1) Buy Second Hand
Not everything you buy for your house has to be new to look great! With a plethora of auction sites, swap shops and even custom made art pieces available at a click of a button online it’s never been easier to a find a second hand bargain. Literally almost anything you can think of that you might need to decorate your new home can probably be found for a reasonable price somewhere – and if you ever want to get rid of anything yourself, you could always put it up online and make some money from it!
If you do decide to buy new, why not sell your old furniture online for a cheaper price? Any money you make will be more than the zero made from giving it the landfill, and you’ll be helping someone else out into the bargain.
2) Recycled Materials
Why not be totally unique and visit a salvage yard to find the wood for your new garden decking? Or dining room table? Or wooden flooring? Just make sure any recycled wood you buy is checked out by a professional building expert for any flaws or problems before using it in your home. Another green option that is increasingly being taken up by UK consumers is the use of recycled carpet tiles; even if you buy new, why not recycle your old carpet?
Old glass jars destined for the recycling centre can easily be re-used decoratively in your own home. Why not fill them with colourful shells or died water and put them on a bright windowsill for a DIY low cost ornament? Or fill them with flowers for a cheap and easy vase that maximises the impact of the flowers themselves rather than a decorative vase.
Aside from doing it yourself, with very little effort involved, a few internet searches can throw up a treasure trove of recycled materials converted into very modern, sleek home furnishings. Tree stump coffee tables? Check. Tree branch shelves? Check. Recycled wooden pallet decking, lampshades made from old cassettes. The possibilities, as they say, are endless.
3) Eco Products
There are literally tonnes of eco-friendly products for decorating and cleaning your home on the market today, from low chemical paint to bio washing up liquid to recycled wallpaper printed with water inks. And if you’re really serious about minimising your impact on the environment, you could even make your own cleaning materials! 1 tablespoon of lemon juice, two tablespoons of vinegar and 1 ½ litres of water mixed together in a bucket makes the perfect window or floor cleaner – without any nasty chemicals. Natural alternatives to countless other cleaning materials can easily be found online, and most only contain ingredients you will probably have in your house already!
When furnishing bedrooms and lounge areas, think of using natural fibres such as organic cotton and bamboo.
4) Energy saving
When re-decorating, no doubt you will be replacing light fittings and fixtures – energy efficiency is important to everyone in recent times and you should be no exception. Energy saving light bulbs could save you up to £50 a year on your electricity bill, based on the number of lights in the average UK home. If you buy any new appliances while re-decorating, try and pick the most efficient in your budget range. Most white goods (Fridges, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines etc.) companies will watermark the most energy efficient products in their ranges as saving energy is increasingly important to discerning consumers. Make sure you do your bit and pick as efficient a machine as you can afford for a truly green home.