When you look at recent events from an environmental point of view many positives can been seen, from wildlife returning to the canals in Venice, to a huge drop in air pollution across the world. Maybe this is natures way of giving our planet a chance to breath again and give us all chance to reflect on the effect our actions as humans are having on the environment. Maybe now is the time to make positive changes to your routine and stick to them!
1.Make do and mend
Now is the perfect time to have a clear out and sort through your wardrobe! Are there items that need repairing - give your sewing skills a boost! Items could also be transformed to give them a second life, i.e. jeans into a denim skirt or shorts. You could also try your hand at knitting and make some items ready for winter!
If you have no use for an item put it aside for a clothes swop! This will cut down on buying unnecessary items and ‘fast fashion’.
2. Make a composting system
Around 40 percent of the average dustbin contents are suitable for home composting. Sort out a small container / food caddy in your kitchen to put your food scraps in then a larger bin or wooden crate in the garden for composting. This includes vegetable peelings, fruit waste, teabags, plant pruning’s and grass cuttings. These are fast to break down and provide important nitrogen as well as moisture. It’s also good to include things such as cardboard egg boxes, scrunched up paper and fallen leaves.
Avoid meat and dairy products, dog poo or cat litter as these will lead to unwanted pests and smells. Once broken down this can be used to feed and condition the soil and for making potting mixes. Not only will your plants be grateful but it also helps cut down on landfill waste.
3. Switch to soap bars and shampoo to cut down on plastic bottles
For a while now I have been using soap bars instead of shower gel and shampoo and conditioner. There are an increasing number of brands out there and most offer smaller samples so shop around and give each a try to see which brand suits you. I have found that they work just as well, if not better than bottled soap and will also last longer! You can also buy a tin soap dish to keep them tidy.
Make a commitment to switch, use up your old bottles, give soap a try and reduce plastic!
4. Switch your cleaning supplies
Switching out your cleaning cabinet for less harsh, safer eco-versions makes doesn’t change your cleanliness. Choosing brands with a sustainability mission usually result in less plastic waste and practice responsible sourcing of materials too!
5. Switch to LED light bulbs
A simple way to cut down on your energy requirement is to replace your incandescent bulbs and fluorescent tube lights with LED lights. Not only do they use up to 85% less energy than traditional incandescent bulbs, they also last for up to 20 years.
Here at Rockley we have been gradually switching out our lights, although they are slightly more expensive, they will last longer and reduce energy bills!
6. Save water
The planet is running out of usable water and we can help by doing some simple actions. For example; turning off the tap when you brush your teeth (saves 6 litres of water per minute), fixing a leaky tap (save 15 litres of water a day), not leaving the hosepipe running and only running a full dishwasher. At Rockley we have been looking at ways to harvest water to use for washing equipment and water saving devices for taps and hoses.
7. Grow house plants
House plants reduce carbon dioxide levels, increase humidity, reduce levels of pollutants, cushion against outdoor noise, reduce dust and keep temperature down plus they are also proven to improve your overall mood. People who are surrounded with plants throughout the day and at home are proven to be less stressed, more productive, and all around happier.
8. Unplug your electronics
A relatively simple measure you can take right now is to unplug your devices when you’ve finished using them. Every time you stop using something electronic make it a habit to unplug it or switch it off at the wall.
9. Recycle, and do it correctly!
In a perfect world, single use plastic would not exist and we wouldn’t need to recycle. However, since we do, it’s important to do it correctly. Do some research on how your local council manages their recycling and follow their guidance. There are certain rules about what goes in the recycling bin and how to put it there.
10. Choose Sustainable furnishings and furniture
According to the Environmental Sustainable Interior Design report ‘home furnishings can only be classified as sustainable when they are: free from harmful chemicals that can leach into the water supply, pollute the air, and be absorbed by human skin; from a renewable source; and if synthetic, 100% recyclable; durable and biodegradable.’
Some sustainable plant fibres that you can use in your home include organic cotton; organic linen; bamboo; nettle; hemp; soy fibre. Sustainable animal fibres are: wool; Cashmere; alpaca; camel hair; leather; and silk. synthetic fibres can be considered sustainable when they are made from recycled materials like plastic bottles and waste from industrial production.
Consider choosing the sustainable option when replacing items in the home and choose furniture which is durable so it lasts.