5 sustainable home swaps that make a big difference

Conversations around sustainability are more prevalent than ever. And if, like me, you’re one of the two-thirds of people in the UK that admit to being more aware of the impact of climate change than they were a year ago,* you may be looking at which areas of your life you can transform to become greener.

A great place to start? Your home, where little changes can have a big impact. Here are the five sustainable home tips that I live by.

Take recycling seriously

We all know it’s important to recycle. But educating yourself on what can and can’t be recycled is crucial when it comes to making more informed and sustainable choices.

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For example, many people assume all glass is recyclable, yet some councils won’t accept jars if they have food residue stuck to them. Separating out glass, plastics and aluminium can also help you to visualise what you’re achieving and help you work towards your recycling goals.

Another great way to ensure food doesn’t end up in landfill is by composting. According to research by WRAP, the UK wastes a staggering 9.5 million tonnes of food waste a year. Combat this stat by using a compost bin or a wormery to dispose of food and garden waste.

Swap plastics for sustainable materials

Cutting down on plastics doesn’t have to be hard. In fact, it’s easier than ever to do this at home.

In the kitchen, try swapping plastic serving bowls for bamboo alternatives. Other sustainable choices include ordering milk in glass bottles, using metal straws instead of plastic ones and using compostable coffee pods if you have a coffee machine. For storing food, beeswax wraps are a great alternative to clingfilm. Made from organic cotton coated with beeswax, these can be reused, and are also fully recyclable and biodegradable so can be popped in your compost bin when you’re done with them.

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You don’t need to stop in the kitchen, either. Make your bathroom routine greener by choosing reusable products or those made from organic materials, or stock up on sustainable toilet tissue. Cushelle’s Double Rolls in 85% recycled and renewable packaging is made from 60% recycled plastic and 25% plant-based materials. With twice as many sheets as Cushelle’s standard rolls, you won’t have to change your toilet paper as often, either.

Rethink your cleaning routine

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Whether you find cleaning therapeutic or simply consider it a task to get done, cleaning products can unfortunately be very harmful to the environment, with many containing harsh chemicals that can put marine life at risk.

Swapping your usual cleaning sprays for eco-friendly alternatives is a good way to ensure a guilt-free cleaning blitz. Bicarbonate of soda, vinegar and lemon juice are all natural, sustainable alternatives that are brilliant for multi-purpose cleaning. If you’re after a spray, look out for products made from plant-based, vegan or biodegradable ingredients and check if the packaging is recyclable. You can also keep an eye out for Good Housekeeping’s ‘Getting Greener’ accreditation on product packaging.

Choose sustainable interiors

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Swap bigger items in your home, like furniture, for sustainable alternatives. Bamboo can make for an attractive, eco-friendlier option – you can buy anything from plant pots to chairs made from this sturdy, sustainable material. Alternatively, look for sustainably sourced wooden furniture that bears the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) accreditation.

Opting for second-hand furniture is also a good choice and allows you to give an item that may have otherwise ended up in landfill a new home. Try sites like Etsy and Preloved, and don’t shy away from charity shops.

Explore the bigger picture

Start small and your ideas will only get bigger. According to the Energy Saving Trust, British homes are responsible for 25% of Co2 emissions in the UK. So, why not look at making changes that can help cut these emissions?

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Choosing brands that are committed to helping reduce the UK’s carbon footprint is a good place to start. For example, Cushelle’s Double Rolls in recycled and renewable packaging reduced the company’s Co2 emissions by 2%, meaning 61 fewer lorries are on the roads as a result. Being aware of a product’s carbon footprint is essential for understanding how you can make more sustainable choices.

To reduce your home’s carbon footprint even further, look for a green energy supplier. Find companies that offer green electricity and offset their carbon footprint for the gas they provide.

*Source: Igloo Energy


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Embrace sustainability at home by investing in Cushelle Double Rolls which comes in recyclable packaging (where facilities exist) and has twice as many sheets than a standard roll

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This article was originally published on goodhousekeeping.com