So, you may or may not be aware that this month is Plastic Free July. Social media feeds are full of people talking about how they’re cutting out plastic to make an important step towards sustainable living and, in turn, preserving the planet’s resources for future generations. It’s amazing how much a seemingly small step can make a difference and this got me thinking about changes I can make in other aspects of my everyday life which can have an impact too. It didn’t take me long to realise that my love of home decor was an obvious place to start. Interior decor trends are ever changing and it can feel impossible to keep up and even more difficult to switch out the old for the new without creating a lot of waste. So, how can we keep our homes on trend whilst also balancing sustainability and the all too elusive affordability?
This is an obvious suggestion, but one that is absolutely worth a mention. There are lots of fabulous brands out there that offer beautiful homewares made from sustainable materials. Many of these brands also ensure that their products are ethically produced too! What’s not to like?
For those of us who enjoy a bit of DIY there are plenty of options for sourcing sustainable materials. One option is to check the labels of products in your local hardware store to see if they offer options from sustainable sources. Another choice is to take a look to see if you have any local recycling centres that you can source materials from. I was very pleasantly surprised at the array of initiatives around that offer anythying from wood and paint to refurbished tools!
I made this industrial shelf from an old scaffold board. The recycling centre cut it to size for me for free and it only cost £5!
Although the initial cost of this option can be somewhat higher, buying wisely and investing in high quality items that you love can save you money in the long run. This one can also be a double whammy for your sustainability goals if you pick an item from a sustainable brand! Of course, fashions come and go and sometimes it feels as though your new purchases are out of date before you’ve even managed to get them through your front door. To ensure maximum longevity, why not try investing in simple and neutral key pieces that you can easily accessorise and update in order to keep your decor fresh. For example, sofas can be updated with new cushions and throws and wooden furniture can be re-painted.
Okay, so we can’t all afford to buy brand new investment pieces and sometimes it’s just not practical to buy for the long term, especially if you move about a lot. Besides, sometimes it is just nice to mix up your furniture! Buying second hand and vintage can be a great way to get the best of both sustainability and affordability. Plus, if you buy wisely you can often be safe in the knowledge that if an item is in good enough condition after having a previous owner, it will probably stand you in good stead too!
If an item is broken, see if you can find a way to fix it. If an item looks out of date, maybe it can be given a new lease of life with a bit of creativity! Blogs, Pinterest and Youtube are excellent sources of tutorials and inspiration and you will soon find out how easily some small changes can absolutely transform something that you thought was an absolute goner!
Sustainability isn’t just about being conscious of where you get your items, it’s also about being conscious of where they go. If you’re finished with an item, might it be of use to someone else? You could give it away to a friend, take it to a charity shop or even sell it and get some funds for your next decor project!
The fashion Police aren’t real! Who is going to mind if you don’t stick religiously to the latest trends? The most important thing about your home is that you love being in it, and if you pick decor items that you love then they will be timeless to you, and that’s all that matters!
If you’re on your own journey to live a more sustainable lifestyle, I hope that you will find these thoughts useful. If you’re not, then I hope that these tips might inspire you to incorporate a bit of sustainable living into your everyday life.
Get in touch if you have any sustainable living tips of your own. I’m always looking for ways to be a bit more caring towards the planet!