I’m the first to admit I’m not an eco-warrior.
I try to do my bit by recycling household waste, using hessian shopping bags, and buying food from local producers where possible to reduce my carbon footprint, but I know there is more I can be doing.
Sustainable living and reducing your households carbon footprint has been a hot topic for many years now, but its been given renewed focus over the last 6 months. In August the Sky Ocean Rescue campaign highlighted the amount of waste plastic in our oceans by constructing a 10-metre long whale statue by Tower Bridge made entirely out of single-use plastic.
The 250kg of plastic used to make the whale represents the amount of plastic entering our oceans every second (ph: huffingtonpost.co.uk)
The recent BBC’s Blue Planet II series also brought light to the subject of plastics in our oceans, leading to the Government announcing they are planning to eradicate avoidable plastic waste in the UK by 2042.
So for 2018 I have resolved to be more eco-friendly, and not just when planning my food shop. There are a host of different websites that offer handy tips on how to apply the Reduce, Reuse and Recycle principles to your home and help you do your bit for the environment.
We can all make small changes to our lifestyle to reduce the amount of waste we send to landfill, including plastic packaging. The most obvious place to start when reducing our plastic waste is during our food shop. Opt for paper rather than plastic bags for your fruit & veg, buy your meat from a butcher who use paper wrapping, and choose juice, soup and fabric softener in cartons instead of plastic bottles.
But did you know reducing your plastic waste can also extend to your home interior…
Typically plastic items we have in our home such as storage boxes, drinking straws and tupperwear can all be replaced with non-plastic alternatives. Over the years I’ve saved glass jars and bottles that now hold leftovers and store cupboard essentials, and I found these fantastic bamboo lunch boxes that I can take to work! I will also be saying ‘no’ to drinking straws when out at bars and restaurants 🙂
The first thought that comes to most interior design minds for reuse is upcycling or repurposing! You can see allsorts of weird and wonderful examples of this these days, but you don’t have to go as far as buckets for lamp shades and old doors turned into bedheads to add some upcycled pieces to your home.
ph: pinterest / quickcrop.co.uk
The urban indoor garden trend is set to continue, and with it the trend to reuse old drinks and food cans as plant pots. This is a great first project if you’re just starting out repurposing unused items, and its easy to do. Leave the colourful branding as is on your cans, or paint them different colours and patterns to match your interior.
If you’re looking for some quirky repurposed accessories for your home but don’t feel confident making them yourself, I found some cracking items on baileyshome.com. They sell a whole host of upcycled and brand new home wares, including this iPad lecturn made from antique shoe lasts!
Whilst searching for magazine storage solutions online (my interior magazine collection is threatening to break through the loft floor its so heavy), I spotted this brilliant and stylish magazine stool idea! If you can’t stretch to £125 from njustudio.com, then why not try making your own like the one featured on homedesignlover.com.
Magazine stool, £125 njustudio.com or make your own using a board, some castors and an old leather belt – you can add another board on the top to make a mini table, or a cushion to sit on in comfort
There’s a surprising number of home ware items available on the market now that use 100% recycled materials. Unrecognisable when compared to their original state, these home accessories not only help the environment but look gorgeous too!
Washable rugs made from up to 3000 recycled plastic bottles (ph: weavergreen.com)
Aside from reducing and reusing your plastic waste and bottles, we can also recycle them. Thankfully there are plenty of placed to recycle your plastic waste these days including collections run by your local council, drop off bins at supermarkets and neighbourhood tips. Rather than just chipping them and making them back into plastic bottles, some home ware manufacturers are using the waste to create some fantastic furniture and decorative pieces.
When I was a kid I remember me and my mum tearing stripes out of old magazine pages and rolling them to make beads, that we’d later thread onto string to make colourful necklaces and bracelets… now they use old magazines to decorate picture frames, mirrors and plant pots! Why not refashion an old picture frame you have with folded paper as a nice DIY project, or if you don’t have the time then you can buy them from etsy.com or how about this fab mirror from Habitat 🙂
So I will be taking the Plastic Pledge in 2018, and looking at more ways I can reduce, reuse and recycle my plastic and general household waste.
Who’s with me???
If you want to find out more about sustainable living & buying environmentally friendly products, here are some useful links:
lessplastic.co.uk – raising awareness about plastics polluting our oceans, and offer alternative products to help us reduce the amount of plastic we use
pebblemag.com – features articles on sustainable living, ethical fashion and home wares
buymeonce.com – online retailer who advocate ‘buy me once’ products that last, rather than cheaper repeat purchase items that break frequently
upcyclist.co.uk – showcasing upcycled pieces, offering green ideas & championing designers and manufacturers who work with reclaimed materials
protecttheplanet.co.uk – online retailer for environmentally friendly products and gifts
diyinspired.com – Trash to treasure blog, offering tips and how-to’s for you to try at home