5 Tips for an Eco-Friendly Home

Green and sustainable living is the future.  Rather than become disillusioned with negative news reports on the dire state of the planet, chose to take positive action that benefits our globe by making simple changes at home.  An eco-friendly home means adopting a sustainable lifestyle for you and your family and reducing your overall impact on the environment.   Simple changes can also save money on your household utility bills. The good news is that achieving an eco-friendly home does not need to be difficult and can save you money in the process.  In this blog, we unwrap 5 top tips for an eco-friendly home that you can put into practice today.

1.   Move Towards Zero-Waste

Zero-waste living is a commitment to avoiding sending anything to a landfill.   People who look to live a zero-waste lifestyle find creative and practical ways to avoid squandering or wasting resources so that things that might otherwise be “thrown away” are repurposed in some way.  Reduce, reuse and recycle is the zero-waste mantra.

Whilst achieving zero-waste living might seem impossible for you and your family, moving towards zero-waste living is achievable.  Every time you take a reusable shopping bag with you to the supermarket, you are moving towards zero-waste living.  And when you pop leftovers into a container for tomorrow’s lunch, you’re a zero-waste hero!  Each zero-waste action you take is a step toward an eco-friendlier home and lifestyle.

Moving towards zero waste can involve many different choices.  Take your pick from some of the following ideas:

  • Plan menus and meals ahead so you only buy what you need when food shopping.
  • Avoid anything that is single-use or disposable.
  • Support local businesses offering local produce and bulk pantry refills without packaging.
  • Save empty glass jars for storage containers.
  • Reuse worn clothing and textiles as cleaning cloths. Get creative and learn the craft of crocheting to turn yarn from old T-shirts into rugs and baskets.
  • Befriend neighbors and encourage others around you to share tools and garden equipment rather than everyone buying individual machinery.
  • Save broken crockery as drainage material placed at the bottom of outdoor planters.
  • Move towards paperless whenever possible: magazine subscriptions and online banking, for example.
  • Create “Love” soup. For those not in the know, LOVE soup is “Left Over Vegetable Experience” soup!  Save any veggies leftover from meals and blitz with stock to create a healthy and zero-waste hot meal.

2.   Compost

Composting is a key part of zero-waste living and an eco-friendly option, whether you have a garden or not.  Composting allows you to turn waste scraps of vegetable peelings and other organic materials into nutritious compost.  Perhaps your local council has a compost recycling scheme already?  Either way, you can compost at home using a variety of methods.

Take time to research the best option for you and your home.  If you have an outdoor space, you have a range of options, including enclosed bins, outdoor compost tumblers, or wooden slotted compost bins.  If you live in a flat without any outdoor space, you’re more likely to find a bokashi bin on the kitchen worktop to be an apartment-friendly option. You may also like to consider a wormery as a fun way to recycle your compostable waste.

And many people underestimate the vast range of household waste that can be composted safely.  Take a look at the following list of what can be composted within your eco-friendly home setting:

  • Rinsed eggshells
  • Coffee grounds and tea leaves
  • Fruit and vegetable peeling
  • Pet hair
  • Used straw and hay bedding from vegetarian animals, including hamsters and guinea pigs.
  • Wood ash
  • Shredded paper
  • Dust

3.   Natural Cleaning

There’s plenty of choice for eco-friendly cleaning options that can help you live more sustainably.  You can purchase environmentally friendly cleaning products.  When doing so, look for products that allow you to reuse existing packaging or containers.  Always follow manufacturers’ instructions when doing so.

Other options include making use of natural cleaning products you make at home from everyday cupboard ingredients.  For example, white vinegar diluted with water sprayed on glass, with newspaper to buff, cleans windows for a grease and streak-free finish.  Bicarb can be used to sprinkle in drains and sinks for a deodorizing effect.  Add white vinegar to begin a fizzing reaction that will help unclog any drain or pipe buildup.  Tea tree essential oil can be included in homemade cleaning recipes to provide antibacterial and antifungal properties.  There’re countless recipes online for creating your eco-friendly cleaning products.

4.   Heating and Insulation

How you heat your home impacts how eco-friendly your home is.  Avoid wasting heat by adequately insulating your home.  Whilst this involves an initial outlay, you will save energy and money over time.   Loft and wall insulation are two big hitters.  Consider also insulating against drafts around windows and doors.

Research heating options that suit your accommodation and your budget.  Turning down the thermostat saves money and energy, yes.  But you also are looking to find a heat source that is as efficient as possible.  Heat pumps and biomass boilers and stoves are two of the eco-friendly heating options recommended by Friends of the Earth.  If you have a cozy fireplace, only look for locally-sourced and sustainable firewood.  It’s best to look for the driest, longer-burning woods that are not imported as those add an unnecessary carbon footprint.

5.   Choose Green when Decorating

And, when it comes to an eco-friendly home, green choices are available.  Whatever color scheme you opt for, low or no-VOC paints will provide healthier air quality within your home.  Any leftover paints can be donated to local charities via Community RePaint.  You can also find beautiful vintage and secondhand furniture, reducing any home makeover’s carbon footprint.

So, if you’re committed to eco-friendly living, there’s no place like home.  Simple lifestyle choices and changes mean you can make moves towards an eco-friendly home today.