With people becoming more and more conscious of their impact on the environment, simple ways to reduce your carbon footprint and ‘go green’ are always appreciated. However, one area that you might not have considered when thinking about the environment is that of decorating.
Here are a few handy tips that can help you do your bit for the environment when doing up your house…
Upcycling or repurposing is becoming more and more fashionable, and not only can you make some pretty amazing items but it’s also great for the environment. It basically involves turning something old and useless into some new and useful! For example, don’t throw away old jars and tin cans; instead try using them as containers or plant pots. Pinterest always has some great upcycling ideas.
Rather than going out and spending a fortune on new furniture, could you potentially reupholster your current furniture? Take a trip to a local market or haberdashery and pick up some fabric and then have a go at updating your chairs and sofas yourself. Here’s a quick guide if the idea terrifies you.
Use energy-efficient lighting
If you’re wanting to re-do the lighting in your house then you should be using energy-efficient bulbs. Most bulbs are energy-efficient these days but it’s worth going around your house to see if any older bulbs need replacing. You could also consider using solar lighting around the house and in the back garden. Lights4Fun have some pretty cool solar lights that won’t break the bank.
Donate unwanted items to charity
When you’re redecorating and having a clear out, instead of slinging unwanted items in the bin, consider giving them to a charity shop. Not only will this cut down on disposal costs but it will also benefit the charity, which is always a good thing. Obviously don’t give them a load of old rubbish, however; they can’t do much with old wallpaper or broken bits and bobs.
Consider buying second-hand items
You don’t always have to buy brand new. You can save yourself a considerable amount of money, and help the environment, by buying second-hand. Have a scout around on sites such as eBay, Freecycle or Gumtree and you can find some pretty decent items that are still in good condition for relatively cheap.
Use products from sustainable/ethical sources
When buying new products, try to ensure they’re from sustainable or ethical sources. For example, if you’re buying wooden flooring then make sure the wood is from a sustainable source to reduce the impact on the rainforests.
Use eco-friendly paint
If you’re decorating then part of that will undoubtedly involve painting somewhere in the house, and you should therefore try and use eco-friendly paints. Try and look for clay- or milk-based paint and check to see whether they give off VOCs (volatile organic compounds), which can happen up to five years after the paint is on the walls.