These eco-friendly products for your home are an easy swap, but in the long run, will make a big difference to your carbon footprint.
In a world that is quickly running out of time to reverse the damage that has been done to the environment, it’s important that we grab every little chance we get to make a difference and alter our lifestyles for the better.
This means shaping our behaviours and habits to thinking sustainably: from shopping with ethical fashion brands or giving up shopping altogether, to taking a zero waste holiday and recycling your beauty cabinet.
But although changing the way we shop and travel is really important, it’s the everyday tasks that you could argue cause the most impact and we should try and tackle first. For example, the products we use in our homes on a daily basis that we should be swapping for more eco-friendly alternatives.
Items such as throw away paper towels and dish cloths in the kitchen, or the plastic dispenser you repurchase every time the bathroom soap runs out, could all do with a sustainable update. But just because something is better for the environment, doesn’t mean it needs to be bad for your decor.
We’ve collided the worlds of interior design and household chores, consulted some of the chicest and eco-friendly brands out there, all to bring you a list of ways you can give your home and everyday items an ethical, sustainable or responsibly made alternative.
Use sustainable soap
For products like soap that we’re using everyday and buying often, it’s vital to make a sustainable choice to cut down on packaging waste and the harm being done to create something so disposable.
This soap not only looks cute and smells of roses, but it ticks a lot of eco-friendly and ethical boxes as well. All Natural Soap Company doesn’t use palm oil, are not tested on animals and are very nearly all vegan.
Swap the plastic dispenser on your bathroom sink for one of these, and it will look prettier, too.
£6.50, All Natural Soap
Swap dish sponges for this reusable alternative
These sponges are handmade in the UK using only sustainable cotton and bamboo meaning they incur no plastic waste at all, and can be popped in the washing machine to be used again and again.
None Sponges are naturally antibacterial and the bamboo core is highly absorbent to make sure they walk the walk as well as talking the talk. They should last a long old while, but when you’re ready to throw it away just cut up carefully and add to your compost.
£9 for two, Wearth London
Ditch plastic bottles for an ethically-made jug
Ensure a plastic bottle never enters your house again and serve up copious amounts of water for yourself and your guests proudly in this gorgeous, dip glazed jug.
Each jug is exclusively hand thrown for Aerende at a Derbyshire day centre for adults with learning disabilities, so it has a social impact story behind it too.
Use natural firelighters with a good cause
Obviously, firelighters are not reusable, so it’s important to make sure the ones you do use are doing as much good as possible.
These ones are made from soy wax and pine cones and are naturally non-toxic, and come in biodegradable bag to cut down on waste.
They are made here in the UK by people with learning disabilities who are supported by Beacons Creative in Wales.
Never buy a plastic hair care bottle again
These amber glass bottles not only look gorgeous, but mean that you can cut down on plastic usage by refilling them with bulk-bought shampoo and conditioner. The glass is recycled and sustainably made, so it’s a thumbs up all round from us.
£19.50, Wearth London
Swap cling film for reusable bags
Anytime you fancy packing some snacks, clear your eco-conscious and use this reusable snack bag instead of a plastic one or cling film.
It’s hand-crafted in the UK using sustainable organic cotton and bamboo which has been yarn dyed. You can hand wash it to keep using it, and be assured in the knowledge that even the packaging is made from 100% recycled waste fibres.
£6.50, Wearth London
Give your local bees a home
We all know bees are good for the environment, so support the ones that live near you by putting one of these rustic bee homes in your garden.
This hanging log is perfect for pollinating bees to nest or hibernate in. It’s made in the UK from air dried FSC certified wood with natural bark, and the inner tubes are made from natural cane.
Only use sustainable candles
We love candles as much as you do, but if we’re literally setting something alight (no chance for reuse here) we need to be as responsible as we can.
The Handmade Soap Company does everything it can to make its candles as good for the environment as possible, ensuring that each one is hand-poured and made from natural soy wax, free from parabens, SLS, petrochemicals and other synthetics.
They don’t test on animals and the packaging they use is made from recycled card and printed using vegetable derived inks. “Every step of our process is mindful of future generations” is their motto!
Never use a plastic shopping bag again
We know you leave that plastic shopping bag at the till (and that 5p in your purse) as often as possible, but sometimes we all get caught out.
We have a remedy for that, though. This pretty little shopper is small enough to be stowed with you at all times, or at least less easy to forget seeing as you’ll want the chance to don it at any opportunity possible.
Filt, the brand who makes these durable net bags, is careful to ensure that every step of manufacturing remains in France and is as local as possible to reduce their carbon footprint.
£11, House of Kind
Use reusable kitchen cloths instead of towels
These adorable, soft cotton flannel cloths are an alternative to buying paper towels to mop up your kitchen surfaces with.
They can be used dry or soak in a liquid or use with a liquid spray and mean you can clean up without any wastage.
They come in either this pink polka dot print or navy checks, and can be washed with similar colours to get them ready to use again.
Images: Getty / Courtesy of brands