Since we moved into our own house, I have been really trying to make simple choices around our everyday living that make my pollution imprint that little bit less. I give so much credit to those people out there that have metal straws and carry around their own takeaway container, and have said 100% no to plastic, but I am just not there yet. However, I still want to make choices that are for the betterment of the planet, be it big or small. Most people really don’t trouble themselves with thinking about our own personal waste output, it merely gets taken away once a week and we forget all about it – but have you ever taken the time to think about how long that toothbrush takes to break down, or where the wood came from for your new dining table. I am definitely not perfect, but I wanted to share with you some of my own personal choices that I am working on to make my house a more sustainable home.
A post from me about sustainability cannot go past one of my favourite hobbies – thrifting and secondhand shopping. You would have seen from a number of my posts about my home decorating that I love finding hidden gems for my home, and my wardrobe from the local opportunity stores and markets. Not only is the quality of some vintage household items such as furniture and kitchenware made more durable than they are today, but clothing alone amounted to 1.2 million tons of landfill in the UK (and that was in 2005, what would it be today?). With fashion and home decor changing yearly, even monthly, we waste a large amount of money and resources on them… PLUS we all know that trends go in cycles so you can normally find what is on trend at your local charity stores for a bargain price.
My latest sustainability-minded find is Innergreen. Innergreen’s line of recycled PET cushion inserts are filled with 100% PET fiber, which is derived from recycled water bottles. I have been using mine for awhile now, and just love how soft and plush they are – not to mention a great way to reuse our most wasteful rubbish (U.S. landfills are overflowing with 2 million tons of discarded water bottles alone).
Recycled Gift Wrapping
Recycling isn’t a new invention, I know, but what do you normally do after Christmas, Easter or Birthdays are over? Do you end up with a rubbish bin full of paper and gift bags; only to go and purchase more yourself the next time a special occasion comes up. Then that gift bag or wrapping paper is used once and thrown out. Guess what I have a crazy idea for you … just keep them! I have a stash of once used gift bags and wrapping paper in my spare room waiting to be reused again for that special occasion. Not only is it thinking sustainably but also great for those on a budget. Other great alternatives are using recycled kraft paper or recycled fabrics to wrap your goods, they look amazing and really add that something special.
Re-usable Sandwich & Snack Bags
Another new favourite are my reusable sandwich and snack bags from Biome. I always take my own lunch and snacks to work, and was really hating how many plastic zip-lock bags I was going through, and the only alternative was carrying a bulky lunchbox in my handbag. After a visit to the local Biome I was excited to find the perfect option, these reusable bags come in a fabric or recycled plastic option. Find out more by visiting Biome for some great products.
Up-cycling Furniture & Home Decor Pieces
I know I touched on thrifting above, but you can also up-cycle your old household goods and make them work in with new styles and trends. I personally up-cycled an old workbench from my Dad’s shed and made it work as our new/old kitchen table. It is a hit amongst visitors, and a great talking piece – not to mention a little touch of nostalgia goes a long way. The internet is FULL of great up-cycling ideas such as outdoor settings made from pallets, or smaller projects like spray painting old vases to fit what’s on trend.
I have already mentioned this product in a previous blog post about Environmental Toothbrushes, but I cannot have a post about sustainability and not mention this wonderful product. My husband and I have been using these for a good while now, and I just love the product and love, even more, knowing that once I throw my toothbrush in the bin, it will no longer outlive me. Made from bamboo and recycled materials theses toothbrushes are both comfortable and durable.
Who Gives a Crap Toilet Paper, Kitchen Towel & Tissues
This wonderful company just keeps expanding its range and now offers kitchen towel and facial tissues. Who Gives a Crap is a great company, with great products, which I have posted about previously, but they just needed another shout out. I am proud to support Who Gives a Crap, not only are their products 100% recycled but they also donate 50% of profits to build toilets in the developing world. Win, win in my books!
NatraCare Feminine Hygiene Products
Sorry, this one is for the girls only but I had to share another great product. NatraCare is another company doing things differently – as their website puts it ‘certified organic cotton and totally chlorine free, plastic free, biodegradable materials means Natracare only leaves a soft footprint on the earth’. It’s important to not only treat the environment right but also treat your body right.
Small choices make big impacts! If you have any products you’d love me to check out, please post the details below.