There has never been as much demand to go eco-friendly as there has been in recent years. An increasing number of designers and companies are making products that are environmentally friendly, making it much easier to go green (without compromising on style). It has never been easier to make eco-friendly swaps that reduce your carbon footprint. But with so many eco-friendly products now on the market, where do you start and just how do you make your home more eco-friendly? Luckily, making small eco-friendly changes to your home can make a big difference, not only to the environment but also to your wallet.
Here a few simple changes you can make to your home and eco-friendly interior product swaps you can make to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Firstly, find an energy calculator to assess your current energy usage.
- There are many sites online that automatically compute the energy efficiency of your house. Ideally choose a website that can also show you graphs that can demonstrate your homes potential savings if some changes are made. By identifying your current energy expenditure it is easier to identify where the most beneficial changes can be made.
- Switch it off at the wall!
- Most appliances use energy even if they are only plugged in. Simply unplugging devices and appliances when not in use can dramatically reduce your energy consumption.
- Alternatively, plugging devices into an extension lead and turning that off at the mains when not in use will have the same effect. Just without the hassle of unplugging the devices.
- Wash your laundry in cold water.
- Did you know that 80-90% of the energy used by your washing machine comes from heating up the water for hot washes? By using ‘cold water’ washes (40°) or ‘eco’ mode on your washing machine you’ll be surprised how much energy you save.
- If you use an eco-friendly cold water detergent your clothes will be still be as clean as if you used a hot-water wash. To pick an eco-detergent look for natural detergents and stain removers, these are usually plant-based and bio-degradable.
- Sustainable Flooring
- Using materials such as stone, wood parquet, laminated or cork flooring not only add appeal to the home interior but are also eco-friendly.
- Also consider the type of material for furnishings such as your rugs. Wool rugs are an excellent sustainable option; wool is a renewable source that is also biodegradable and kinder to the environment than oil-based synthetics. Browse our hand-picked selection of wool rugs.
- Insulating your attic and basement can reduce your homes energy consumption as well as cutting your energy bills by trapping the heat and maintaining a consistent temperature throughout the year.
Eco-Friendly Interior Product Swaps
- Use products with a low VOC content
- Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC) are harmful to human health and the environment. These compounds can be found in paints, household products, furniture, carpets, and other products. So always check when purchasing any interior products that they are low in VOC.
- Use organic and natural materials
- If you aim to make your home more environmentally friendly, it’s best to stay away from plastic, particleboard, and chromed metal furniture.
- Try having wooden furniture where possible, such as tables and chairs.
- For softer furnishings such as mattresses, carpets, and bedding, use those that are wool-stuffed instead of feathers or other non-sustainable materials. Check out Tree Hugger for an extensive guide for choosing eco-friendly furniture.
- Let the sun shine
- Where possible, allow the natural light to brighten the room rather than switching on artificial lights. Use skylights and open blinds in order to maximise sunlight.
- If you do have to use artificial light, make sure you use LED energy saving lightbulbs.
- Reusable items
- Instead of hoarding plastic carrier bags, use reusable shopping bags when supermarket or retail shopping. Interesting fact: Since the 5p carrier bag law was introduced in 2016 by the UK government British plastic bag wastage has reduced by 90%.
- Take your own lunch to work use reusable containers and reusable cutlery (usually bamboo) instead of buying something on the go. This will not only save you money but also help the environment.
Incorporating some of these changes into your house is a great way of making your home more eco-friendly and doing your bit for Mother Nature. The environment is everyone’s responsibility so if everyone makes some small changes, it can make a huge difference!