It can be easy to keep up with an eco-friendly lifestyle when it comes to food-shopping and even clothes shopping. What’s harder is trying to keep this up whilst decorating your home – especially if you’re on a budget. Here are our six top ways to stay eco-friendly while redecorating your home.
Rather than buying new furniture, why not up-cycle old furniture? This is one of the easiest ways to keep your decorating eco-friendly, as it doesn’t contribute to the demand for new furniture. You could simply repaint an old wardrobe, or entirely restyle a set of drawers. If you’re looking for more of a change than this, you still don’t have to buy new furniture. Trawling through sites like craigslist, gumtree or even just heading out to car boot sales can open up a whole new world of furniture – and for a fraction of the price. If you’re willing to put some time into repairing minor breakages then its well worth it. It’s easier than ever to learn trick likes how to upholster a chair, or how to change drawer handles thanks to the internet, so why not have a go? Even if you fail, you’ll have learnt something new and can apply it in future.
Invest in Blackout Curtains
One place it’s worth investing money is in your curtains. These are easy to make incredibly eco-friendly – both during your initial purchase and afterwards. Firstly, you want to check you’re buying from an ethical supplier – if possible, try to buy fabrics that are organic. Organic fabrics will come from materials that weren’t farmed with the use of pesticides. This reduces the impact you have on the environment overall. Once you’ve decided on an ethical supplier, it’s time to start looking at curtain styles. One thing to look out for is blackout curtains. Not only are these practical in terms of keeping the light out, but they also trap heat in winter or keep it out in summer – meaning they can reduce your heating bill and keep down your energy costs too.
Instead of throwing away your old furniture, donate it. This reduces the impact on landfill, and can also help out other people. Try to find charities that provide furniture to those in need, or, depending on what furniture it might be, contact local shelters and see if they’re looking for anything you might have. This is one step of being eco-friendly that many people forget – they think about what they’re buying, rather than thinking about what they’re getting rid of. It’s equally important to dispose of things responsibly, as well as buying them properly in the first place.
Think About Power
One of the big environmental issues we have to contend with is fossil fuel usage. This may seem something you can barely impact, but that’s far from the truth! Try to think about your power usage as you redecorate. Consider if things like the lighting you’re installing, the new gas fireplace, and so on, is necessarily and whether you can reduce the amount of power they take. Just like with blackout curtains, this is eco-friendly and can save you money!
Sustainable Wood Sources
If you’re buying wooden furniture, make sure you’re buying from a clear ethical supplier. One of the easiest ways to do this is to look for things that are FSC certified. The FSC is an international organisation, concerned with keeping the world’s forests in good order. If you buy something that is FSC certified, you can be sure it came from a sustainably managed forest – meaning that any trees cut down are replaced, and at a sustainable rate. They also ensure that areas of the forests are free from logging entirely, meaning they’re endorsed by wildlife charities like the WWF as this protects wildlife. It’s also great for indigenous people, as they won’t cut down trees from important areas. Equally, they ensure workers on the sites are local and well-paid. So it’s both eco-friendly and people-friendly too!
Where possible, use natural materials. Whether its things like wood, as we discussed, or stone tiles, try to reduce synthetic materials as much as possible. There are limitations on how far you can apply this, but you’d be surprised at just how much you can do! For instance, look into clay-based paints rather than the usual kinds, and if you are going to invest in something synthetic, make sure it’s durable and long-lasting so you won’t need to replace it soon.
By Alfred Stallion and VanessaArbuthnott.co.uk!
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