Many of us have made changes to our everyday lives in a bid to tackle climate change, and there are certainly more eco-conscious businesses operating to help us do just this. However, the actions we can take to cut carbon emissions goes far beyond limiting food waste, avoiding fast fashion and recycling plastics. We can also take a more sustainable route when it comes to decorating our homes, so in this blog, we’re exploring ways in which you can design your living spaces in an eco-friendly manner without sacrificing style.
New Lease of Life
Greenhouse gasses from landfill are one of the major contributors to climate change, so reducing waste in any way we can is positive action. Before you send a tired or unappealing piece of furniture to landfill, think about ways in which you could adapt it in order to give it a new lease of life.
Interior design trends come and go, and the urge to adopt them through the purchasing of new items can be hard to resist. With a little creativity, however, you can completely transform the look of a piece you no longer appreciate. A simple lick of paint and some replacement handles may be all an item needs to make it more pleasing on the eye. There are plenty of How To guides available online, and social media is a treasure trove of design inspiration, so upcycling is no longer reserved for the super creative.
Did you know there are huge groups on social media dedicated to charity shop purchases and second-hand finds? Not only is it exciting to rummage through the bargains that a local charity shop has to offer, but buying preloved items is also hugely beneficial to the environment. According to Charity Retail, this sector kept a whopping 339,000 tonnes of textiles from being sent to landfill in 2018/19 alone. Charity shops are particularly good for sourcing decorative accessories and soft furnishings. So, before you head online to purchase a new vase, ornament or throw, think second-hand.
During the course of the COVID pandemic, we’ve all been reminded of the benefits of shopping locally, both to ourselves and to our local economies. Happily, choosing to purchase items from a local retailer or independent maker can also have a positive impact on climate change. A reduced carbon footprint is good news for both local businesses and the environment, but if you can’t find what you’re looking for, Etsy is a great platform for small independents, where you’ll find unique home wares, handmade accessories and soft furnishings. What’s more, there are also a huge number of makers who use only sustainable materials and methods. Win win!
Natural materials are, of course, the most eco-friendly choice for those wishing to decorate and furnish a sustainable home. They require less processing than manmade materials, meaning less electricity usage and less waste. Natural materials also decompose better so will produce fewer harmful emissions when they eventually go to landfill. If you need further encouragement, then you should know that natural materials are also bang on trend! The majority of current interiors trends celebrate the outside world and promote the use of natural materials. Create a Scandi-inspired living space with a neutral colour palette, timeless wooden pieces and textures of linen, wool and hessian.
Made to Last
Although convenient to purchase and often cheaper in price, mass produced furniture is far from beneficial to the environment. In addition to the gas emissions and waste which result from production and logistics, they are often poorer in quality than their independently made alternatives. Consider investing in good quality furniture which will last a longer period of time and won’t need replacing in just a couple of years. Not only are you reducing landfill, but you are also saving money in the long run.
At Hartleys we source only the best quality raw materials from sustainably managed forestations, and all our products are crafted for bespoke orders in our Skipton factory. Our furniture is built to last and our customer base is local, meaning a low carbon footprint for our furniture and our fitters. If you’d like to discuss your plans for a fitted storage solution with a member of our design team, please contact us on 01756 700471 or see our Contact Us page.