocean and the wider environment. Harsh cleaning products can wreak havoc on the ocean and its inhabitants when they wash down the drain. Organic alternatives to your typical cleaning and bath products could prevent a lot of chemical damage in the long term.
Using less water is another great aim, and with products like low-flow toilets and shower heads on the market, you can use less without even thinking about it. If you’re willing to spend a bit more on upgrades, a recirculating water pump in your shower will heat the water faster so you can avoid sending too much down the drain while you wait for it to warm.
Get Into The Garden
Practising kindness towards the environment extends beyond your house and into your backyard. Purchasing fruit and vegetables creates a huge carbon footprint, largely due to the excessive plastic packaging and the emissions created by transporting the produce. Thankfully, all of this can be bypassed by growing your own food. Growing native plants is a fast track to cutting down your carbon footprint, and if you choose plant life to suit your climate and environment, your garden will thrive. Turning your garden into a source of fresh, organically grown fruit and vegetables doesn’t have to be difficult – all you need is some seeds, water, and sunshine. Once the plants are grown, invest in a barrel bin to store compost, and you might never need another store-bought vegetable.
Make Your Energy Go Further
Energy use is a huge catalyst for pollution, and our devices in the kitchen are amongst the biggest culprits. Start by choosing an energy efficient dishwasher and refrigerator, and when you’re cooking in the oven, try to avoid opening the door and letting the heat escape until it’s done.
In other rooms, energy efficiency can be as simple as a few easy updates – energy efficient light bulbs and solar panels will help to keep power bills down, while an investment in insulation will go a long way to regulate the temperature inside the house.
Choose Your Furnishings Carefully
If you’re decorating (or re-decorating) your home, the walls might seem like a good place to start, and it can be, as long as your chosen shade is low in volatile organic compounds. These nasties are detrimental to your air quality and to your health, and the gases they release can leak into the atmosphere outside your home. When your walls are dry, opting for furniture which is made of renewable wood and organic cotton will help to reduce exposure to synthetic chemicals. Clever furniture selections can also do a great deal to keep your electricity bills down. If you’re longing for warmer winters and cooler summers, try installing cotton thermal drapes – these can block out heat in summer, and trap it inside during the winter.
Reuse and Recycle
Many of us know our way around a recycling bin and the basic rules detailing what goes into it. In fact, recycling cardboard boxes and milk bottles is nothing new when it comes to staying on Mother Nature’s good side, but there are other ways to make an impact in the home. It’s as simple as choosing the right furniture, and that doesn’t even have to mean organic cotton and renewable wood – buying used furniture will do just as much good for the environment. Second-hand stores allow buyers to bypass the energy cost of making something new whilst also saving money and potentially discovering something totally unique. Ultimately, everyone wins.