According to studies, every year, we harvest 88 billion tonnes of natural resources from our planet. That's more than 11 tonnes of natural resources for each and every person on Earth. And these figures continue to rise. It's projected that we will use twice as much by 2050 - unless we change our ways.
In this blog, we take a look at ideas to help create an eco-friendly home, some choices you can make - big and small - to help protect our beautiful planet.
1. Get A Smart Meter
Making changes to our energy consumption and our use of fossil fuels can significantly impact both our use of the Earth's resources and climate change emissions.
Smart meters help us to be more energy efficient throughout our home by monitoring and reporting our energy usage. The data the meter provides will show you where to switch off or cut down your electricity, or gas supply, and will also show you the impact of any changes you make.
Smart meters help the National Grid be more efficient by providing a complete and accurate picture of consumer demand. This means the trading team, responsible for arranging the buying and selling of energy, will have a detailed picture of what energy is being used and so allow them to choose to incorporate more renewable sources.
From reducing how much energy is wasted to helping the grid be more efficient and responsive, smart meters are building blocks for creating a greener energy network. And they'll help you save money too!
2. Choose Eco Paints When You Decorate
Eco-friendly paints are becoming more widely available as consumers drive the market to a greener and safer future. But what is eco-friendly paint, and how can it help the planet?
In general, the term eco paint is used to describe a paint that emits only a very low level of harmful chemicals known as Volatile Organic Compounds (or VOCs). Low VOC paint is virtually odourless, is easy to apply and dries quickly. A quick internet search will tell you why VOCs are harmful to your health - but how do eco-friendly paints help the environment?
Eco-friendly paints are often made from natural ingredients like lemon peel extract, seed oil and beeswax. These paints do not produce harmful emissions during manufacturing, producing much fewer adverse side effects for the environment.
As they also use water or alternative environmentally friendly materials as a base, eco-friendly paints greatly help reduce your carbon footprint and are usually biodegradable too.
We love the Graphenstone paint, it’s not only VOC-free, but it also actively improves air quality by collecting CO2 with the organic lime in its recipe. Three 15-litre tins will absorb the same amount of CO2 as a fully grown tree over the course of a year!
3. Examine Your Kitchen Towels
This might seem like a strange one, but did you know that most hand towels that we use in our kitchens are made of microfiber? Microfibre is a blend of polyester and polyamide (nylon), making it great for cleaning and super absorbent. However, this means microfiber is inorganic and does not biodegrade, like cotton or paper. It also requires nearly twice the energy to produce microfibre as it does to produce a natural fibre such as cotton.
Every time you wash this synthetic fabric, millions of microfibres are released into our waterways. Too small to be filtered out in waste treatment plants, they end up in our rivers and oceans, where they cause huge problems for marine animals and our environment.
Our organic cotton hand towels are the perfect alternative, highly absorbent and fully biodegradable - once you've finished with these, you can cut them into strips and put them in the recycling bin - no more microfibres.
4. Swap Your Coffee Pod Machine For A Cafetière
Coffee pods and machines are hugely popular, and pod sales are currently much higher than for instant coffee.
But manufacturers have yet to come up with a biodegradable alternative to the plastic or aluminium pods used in these machines. Most local recycling collections don't take pods because they are made of a mix of materials that need disassembling, even if each part was recyclable. Also, the coffee ground left in the pod adds to the difficulty as it contaminates the recycling process.
Research done by Packaging Online reveals 29,000 plastic coffee pods now end up in landfills every month – almost 350,000 a year, where they won't break down for half a millennium.
It's an easy choice to switch back to a good, old fashioned cafetière with no plastic used in the brewing process.
5. Buy Second Hand/Upcycle Furniture
You may be familiar with the term 'circular economy', which simply means instead of continually buying new products, we keep the materials and products that are already in use longer.
Research carried out by Mattress Online revealed that a staggering 22 million pieces of furniture are discarded each year in the UK, most going straight to landfill. Part of the reason for this is cheap furniture is made from low-quality materials, like chipboard. Bad for the planet and bad for your wallet - how many times will you need to replace it?
It's hard to argue against buying second-hand furniture or repurposing/upcycling what you already have, being the most eco-friendly options.
Try checking out your local charities, look out for bargains advertised on social media or browse antique shops for second-hand furniture. Or, if you are trying to repurpose or repair something you already have, search for your local repair cafe or take a class. Restoring and repairing can feel really satisfying, and you'll end up having a unique piece of furniture plus saving money and the planet too.
There are so many simple ways to be more eco-friendly in 2022. Wild & Stone's mission is to create stylish, easy to adopt and usable alternatives to common plastic products around the home. We source all our products sustainably, from raw material to final delivery. Shop our wide range today.