How to make your home more sustainable.
Working out how to shop sustainably and make your home greener isn’t as hard as you think. Whether it’s furniture, accessories, indoors or outdoors, it just takes a little research to really be sustainable. Disposable, plastic, low quality and ‘not very fair trade’ stuff is easy to come by. And cheaper. But at what cost?
Getting started with the basics.
Start with the basics - which are the biggies. Getting it right makes your home more sustainable, cuts down your energy use and therefore, the bills!
Energy Use. Power to the people.
Invest in eco friendly lighting. LED and CFL are the two bulbs to look for here. They cost more to buy, but last for years and are more energy efficient.
Look for efficient gadgets and appliances. Look for the appliance’s energy label. This tells you how much energy it will use.
Check the labels - appliances are rated on a scale of A to G, with A being the most efficient product of its class, and G being the least efficient. There’s lots of clear info here https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/advice/home-appliances/
And, as you’re spending your hard earned cash on heating, invest in natural fabric, thermal lined curtains. Keep the heat in and turn your thermostat down a few degrees - saving you and the environment in the long run. It all adds up.
New fixtures and fittings.
Buying new? Look for fixtures that are made from recyclable or recycled materials like 100 per cent recyclable steel enamel, a percentage of which may also have been recycled. Invest in designs that cut water use as well, including toilets, faucets and showers. A little research can go a long way to being more sustainable.
If you’re a vintage fan, there are many sites now that specialise in great used furniture. Or local buy and sell sites. Consider buying ‘pre-loved’ cutting down on carbon footprint, your cost and finding something unique and gorgeous.
If you fancy all-new, then look at the materials in your new sofa or mattress. As a general rule, avoid man made materials, and look for natural materials which are sustainable such as cotton, linen, bamboo. They will have less impact in their manufacture (being natural), are plentiful, and will be for the most part biodegradable at the end of their lives.
Always buy quality. We should be thinking about how long a new purchase will last, and be prepared to invest in quality. If you change your colour scheme as often as your socks (!) life is never going to get sustainable - and, it’s going to be very expensive! Really think about that sofa, its colour, your style, its place in your home. Think of it like a member of the family that’ll be around and cared for for a long time!
Colour me eco.
Redecorating? Paint used to be toxic stuff packed full of oil based ingredients and chemical solvents - or VOC’s (Volatile Organic Compounds .. eek!).
Not so any more. There are loads of eco-friendly paints on the market with manufacturers realising no-one wants to spend their life breathing in slow releasing chemical fumes! From big brand names to smaller specialist manufacturers, you can source paint that doesn't involve heavy processing and chemical compounds. But always check what’s in the product, read the labels and make your consumer choice because the ‘eco’ label can sometimes be pretty vague. A great resource is Ethical Consumer for all sorts of buying choices https://www.ethicalconsumer.org
Wherever you can, think about the big stuff but don’t get overwhelmed. You can do a little everywhere to really reduce energy use, get everything working efficiently, find recycled or recyclable, source good materials, and reduce your home’s overall footprint.
That’s the big stuff. But what about the little stuff?
Small things. What is sustainable homeware?
The little stuff is just as important.
From food wrapping to kitchen utensils to room scents. What actually makes homeware ‘sustainable’? Well, the first rule of sustainability is materials and ingredients. Think sustainable natural materials - cotton, jute, hemp, bamboo, coconut, linen, sustainable timber, recycled materials for example. And natural ingredients - essential oils, plant based sources, chemical free. And choose quality items that are made to last, so they don't end up in landfill before their time.
The second rule of sustainability is at the source. Who made it, where has it come from? This is about thinking global. If we’re thinking about where and how we get stuff, we’re naturally more conscious about the impact that stuff has at all levels. From ingredients and materials to air miles to the working conditions of who made it.
True sustainability cuts across all the levels. Knowing our small actions at home have an effect on the environment, a rainforest or someone’s life thousands of miles away means we can always choose to make a positive impact where we can. Small things make big differences!
A little awareness and a little research changes our mindset and our sustainable habits for the better.
Ten great sustainable home accessories to spruce up your home.
