The pressure to think about our environment is growing every day. It is something that many of us think about, and it can be difficult to ‘do our bit’ when juggling the other every day stuff we have to deal with.
There are, however, many different ways to help the environment by doing things slightly differently around the home. Some you might already be doing and some you might be new to. Let’s have a look at four ways you can be more ecologically responsible.
This is perhaps the most obvious way of doing something for the environment, and with regular recycling collections in most areas, it’s now a lot easier. The one thing that’s off putting is the amount of hassle that sorting stuff out can be; One container for glass, another for cardboard, another plastic… the thought of it can just makes my shoulders slump.
When I started recycling, I concentrated on doing one thing first. I kept all glass bottles and jars to one side. I gave them a rinse out and kept them in a supermarket ‘bag for life’. I don’t live on the ground floor, so going up and down stairs to bring down rubbish was a bit of a pain. When it was the night before recycling collection, I would take the bag down and put the bottles in the container. Almost painless! I now do that with plastic and cardboard.
The term ‘upcycling’ was coined around the mid nineties, but it’s really not a new thing. In fact, my granny would’ve called it, “make do and mend.” Instead of throwing out stuff, it could be time to re-use it. That is, if your local clothes or furniture banks couldn’t make better use of it!
Tatty jeans, shirts, sweaters and other items of worn out clothing can be put to a fresh new use. One of the most popular things to transform your old clothing into is a new bag. Tote bags can be fairly easy to construct, providing the stitching is pretty strong. The added bonus is that while you can upcycle materials, you can actually sell them on! By joining online craft sites such as Etsy, and if you’re in the UK, Folksy, you can sell your creations alongside other upcyclers.
Eco Interior Paint
There are regular things that we can do to help the environment, but some things only need to be done once in a blue moon and are still just as helpful. Once such area is considering what paint to use when redecorating the home. Traditional house paint is very much the result of the processing of chemicals leading to long lasting environmental damage. Not only that, but such paints also contain VOCs, or ‘Volatile Organic Compunds’. These compounds can be harmful even after the paint has dried. While effects are likely to be minimal to the household, many professional house painters have been known to feel the negative health effects from prolonged exposure.
After many years of development, there have been some truly positive steps in the world of eco interior paint. Eco paints have been designed to dramatically reduce the amount of VOCs, making the paint eminently safer. The process of their creation often means that less chemicals and solvents are used, causing less less impact on the environment than chemical dumping. Recently, there has been a greater variety of eco paint UK wide, including good ranges of eco floor paint.
Grow Your Own
Self sufficiency is a term that was bandied around a lot during the 70s and 80s, and certainly popularised by the BBC sitcom ‘The Good Life’. It was reflecting the attitudes of families at the time who were feeling the economic pressures of the times, something we can certainly relate with today. There are some real benefits of growing your own produce, and it’s not has difficult as you might think.
The economic benefits of home growing are obvious, if you can successfully nurture your own veg, it saves spending out on shopping. But there are ecological benefits too. By growing your own vegetables or herbs, you’re cutting down on packaging or shopping bags and all those other things that saves having to be thrown out, or recycled. The actual growing can be fun too. For example, did you know that a bin full of soil is all you need to cultivate a great crop of potatoes?
Just doing one or two of these things can really make a difference. It might not be immediately obvious, but the long lasting effects may make things just that much better for the world around us.
Olive Loves Alfie offer a fantastic range of eco paints which are great for nurseries, bedrooms and play rooms in your house.