Almost on a weekly basis you’ll hear something about global earth warming, sustainability, eco, green world, deforestation, climate change, and so on. But, what can you do about it? As an individual? We suggest you start at home. With this step-by-step guide on how to turn your home into an eco-conscious haven.
For me, choosing to live a more eco-conscious life was a gradual change.Things like that don’t happen overnight and in one go. It takes effort and patience to create new habits. But eventually it feels so much better, lighter, and valuable.
I’m hoping to share my journey and some of my knowledge with you guys. Please know that nothing is wrong in your journey towards a more eco-friendly home. Try, fail and try again.
Let’s start with the first things, the easy swaps. And remember, if even 10% of people would do these things, it would make a huge difference. Thus, you could set the example for your friends and family and start today.
Most easy swaps for your eco-conscious home
- Start small, get rid of plastic “grocery/shopping” bags. Use recycled bags or cotton ones. Reusing these bags many times has a higher sustainable value. Reusing is the keyword in all this!
- Use reusable containers to store food. No need for single use plastic ziploc bags in your fridge, freezer or with your ‘to-go’ lunch for work. Incredibly easy! Perhaps a little more expensive at first, but after reusing these containers for many years, you’ll be saving way more money, and saving the world from kilos of plastic.
- Soap bars are plastic free. Usually with less chemicals being used and they last very long. Plus, it saves space in your bathroom and toiletry bag!
- For me it’s a bridge too far to use a bidet, which is definitely zero waste, but instead, I only buy recycled toilet paper. It’s usually made from paper that has already been recycled multiple times.
- Until a year ago, I had no idea that most toothpastes contain animal products. After that, I switched to a more eco-friendly alternative.
- I start my day with a good cup of tea. And after learning that plastic microparts from a tea bag end up in your cup, I switched to organic tea leaves. I buy it in paper bags at the farmers market, and store them in glass containers. It looks nice in my kitchen, and it’s better for both me and the environment.
- Same goes for coffee. Over the years, we started to buy more fair trade coffee, but more and more in single use cups. Make the switch to biodegradable coffee cups, just use google to find a store near you.
New habits for an eco-conscious home
Small steps matter. With a few little changes over the years, I’ve become more aware of my footprint, purchases and everything. My new goal is aiming for less waste. Just be aware of everything you throw away, how much plastic is wrapped in those easy, processed foods. Thus, besides the easy swap list above, you can adapt your lifestyle by learning (step by step) some new habits. Are you ready?
Collect running water
Unless you have a heating boiler under your sink, you’ll be wasting a few litres of water everyday when waiting for your tap water to warm up. Collect it, for example in your watering can for your plants, or in a kettle for your next cup of tea.
Go green with plants
Years ago all my plants at home would die on me. I even secretly bought new ones so my boyfriend would think I was good with plants. However, over the years I became more aware of the positive side of plants. Some studies say that plants at home boost your productivity and mood. Besides, we all know that plants provide fresh air and oxygen.
Propagating plants for friends and family is super easy and fun. Just google how to do so with the type of plants you have. Follow the instructions and nurture these baby plants. It’s fun to do, easy to give and more sustainable.
Home decor and furniture
We always opt to reuse our furniture, or swap with friends. Yes; for instance, we swapped dressoirs. This way it won’t cost you any money (perhaps only on some new paint) and you still have a new (eco-friendly) look. Besides that, go for natural materials. They tend to last longer and they give a nice feeling to your home.
Do you wanna have fun, go for a budget friendly and an eco-friendly shopping trip? Go to thrift shops! It’s like treasure hunting for grown ups. Find unique items and, in The Netherlands (and maybe in other countries as well), thrift shops are mainly run by charity organisations or organisations that give a working change to those less fortunate. Win-win situation if you ask me 🙂
My friends and I love to organize closet sales with all the ladies. It’s the perfect way to give clothes a second life, to spend less on clothing and it’s super eco-friendly.
Around the holiday season, but also for birthdays, weddings, anniversaries, etc., you can easily go for more sustainable options. For example, giving memories, painting lessons, wine tasting, mountain biking, museum tours, etc. It’s also super fun to let your creative side work a little with a DIY gift. Maybe for this one it’s best to go crazy on Pinterest. Enjoy!