While we may have thought eco-conscious was a lifestyle choice only for the rich, it is becoming quickly apparent this is not the case. The earth has become filled with damaging non-recyclable products leading to a waste overload everywhere in the world due to our consumerist society. It has led to discarding products that are still entirely workable for many. Product waste is one of the significant reasons for an acceleration in climate change, which is threatening food security, water supply, biodiversity, oceans, and us. As humans, we are the ones who made this happen, and it's also us who can lower the speed.
One great way to help the planet is by choosing sustainable homeware and furniture, either from recycled materials like plastics or created in a circular system. A circular system gives each piece of material and energy finds a new purpose, and nothing lands up in landfill. Choosing sustainable homeware will reduce your footprint and relax your mind.
In the UK alone, 1.6 million tonnes of furniture are buried in landfills or burnt in an incinerator. Conserving and re-using this furniture, on the other hand, would save valuable resources, create employment benefits, and provide affordable items to local communities.
The furniture industry is shifting from cheap, low-quality items ending up in landfills to creating more sustainable home decor. This shift is driven by consumers that are globally demanding sustainable products across all fields.
This post will explain why choosing sustainable homeware and furniture is vital for our future. It speaks about what being eco-conscious means and provides you 3 suggestions to make your home more sustainable.
What are the benefits of living eco-conscious?
The impact of climate change has never been so enormous. Take the uncontrollable Australian bushfires and the floods in Queensland that have destroyed houses and lives. The climate will keep changing. However, if each of us chooses ecological products instead of short-term products, we will be able to reduce the pollution from new, crappy products.
For example, instead of buying a $10 plastic chair that lasts for six months and will need to be replaced by another $10 chair, we can buy a sustainable chair made from re-used products for $60 that last forever. This last decision will save money in the long term, but it will also reduce the impact on the climate. Can you imagine what it would do if we all made this shift?
We will have a cleaner sky and more green around us as we will need fewer industries producing cheap stuff.
So, some of the benefits of choosing eco-friendly products are:
It decreases your impact on the climate.
It saves money over the life of an item.
It gives you peace of mind by knowingly choosing things that are a better choice for your future.
That's all good, but give me some numbers.
According to GWI, people are generally more positive and optimistic about the environment. 60% of internet users say they'll pay more for eco-friendly products. Which is promising. And the majority of this 60% are the younger generations. However, the older ones are not far behind. And this is amongst all earning levels. This is amazing. However, saying to do something is very far from actually taking action. Luckily, because more companies are selling greener products, it is becoming increasingly more accessible for consumers to choose sustainable items.
On the other hand, companies are wrongly using the 'Green' labelling to pursue consumers to buy from them. ICPEN (International Consumer Protection and Enforcement Network) revealed that 40% of environmental claims are misleading. Greenwashing deceives consumers into believing products are sustainable, eco-friendly and ethical.
As a consumer, always keep your eyes open for 'Green' products and check if they are. Research from Monash University shows that consumers who realise greenwashing point toward scepticism, a more cautious future purchasing demeanour and circulating its actuality to other consumers through word-of-mouth communication.
Choose furniture for the future.
You might be wondering, what can I do to be more eco-conscious in my home? Here are my 3 top tips:
1. Choose a minimal lifestyle. Buy only what you really need. Sporadic buys often end up being barely used. When I'm thinking of buying something, my golden rule is to give myself one week to see if I still want it. It works great because I rarely buy anything that never ends up being used.
2. Check the materials of the home decore. One of the most critical factors in making a piece of furniture eco-friendly is the material it's made from. Keep your eye open for sustainable wood, bamboo, recycled metal and plastic. You can find more insights about choosing either of these materials here.
3. Repurpose or recycle products that are at the end of their life. See if you can either give it another life yourself or bring it to a recycling centre or shop like the Second Changes Furniture Showroom in Richmond, Adelaide, to help others.
Create an eco-conscious home by adopting a minimal lifestyle, checking the materials before buying something new, and repurposing it once it is at the end of its life.
The planet and your wallet will thank you.
Get started now by giving yourself a certain amount of time before buying something. For me, it is a week. If I still want it after a week, I know it will be a good purchase because I will have taken the time to check other brands, the product's real sustainability and if I really need it.
I want to let you know about the great upcycled home décor pieces I sell. They are authentic, one-off pieces that will boost the energy in your room. Check them out here. Or get in touch with me via the chat on the right bottom corner.
The science behind eco-conscious living
Why choosing sustainable homeware and furniture is so essential for our future