Whether you’re a top interior designer or a discerning homeowner, it’s time to focus on actively integrating eco-sustainability into our modern lifestyles.
And the best place to start is by looking at how we live. After all, if big businesses can up the ante when it comes to combatting major issues like global warming, so too should we. Here are some simple pointers that will get you started in no time.
- Energy usage
Energy efficiency is key. And while it’s not always possible to make major electrical changes to your home, there are some fairly inexpensive things you can do to reduce your daily output. Consider these:
- Unplug major appliances when they’re not in use.
- Double glaze your windows to keep the heat in.
- Use curtains, carpets and blinds as insulators.
- Brighten your walls using softer colours – you’ll need less lighting.
- Buy energy-efficient devices, especially for the kitchen.
- Power your home with solar panels.
- Fuel your fireplace using bioethanol – it’s non-toxic, biodegradable and water-soluble.
- Eco-friendly furnishings
If you’re a lover of opulence, don’t despair. There are plenty of top furniture brands who have changed their manufacturing methodologies to protect the planet. When on the prowl for your next investment, ask a question or two and look out for the following:
- Responsible production practices that include the use of “clean” energy and biodegradable or water-based finishes.
- Fair trade, which essentially means that the brand supports local artisans and ensures that working environments are satisfactory.
- Renewability, especially when wood-related, is fundamental. Make sure that your furnishings come from forests that are being properly managed and replenished or that the materials used have a low environmental impact. Cork, which is made from bark only, and bamboo, one of the fastest growing plants in the world, are excellent choices. You’ll find that many luxury interiors businesses stock high-end sofas from world-renowned designers who now follow this protocol, like the selection of contemporary sofas at FCI London.
- Recycling is the new buzzword, and many furniture producers have found clever ways to use plastic and other throw-away materials in their construction processes.
- Environmentally compliant transportation doesn’t just cover low carbon emissions but also things like packaging, ensuring that shipments don’t involve reams of excess cardboard or plastic wrappings.
What better way to mitigate waste than by transforming your trash into something you’ll treasure for decades. Old wood, for example, can be upcycled into a stunning dining table or a comfortable ottoman. And frequenting antique or second hand stores is a wonderful way to unearth forgotten gems. Who knows, you might just find the perfect piece to go with your fabulous new Italian sofa.
Be innovative. Using a rickety old chair as a quaint stand for a garden flowerpot or converting an old bookshelf into a planter for seedlings are all ways you can keep your throw-aways out of our overflowing landfills.
Your home décor should be durable and timeless, ensuring that you keep it for years to come. Tossing things out every year because they’re no longer on trend is an absolute no-no, so invest in quality, go modular and focus on functionality.
Reducing our environmental footprint is something we can all play a part in, so take the first step today – it’s easier than you think!