This Earth Day, it’s not just about your reusable coffee cup and supermarket tote bag anymore. We’re here with 7 simple swaps you can make to turn your home into a sustainable sanctuary. Because who doesn’t love a little home switch up, especially when it’s kind to the planet?
What is Earth Day?
Earth Day is a global event that seeks to raise awareness about environmental matters and protection of the world around us. Since 1970, Earth Day has been about highlighting the environmental issues we face and what we can do to mitigate these issues. The Earth Day movement has mobilised millions of people to take action. From protests to big clean ups, Earth Day has supported the passing of environmental laws, educating young generations on climate literacy, and the conservation of ecosystems across the globe.
Sustainability – Not Just Another Buzzword
Sustainability can get very complex. With lots of layers to what sustainability is, it’s easy to get overwhelmed and feel like you’re not doing enough. Ultimately, being sustainable as a consumer is about minimising the environmental impact of your choices. Think about shopping locally, consider how products are manufactured, where they’re made, who they’re made by and the type of materials used – are they recycled, natural, or organic?
Being more conscious about our consumer habits is important. Millennials want to shop with brands who focus on sustainability. Yet, they’re not – just 26% of consumers who want to purchase from sustainably driven brands actually do. Sustainability is here to stay and by making small sustainable swaps, we can have a huge impact on the planet and environment around us.
Looking for inspiration? Take a look at our favourite sustainable swaps you can make at home…
There’s nothing we love more than lighting our favourite candle after a stressful day. However, our favourite way to relax could actually be polluting our homes and environment. Lots of candles are made from paraffin wax, a crude oil byproduct, which essentially means you are burning fossil fuels in your home. So, when you light your candle, you could be contributing to indoor pollution which doesn’t just impact the environment but your health too. Look out for candles made from natural waxes, like soy and rapeseed, and safe fragrances that don’t contain phthalates, like essential oils.
From being responsible for high levels of pollution and carbon emissions, to not paying workers a living wage, the textile industry has a huge impact on the planet and how we shop sustainably. The fabrics used in our favourite homewares are often grown unethically from pesticides, which have a damaging effect on both eco-systems and agricultural workers. When shopping for new cushions, blankets and throws, take extra care to look at the fabrics used. Organic and recycled cotton, organic linen and organic hemp are great natural fabric alternatives. Smart fabrics such as Tencel and Econyl reduce waste and use innovative production processes which are far kinder to the planet.
We love treating ourselves to flowers to add some new pops of colour to our homes, but fresh flowers aren’t as harmless as you might think. With an incredibly high carbon footprint and significant use of energy and water, the fresh flower industry has a great impact on the environment. Instead, opt for the increasingly popular dried flower bouquets. Not only are dried flowers the latest Instagram interior favourite, but they are also long-lasting, low maintenance, and environmentally friendly with a low carbon footprint and require far less water than fresh blooms.
We’ll be honest, face wipes aren’t good for your face or the environment – they’re single use, can’t be recycled, and are responsible for way too many sewer blockages when flushed away. Wet wipes end up in our rivers and are found on beaches contributing to plastic pollution and damaging marine eco-systems. Enter reusable face wipes – not only are these wonderful little fabric wipes eco-friendly, they’ll also save you money and are kinder to the skin!
Deforestation is a serious environmental problem; it threatens natural habitats and biodiversity. The production of toilet roll impacts deforestation, as well as using a significant amount of water and energy. Ok, we aren’t going to ask you to give up toilet roll but there are more sustainable options readily available. More sustainable toilet roll alternatives are made from recycled fibres and often embrace environmentally friendly production processes.
It’s no surprise that cling film isn’t kind to the planet. It’s another single use plastic which is near impossible to recycle. Cling film contributes to the plastic pollution crisis and the potentially harmful chemicals it’s made from also add to its environmental damage. However, there are plenty of eco-conscious alternatives to cling film which can be reused, recycled, and are plastic free!
We’ve all seen the devastating effect of plastic on marine wildlife and plastic straws are part of that problem. In England, a plastic straw ban has been put in place, making it illegal for businesses to sell or supply plastic straws. This is a great start, but other UK countries are yet to follow. If you aren’t keen on paper straws, reusable straws are a fantastic environmentally friendly option. Reusable straws are often made from silicone or metal while bamboo straws are becoming a more natural alternative.
We can all make changes to reduce our impact on the planet and live more sustainably.
At first it might feel a bit odd to not head straight to your usual products, but as you introduce little swaps into your daily routine, you’ll soon be shopping more consciously without even realising. By making small and simple changes, you’ll have a huge impact on the planet. That can only be a good thing, right?
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