Sustainability and considering our impact on the environment has become increasingly important in our day-to-day lives.
Many forward thinking property developers are incorporating innovative, sustainable features into their new developments - including rainwater harvesting technologies and solar arrays - helping us to lead an eco-conscious lifestyle by simply enjoying our homes.
From reusable coffee pods to riding to work, there is a lot we can do as individuals to actively reduce our impact on the earth.
Scandinavian interior design, with its minimalistic and low-cost mantra, has led the way in the trend for sustainable furniture. But rather than heading down to your local IKEA and kitting out your house with a replica of one of their showrooms (unless you want to take advantage of their buy-back scheme), there are lots of ways you can shop to be more ‘world conscience’.
For example, you can focus on natural, locally sourced materials - such as natural wood - and avoid products made from harsh chemicals or animal skin. Or consider opting for furniture that has been made from recycled materials to reduce consumer waste.
You may even want to start with your lighting. Swap out inefficient lights for LED or compact fluorescent light bulbs to reduce waste and save energy. Interior Deluxe offers a range of indoor and outdoor modern lighting options that will do just that while maintaining the elegance and style of your existing home decor.
Another easy way of reducing energy wastage is by maximising natural light in your home with skylights and large windows. If the midday rays are too harsh try using sheer curtains that will let dappled sunlight in — like these from Victory Curtains and Blinds.
Bamboo is a very sustainable material that’s also in trend. The plant is robust and grows quickly, eliminating the need for pesticides and chemicals. Bamboo can be used to make a variety of different products from furniture to utensils to kitchenware. You can also look out for other sustainable items of furniture like this Roma Chest of Draws by Brosa. Made from natural mango wood, it is sustainably sourced and extremely strong — and looks great.
Another way to incorporate sustainability into your home is by purchasing antique or vintage furniture. Second-hand pieces can be found at your local antique store, like this one in Melbourne, or this one in Sydney. These second-hand pieces can be refinished and refurbished to truly make them your own. Paint them in bright, bold colours to transform them into statement pieces.
If you don’t feel like embarking on a DIY project, there are places that produce quality furniture from recycled materials ready for your home. Bombora Custom Furniture showcase stunning Australian timber and offer to collaborate and design exactly what you want.
Making your home more sustainable can be achieved with the little things, not just the big, bold furniture options. Take this cushion by SK Designer Living for example. This white number is hand-woven from 100% recycled cotton and can add texture to any space.
Or go one step further, and purchase something like this from Etsy. This massive floor pillow is filled with inserts made from recycled plastic water bottles - yet feels just like a normal cushion. Perfect if you want to add a splash of colour to your living room, or fancy a picnic out at the park.
If you’re thinking about giving your home a new lick of paint, you will be glad to know there are sustainable options here too. Ecolour present quality paints that are 100% free of Volatile Organic Compounds (VOC’s). Ecolour is safe for the chemically sensitive, asthma sufferers, pregnant women, children, and pets. No VOCs means no toxic smell, so there’s also no need to vacate while painting.
Finally, in the bedroom, how about this 100% flax linen bedding set? Flax is an environmentally friendly crop that avoids pesticides and harsh chemicals. It also makes for comfortable and breathable bed linen, perfect for those hot summer nights.
(Hero image credit: lorenacanals)