The war on waste is in full swing and residents are now looking for more ways to make sustainable choices at home.
Changes can be made structurally to your household and in your lifestyle, with each little alteration a step towards lessening your carbon footprint on the world.
Common decisions like turning the lights off, recycling our rubbish, composting, sourcing locally and in bulk and installing solar panels are well-known actions that are performed almost automatically—but there are bigger changes that can have an even greater impact.
1. Think Green
Plants aren’t just a great means to style your home; they also have a myriad of health and environmental benefits.
Filling your home with a selection of greenery can help reduce carbon dioxide levels, decrease other pollutants like benzene and nitrogen dioxide, lower airborne dust levels, keep temperatures down and improve general wellbeing. It’s said the introduction of greenery to the home can lower stress and improve quality of sleep.
Varieties of air purifying plants are the Boston fern, Devil’s Ivy, palm trees and snake plant.
2. Use Natural
Plastic and synthetics are a big topic of conversation, with the recent discovery that every single plastic ever created still exists to this day on the planet. Many manufacturers are steering away from these man-made fibres and are instead looking at using natural materials that break down much easier in our ecosystem.
Source these products as locally as possible to minimise the environmental impact of transporting them.
3. Reclaim and Repurpose
In a world of fast-fashion, the same can be said for the interior design industry, with trends changing rapidly season to season for interiors as well. This changing industry further satiates our need to have ‘stylish’ homes—at the cost of the environment.
Instead of purchasing new items to fit the current trends, look at retaining key pieces and invest in reclaiming vintage or second-hand pieces to make into statement items.
4. Utilise the Sun
One of our biggest sources for energy and light, there are still many homes today that don’t utilise the sun to its full potential. Ensure your layout and build of your home is oriented for maximum sunshine, keeping in mind the room you’ll need daylight the most and when.
Clever installation of windows and new technology skylights can minimise the need for artificial lighting during the day, and it’s been proven that natural light improves productivity, mental wellbeing and aesthetic appeal.
When large-scale structural changes to existing homes are off the cards, the somewhat simpler alteration of windows can make a huge difference to your home. Installation of double-glazed windows has been said to reduce heat loss by 50%. If double-glazing is too expensive, look at investing in thermal-backed curtains instead.