What is a sustainable home?
It isn’t that one type of home is sustainable, and the rest are not – it’s more like a sliding scale. Which means all of us can do something to make the place we live more planet-friendly.
Small Green Steps
Interior design is full of choices – paint, wallpaper, carpet, hard flooring, worktops and so on. Rather than treating a design project as completely ‘eco-friendly’ or not, we help our clients see the eco options each time there is a choice to make. We call this taking ‘small green steps’.
It’s easy to think small steps don’t count, but think of charity collections. Of course big donations are fantastic, but it’s the accumulation of small donations by lots of people that really add up.
What are the benefits of sustainable design?
It’s nice to think we’re helping the planet, but did you know that making eco-friendly choices in your home can also benefit you and your family? Here are just some of the ways:
- Choosing paints and other products with fewer chemicals will make your home a safer, healthier place. Especially important if you have anyone with allergies, asthma or eczema in your home.
- You may save money on your electricity bills by choosing more energy efficient appliances.
- You could save money by repairing, re-using and recycling things.
- Making more use of natural light sources and natural materials has been shown to benefit our moods and sense of wellbeing.
One of the basic principles environmental campaigners advocate is to use less. But you don’t have to interpret this as having a bare, minimalist home with few comforts. There are lots of ways we can ‘use less’ and still have a comfortable, beautiful home.
The ways we heat and light our homes, the appliances we buy, the materials we choose all have an impact – but there’s so much choice. With a little help from us and the suppliers we work with, helping the planet doesn’t have to be hard work!
Reduce waste by planning
Many of us update our homes a little at a time, and this can lead to waste – for example re-painting because the paint is the wrong colour or buying furniture or accessories that don’t fit where they’re supposed to. A little planning can go a long way to reducing waste.
Reduce harmful chemicals
We can’t always control our exposure to chemicals in the outside world, but in our own homes we ought to be able to breathe, eat and sleep safely.
If you would like to keep the amount of harmful chemicals used in your home to a minimum, we can help you choose eco-friendly decorating materials and furnishings that are less damaging to the environment and safer for you and your family.
Choose local & Choose Wisely
You may already know something about your ‘carbon footprint’ – that’s the way we each use the planet’s resources and our impact on the environment.
One of the things we can do to reduce our carbon footprint is to buy local.
At Fresh Traditions we do our best to work with local companies whenever possible, to cut down on the number of miles that products (and people) travel. We work with suppliers who take their environmental responsibilities seriously but who also care about the quality of their products. We believe stuff should last. It’s kinder to the planet, and kinder to your wallet!
Out with the old?
You wouldn’t throw out your whole wardrobe every time the seasons change, would you? Most of us keep items of clothing we like and wear for a number of years. If we fancy an update or something wears out, we add in some new items.
Great interior design does not have to mean getting rid of everything and starting again. If you have items that you love, or that are still useful, we will incorporate them in your new design. Getting more use out of the items we already own, is one of the easiest ways to reduce our impact on the environment – and it can be fun! We love finding creative ways to reuse things.
Sometimes it’s as simple as suggesting how an item can be used elsewhere – most of us are creatures of habit, so an objective eye is always useful. Some items can be re-vamped or ‘upcycled’ to give them a new lease of life. We can provide ideas and inspiration – or do the work for you if you prefer.
Say ‘No’ to Landfill
And if an item is no longer needed in your home, we’ll help you make sure it doesn’t end up in landfill if at all possible. We’re happy to advise on different ways to dispose of unwanted things – whether you’d like to make money to put towards your project or simply know
your stuff has gone to a good home. And strangely enough, sometimes knowing that useable stuff isn’t just going in the bin helps us let go of clutter!
Using recycled materials
Gone are the days when ‘recycled’ meant dull colours, scratchy fabrics and poor performance.
Thanks to advances in technology, human creativity and ingenuity, new ways to recycle waste products are constantly being developed. Some of the most exciting and creative products to appear in recent years involve recycling.
You really don’t have to sacrifice style or increase your costs to be more eco-friendly and we’d love to show you how. If you’d like to know more, simply get in touch.