Moving into a new house or a new place is a good time to start fresh. One of the best ways to feel better, is to embrace sustainable living.
Here are 10 easy ways to live that eco-friendly life at home.
1. Get in the habit of washing your clothes in cold water at 30°c or 40°c. Skip the dryer whenever you can; sunshine + clothesline is your best bet.
2. Learn to sew and mend. You’ll save plenty on soft furnishings, linens and fashion by not throwing things away after little accidents – all the while while saving them from landfill. There are often free fix-it courses on offer by your local council plus there are plenty of online DIY tutorials to follow.
3. If you really can’t fix ‘em, turn your old fabrics into rags. Use them in place of paper towels and artificial sponges and for stuffing pillows that are getting a bit saggy and sad. Or see what you can donate to your local animal shelter for bedding – preloved towels and sheets are always in demand.
4. Cheap air fresheners are usually full of harsh, fake fragrances. Invest in an essential oil diffuser or vapouriser to keep your home smelling sweet. These are safer than burners as there’s no flame; just check the scented oils you choose are pet-safe if you have furry friends (not all things natural are nice). For an even cheaper option, you can gently simmer botanicals like herbs and spices – even fruit scraps – for an hour or two before guests come over to visit.
5. When decking out your new place, invest in thick curtains and blinds for instant insulation. Then get into the habit of closing them in rooms you’re not using or when you go to bed. Just like turning off the lights!
6. Hire local. Need a tradie, gardener or decorator to help you with your home 100%? Look for someone located as near as possible to save on travelling time and travel miles.
7. Brand new furniture can be expensive. You can find some great preloved pieces on Gumtree, Etsy, Facebook Marketplace and in second-hand stores. Whether your budget is antique or op-shop, “vintage” is always in.
Bonus – you’ll probably find something different to what everybody else has and the thrill of the hunt is more rewarding than hitting up Ikea (again).
8. A fancy designer hourglass could look stunning in your bathroom. Pop it near your shower and try to get clean before the sand runs out.
9. Every sunny window sill in your home can be an organic herb garden. By growing your own you’ll be cutting down on pesticides, food miles, wasteful packaging and the hassle of popping down to the shops. Plus home grown produce just tastes better.
10. Beyond composting (you’re already composting, right?); save those citrus peels and husks! They’re great for green cleaning. Soak peels in strong vinegar for a week or two and then dilute this by half with water for a simple general purpose spray. You can even make citrus stock to use in drinks for your next cocktail hour at home. That’s a good reward for getting all your eco-friendly chores done!