The good news is, we don’t have to give up on the fun and joy of making our homes gorgeous. We just need to do it with awareness. And that’s good! Knowing we’ve bought something with minimum negative impact on the environment makes it all the more enjoyable.
There are lots of places on the high street and many, many more online where ethical and sustainable home products are easily found. Retailers know that shoppers care about what’s in the product, where it’s from and how it’s made. Hand made and sustainable is way sexier than mass, cheap and plastic! Why buy the cheap plastic pasta spoon when there’s a good looking bamboo alternative?
Now, obviously we here at Organics.com are proud to be one of those online retailers that stocks high quality, ethical and sustainable home products. So we make no apology for showing off ten of our best sustainable home accessories - from gorgeous runner rugs to small kitchen utensils. It’s a good start if you're searching for sustainable home products. We hope you love them as much as we do!
1. Yak Hair Blanket
This fabulous looking blanket is made from pure yak hair, collected and handmade in Bhutan. Oriental Organics brings fair trade and unique products from Thailand and Bhutan. It’s soft, hardwearing, and will still be in your home in years to come.
2. Bhutanese Runner Rugs
Handwoven with sheep wool from Bhutan called Yathra, which is widely used for coats, & raincoats, stitched into purses and bags and decoration. These runner rugs are super hard wearing and will stand up to a busy household. Naturally dyed, they brighten up any space. Each piece is unique and completely handmade.
3. Bamboo Napkins Holders and Coasters
Natural bamboo coasters and napkin holders, these handmade pieces derive from the traditional handcrafts of Lannathai. The local production starts with the selection of bamboo, coiled into concentric circles. Strong, sustainable and durable. They make perfect gifts for a sustainable home.
4. Hoof & Paw Candles
The perfect eco Chritsmas gift. We love these luxurious natural, handmade candles with embedded healing crystals, filling your home with positive energy. Try their rose quartz or sodalite candles. Made in the UK from 100% natural soy wax and with essential oils.
5. Made by Coopers Atmosphere Mist
With a whole range of mood inspiring sprays and candles for calm to invigorating, Made by Coopers uses only natural ingredients and essential oils in their products. Handmade in the UK, every product will add sensual, natural scents to your eco home.
6. Isabella’s Clearly ‘Before You Poop’ Spray
One of our absolute faves - we had to add it. Pure natural spray, applied as it says ‘Before’ the act! With absolutely no dodgy chemicals or that tell-tale ‘cover up’ smell of standard bathroom sprays, it’s sprayed into the toilet bowl first for nothing but the glorious scent of essential oils. Who doesn’t want this in their bathroom?
7. Vegan Food Wraps
Sustainable home perfection. Reusable plastic free alternative to cling film and the UK's first waxed food wrap to be registered with the Vegan Society. These wax wraps are soy & palm oil free. Made using custom designed 100% organic cotton which is GOTS (Global Organic Textile Standard) certified. And, really pretty designs! They also have a beeswax version. Both types come in small to large sizes.
8. Coconut Bottle Brush and Scourers
Organics Eco-Shop stocks a range of kitchen brushes and scourers made from natural and sustainable coconut. They look great and are great cleaners. Made to last.
9. Organic Food Storage Bags
Shop better and ditch the plastic with these Organic cotton grocery bags.Versatile and certified under the Global Organic Textile Standard.
Turtle Bags work with their fair trade partners who share our environmental values to supply environmentally friendly bags.
10. Bamboo Toothbrushes and cases
Sustainable bathroom essentials. Planet Moso raises awareness to reduce and replace the use of plastic with self-sustainable materials. They aim to reduce the amount of plastic that ends up on seabeds, coastlines and landfills.
Moso bamboo is one of the most self-sustainable resource in the world. It can grow up to one meter a day, making this resource Eco-friendly and a great alternative to plastic. Moso bamboo also takes around 6 months to biodegrade, whereas a single plastic toothbrush takes a thousand years
Organics.com are a UK based online shop for all things natural, organic, sustainable & cruelty free. We bring small independent sellers and brands together under one virtual roof to bring you the best of good shopping. We keep it small, beautiful and simple.