Tips towards a more ethical home
Tuesday, 3 July 2012
With so much waste created in our day to day lives it will come as no surprise to learn that more and more people are interested in creating an ethical home environment. Recycling, reusing and sourcing sustainable furniture is all part of an altruistic process that will leave you feeling good about your home.
Whether it is creating your own ornaments, decorations and designer flourishes with upcycling, breathing new life into weary walls with organic eco paint, sourcing furniture made from sustainable materials or joining swap share communities like Freecycle, everybody can do a little bit to take responsibility for their home.
Upcycling is the trend that came along and decided to stick around. It was back in 2010 that Angus Middleton, the director of environmental consultancy, Renaissance Regeneration, described the upcycling buzz in an interview with Independent.co.uk, claiming, "It should refer to taking the component parts of a redundant object and using them to create a new, useful object, thereby reducing the use of virgin materials."
Since then, the craze has gone from strength to strength. Scouring your garages and garden sheds for the 'redundant' objects that Middleton describes is all part of the fun.
Anything from leaking watering cans, old paint tins and other miscellaneous junk has a use in the home. Just think avant garde light shades, storage tins and odd table legs. Your imagination is the only limit to what can be created for a chic and individual look.
If scavenging neighbourhood skips for reusable materials sounds more like a nightmare than a hobby, then the art and craft craze might be more suitable to your disposition.
As the popularity of television shows like Kirstie's Homemade Homes prove, the nation has a thirst for creating. These shows aim to teach us to develop the materials that we find around us to create practical and desirable objects.
For example, any home will be lit up by the presence of a patchwork quilt, sourced from the savable parts of worn and threadbare fabrics we have lying around. There is a plethora of websites full of instructions on quilts and a whole manner of other ethical homemaking ideas. In fact, why not have a go at making mosaics from broken tiles, tea lights, crochet cushion covers and even soap? It is ethical decorating at its finest.
Share communities like Freecycle are another great way to make use of other people's cast offs. They also play their part in diverting waste from landfills. However, if secondhand isn't for you then there is always the eco route. Check out the sofas from sofa.com for a range that includes furniture with a sustainable badge of approval.
The great thing about an ethical makeover is that you can do as much or as little as you like. Whether it is just a lick of eco paint on the walls or a brand new sustainable armchair from a retailer such as sofas.com, hopefully the ethical bug will have bitten, raising awareness for future interior endeavours.
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