Tips & Tricks

Making Sustainable Choices at Home: Earth Day

Now, to Restore The Earth in the context of our daily habits, what sustainable choices can be made at home today?
Making Sustainable Choices at Home: Earth Day

April 22nd; the day celebrated every year since the 1970s to mobilise people around the world to make a change; big or small in light of environmental action. As every year goes by, Earth Day takes on more significance as the climate crisis becomes an increasing matter of urgency.

For 2021, the annual global event will be focusing on the theme of “Restore Our Earth”. Making the day as much an opportunity to take stock collectively, while also committed to actions you can make daily to contribute to having a positive impact on the planet. Now, to restore the earth in the context of our daily habits that can be actioned today, what can be done?

A new lens on an old industry

I’ll revert the question back to me. What can I do and what conversations can I have to learn more about the conscious personal choices that I can make, and in turn contribute to restoring the earth? In Down To Earth, Zac Efron asked a similar question, travelled the world, and humbly admitted to all the things he didn’t yet know when it came to sustainability and climate change. A worldview that we might all share; but like Zac, we’re gradually unlearning old habits and openly talking about actions we take that have a positive impact on the planet.

Take Larry Walshe, celebrity florist and designer based in London. He looked at the floristry industry and questioned, what could be different? In October 2020, Bloom was launched and become the first 100% plastic-free, sustainable, and ethical online florist in the UK. Quite the accolade to be proud of, and a turning point for the industry. Bloom has shown what can be done by asking simple questions and a drive to take a different approach to what’s familiar. From day one, sustainable and ethical practices have been woven throughout the company’s DNA, and what a difference it makes.

this is a bunch of flowers for earth day by Bloom

Everything from the packaging (recyclable and compostable), to the delivery service (shipped by DPD; the cleanest, greenest courier service available in the UK) has been thought about. They also plant trees all over the world to support reforestation projects and offset their carbon footprint, in partnership with the World Land Trust. A sustainable ethos in business can influence every aspect of your day-to-day, even when the world isn’t watching. “The key to reducing your impact on the environment is to break it down into small, achievable steps, and build from there,” shares Larry. “It is quite amazing how much of an impact you can have by implementing a few new lifestyle choices and tactics.”

A common misconception is that to be sustainable, you have to own and buy less. Granted in some cases that’s true; particularly if it’s a regular purchase that ultimately lands straight in the bin after one or a couple of uses, more often than not there will be a sustainable solution that lasts longer or has been created out of eco-friendly materials. Plastic toothbrushes come to mind. But, as Larry suggest “living sustainably doesn’t mean living without luxury”, instead “it means considering the environment and being mindful of the effects our choices have on the wider world.”

The rise of slow living

Our awareness of our own purchasing power has risen dramatically over the last few years. With the increasing effort to make conscious decisions of what we buy and where it comes from, the concept of slow living has become synonymous with sustainability.

The slow living lifestyle encapsulates a philosophy that rings similar to the Japanese philosophy of wabi-sabi; each focusing on finding balance through being mindful and intentional with our daily actions, from what we eat to how we buy. A lifestyle that can shape our daily lives, and presents a way of living that is as good for our health as it is for the planet.

this is a slow living home with natural elements and sunlights

Making sustainable choices at home

The philosophy of slowing down and embracing an organic and natural way of living is not something you have to go in at alone. Assuming you make changes today, there will be businesses out there that make the change less of a loss, and instead, more of a gain.

Switch to reusable household items

Recycling encouraged a major shift in behaviour. Personally, it lifted my awareness of the products that I use and where they’d end up. For better or for worse. The next best step to recycling is opting for reusable products at home, where possible. From shopping bags to a stylish reusable coffee cup, or a water bottle, there are so many options available when it comes to reusable and sustainably produced items. A small shift to reusable products results in less waste and, in many cases, will save you money.

this is a collection of soap by greige design

Reduce your energy use

It’s possible you’ll have heard this many times before, the efficiency of reducing your energy and water use can have on the increase of climate change. The cost to energy efficiency hasn’t been on our side, greener energy has previously meant a bigger price to pay. However, more options are now on the market with the help of smart home technology, including super handy smart bulbs and seamless thermostats, it’s becoming easier and more cost-effective to bring these solutions into our home.

this is an energy efficient LED light

Choose eco-friendly brands

Scouting out brands with a conscious eye on their environmental impact is one of the best ways to changing buying habits when it comes to products, and services, that you purchase. A way to spot brands with a sustainable, circular approach to design would be through the certifications that they have on their labels and the transparency of their process that may be shared on their website, social media, or on the products themselves. There are so many beautiful products with impeccable design coming from sustainable brands that are becoming more affordable, the more people opt for eco-friendly brands.

this is a collection of blankets from norway

From a weekly shop to a monthly haul

It reaches a point when it’s impossible to ignore the amount of plastic that gets picked up on a weekly shop, that inevitably has no use once you’ve unpacked your groceries. Often the solutions are limited, depending on where you are and what’s locally available. That said, when it comes to staple goods for the cupboard and household essentials, Good Club has become my go-to for these items. They’ve reimagined the entire delivery process to one that has zero waste, and are home to thousands of brands that makes shopping sustainably much easier.

this is a kitchen storage with reusable jars

Add houseplants to your home

The rise of biophilic design says that now, more than ever, we’re looking to incorporate nature into our homes. Within ourselves, we notice the difference a collection of indoor plants or a fresh bunch of flowers can have our energy levels, but studies have routinely found too. Additional to improving our well-being, houseplants and flowers improve air quality and help boost air circulation; make your indoor space a healthier, fresher environment to live and work in.

this is a nature inspired living room with a minimal coffee table

Shop sustainable

Photo credits: 1. Sarah Birnie 2. Bloom 3. The Modern House 4. Greige Design 5. Emily Henderson 6. The Nordroom 7. Emily Henderson 8. Honka

Related Features