These days, the term ‘sustainability’ is thrown around rather casually. It’s become interchangeable with phrases like ‘cruelty-free’, ‘eco-friendly’ and ‘green living.’ And yes, they are all linked. But what does ‘sustainable’ actually mean?
Well, for something to be ‘sustainable’ in the general sense, it needs to be maintainable long term. So, basically the opposite of a fad diet! Environmentalists are concerned that as a society, we’re living well beyond our means. That is, we’re consuming resources (everything from food to clothes and appliances) at an alarming rate our ecosystem just can’t keep up with.
Not only is this terrible for the environment, but we’re potentially also creating problems for future generations (ie. our kids, grandkids and so forth.) By 2050, the world’s population is expected to reach 9 billion. So, in order to feed that population, we would have to produce twice as much food as we currently do. And considering this is going to be no easy feat, it’s predicted that we will all be living off edible insects by then.
Just like starting a new healthy eating lifestyle (not a diet), you don’t have to go green all in one day. It’s all about making small changes now to ensure we won’t have to swap croissants for crickets in 30 years time. One super easy way to do this is by making a few simple swaps around your home. Not only will this help to kickstart your sustainable lifestyle, it’ll also reduce toxins in the home, save you money and make your humble abode look even chicer. Here’s how to do it.
1. Switch up your cleaning products
If you’re going to switch up just one thing in your home, make it your cleaning products. Most commercial brands are full of toxins and chemicals that not only compromise your health but wreak havoc on the environment, too. Plus, many of them contain palm oil — which is pretty much the most unsustainable product on earth, fuelling the widespread destruction of rainforests. These days, there are so many natural and sustainable cleaning product ranges that also happen to look super chic in your bathroom or kitchen. Some of our favourites are Bondi Wash, The Aromatherapy Co and Organic Choice.
2. Create a herb wall
If you have a balcony, chances are you’ve attempted to create a herb garden at one point or another, only to completely forget about it in a matter of weeks. Whoops! It’s a shame, really, because growing your own herbs is a great to live more sustainably. One way to get around this is by creating your herb garden somewhere you won’t forget about it — indoors! Not only will having your own herb garden wall make you feel like a green goddess, it’ll also liven up your home with some greenery! Click here to learn how to do it.
3. Get some eco-chic lighting
Want to reduce your electricity bill and be more environmentally-friendly? Switch out your light bulbs! Low energy globes like LED are up to 85% times more energy efficient and can last up to 20 years (compared to around one year for traditional globes!) And let’s face it — the less often you have to get up on a ladder to change a lightbulb, the better. If you want to go extra sustainable with your lighting, companies like Eco Chic have a huge range of stunning lamps and chandeliers made out of eco-conscious materials.
4. Get bamboozled
Bamboo is one of nature’s most sustainable resources, so it’s a great idea to choose it for your home as often as you can. It doesn’t hurt that it gives your home a really cool, beachy feel, either! Everything from chairs to cupboards and even bed frames can be made out of bamboo — the sky’s the limit!
5. Rug up
Temperatures are cooling down here in Australia and it’s tempting to become best friends with your heater. Unfortunately, neither gas or central heating are great for the environment (or your electricity bill!) The solution? A throw rug! Not only do they look chic draped over your lounge or bed, they’re perfect for snuggling under in winter. Australian company The Dharma Door makes some gorgeous ones out of sustainable materials.
Yes, we know you already know you should be recycling. But did you know you can also recycle your homewares? More specifically, you can buy some really cool interiors out of recycled materials from companies like Upcycle Studio. It’s the most sustainable way to decorate!
7. Rethink your flooring
Thinking of re-doing your flooring? Before you shell out for timber floorboards, it may be worth considering some more sustainable materials. Bamboo, cork and polished concrete are all fantastic options. Not only are they eco-friendly, they’re also really durable and add a bit of extra interest to the look of your home.