There are plenty of simple ways we can make our homes eco-friendlier, and every little change can help to make a difference to the future of the planet. Not only will you be conserving natural resources and reducing carbon emissions, but in many cases you will be making your home a healthier environment to live in. Here are a few ideas to try.
Buy upcycled or repurposed furniture
Millions of tonnes of unwanted furniture is discarded to landfill each year, where it may take centuries to biodegrade, if it ever will at all. Manufacturing new furniture takes up valuable natural resources, and adds millions of tonnes of carbon dioxide to the atmosphere each year.
Where possible, consider buying second hand or vintage furniture instead, or refresh an old item with a new cover or a coat of paint. The result can often be a much more unique and personal item, which will add character to your home.
Buy eco-friendly candles
Burning scented candles can be very relaxing, but not all candles are good news for the environment. Traditional paraffin candles release toxic pollutants into your home, which are potentially harmful to health. It’s much safer to pick candles made from natural materials, such as vegan soy candles, which are free from synthetic dyes and parabens.
Indoor plants not only add interest and décor to your home, but they help to improve the air quality as well. Studies have shown that they can reduce the levels of the common pollutant nitrogen dioxide (NO2) by up to 20%. The more plants, the better, it seems.
Plants can also help to regulate humidity, and boost and productivity and mood, by helping to meet our need to feel connected to nature. Most houseplants ae affordable and easy to maintain, and can live for decades.
Invest in good quality curtains
By installing curtains with a thermal lining, you are helping to reduce heat loss in your home. This not only reduces your carbon footprint, but it will potentially save you hundreds of pounds on your annual fuel bill as well. It is possible to buy a thermal lining to install behind your regular curtains, which is cheaper and more eco-friendly than replacing them fully.
Look for sustainably sourced products
When you do decide that you need to buy a newly manufactured product, make sure that the vendor can demonstrate it is made from sustainable resources. For example, if you are buying furniture, look for the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) certification, which demonstrates that the wood has been sourced from a sustainably managed forest.
All products approved by the FSC carry the ‘tree tick’ logo. It means that the wood is from forest managed to strict environmental, economic, and social regulations and standards. This also means that the wildlife, waterways, and soils of the area are protected, pesticide use is reduced, and the forest is replenished wherever possible.
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