We kicked off with “zero waste” week! Here are 7 tips to make a difference:
This week started with “Zero waste week” from 6th -11th September in the UK. It might not seem a sexy subject, however the benefits are enormous to our planet and our well being!
As an Interior Design Company we have been green advocates and welcome this move. Where our customers have been willing, we have implemented this into the design and build of projects.
The national campaign this week raises awareness and brings to light how we can all clean up our acts as individuals, and as businesses.
We decided to focus on 7 areas where we can all help, contribute and make a difference.
It’s all the small things that really do matter!
By bringing awareness to our lifestyle choices and looking at the habits we have, it is only then we can start to make a difference both on a personal level and collectively.
Making those choices can make an impact on our immediate environment and often they are healthier for ourselves too.
It starts by bringing the unconscious to our consciousness, and we all play our part!
Here are 7 tips for the things we can look at each day to create a cleaner, healthier environment!
Au Naturel versus Chemical Use in the Home
I banned the use of aerosols and chemical sprays in my home, ( this began over 29 years ago when I discovered my baby son was asthmatic). I found many ways to clean with alternative methods using natural or biodegradable products. This naturally converted to being product aware. Even down to what we choose to put on our walls and the furniture that we make for our customers. It's making a choice and well over 20 years ago we converted to working with water based products.
Here are a few suggestions we can all make in our own lives:
Change from aerosols to creams or waxes that are designed for furniture care or create your own by adding a few drops of lavender essential oil to beeswax furniture polish.
Use a diffuser with natural essential oils to freshen the air and add uplifting vibes rather than plug in chemical air fresheners.
Or try this clean air system from https://greentechenveurope.com/discount/
Purchase ECO products for everyday washing products.
Look for every day beauty products that contain natural ingredients rather than chemicals that don't degrade. And most importantly is to see where we can cut down on our personal use and consumption.
Clever Trash Bins
We have designed and delivered thousands of Kitchens for our customers.
One of the ways to minimise clutter on our work surfaces and floor space is to have a pullout waste bin, These are genius! We sell them in our fitted Kitchens.
Having a waste bin that supports separating waste was a real revelation to me. Each compartment within the bin has its own function i.e food waste, regular waste.glass etc
Seeing how much waste we create helps one become more mindful of what we purchase.
If you don't have that option at the moment to build in then the JOSEPH JOSEPH system is brilliant..
Use paper or a recyclable bag unless you know the plastic is biodegradable! I remember to pack a recyclable bag when I go shopping.
Make a conscious choice not to purchase goods that are plastic bottles. Here is an example: you could start by purchasing an inbuilt water filter system especially if you are replacing an old Kitchen.
If you don't have that as an option right now then you could opt for a countertop version.. And aim to take your own flask of water on journeys.
Cook Fresh from Scratch
It's amazing how much plastic gets wasted by purchasing ready made meals, and as a keen cook myself I can understand the temptation to succumb. Especially if you are a person who is busy!
However, did you know that there are super fast ideas for cooking great healthy fresh menus from scratch. It really takes a quick shift in mindset.
For example when you cook, cook double the amount and freeze excess smaller portions for your own ready made meals (using reusable freezer friendly containers). All this can save on unnecessary plastic and foil wrappers etc
Teaching our teenagers and children how to cook healthy meals that are quick basic and healthy snacks, such as: Savoury or sweet pancakes are great! Especially using alternative flours such as chickpea flour can give tasty options!
Here are some great books or classes especially if you have teenagers about to go to University!
Super Cupboard and Wardrobe Storage Ideas
Creating better storage in your home may sound like a strange curveball, however
#1 it brings better flow to a space.
#2 It helps people build awareness around the amount of goods we need to collect. When a space starts off well thought out for your needs, is organised and decluttered. We found most people tend to keep it that way.
When a space is actually well thought out and designed well with the aesthetics incorporated to the overall design ethos there tends to be less need for collecting unnecessary items (truly) which can end up collecting dust! .
What tends to happen is an artisan approach is taken to design, people then switch on their passion for enhancing the quality of their environment.
Here are some clever storage ideas:
Open shelving to display and store Items you use regularly
Showing one of our handmade Kitchens.
Showing the Cambridge Grey Painted Oak Larder Unit
Upcycling is fun to do and is great to get the creative juices flowing.
When I first started my own business many moons ago I started with an antique and vintage furniture shop. I spent a lot of time upcycling pieces of furniture turning them into desired items.
Interestingly I could not sell them fast enough. It's amazing how one can transform something to an elegant sought after piece by seeing its potential and some neat design tricks of the trade.
Wherever you can think green and choose wisely with your option, the more we make this our everyday ethos the faster we can bring in the duty of care to our planet. It can be as simple as making green choices when undertaking DIY projects Like using water based Paints.
We tend to use paint companies we know have good policy on greener paints such as: The Little Greene Paint Company. We make a lot of joinery in our interior design projects so are mindful of the paint products we use.
Future Proofing Your Home
For many years we have been on the green trail Where our customers have afforded the luxury they have converted to sustainable and renewable energy sources. (there are many alternatives to navigate) It's a conversation we welcome! In every way we look to advocate elevated ways of living for our customers.
Now more than ever with Governments wanting to bring forward the zero emissions by 2050 we as a design company have a responsibility to be on track educating our customers of the options out there. For example as the UK Government are advocating that we stop using Gas and Oil as a form of energy on all new builds. They are pushing the use of bio fuels, electrification, with wind and solar growth as part of the electricity generation.
We have to be on the leading edge of this when we look to upgrade existing properties..
A prime example would be how we can look to reuse items in our customers homes especially when we come to reinvent their interior spaces It's taking the plunge sometimes to look at the alternatives that utilize green tech solutions. An example of that is replacing oil and gas for renewable sources of energy.
Here are some of our favourite alternatives for renewable alternatives:
The new generation heating stove by Lohberger showing the AC 105
They cook, fry, bake, prepare hot water and heat the entire house. You save electricity, lower your energy costs and protect the environment.
All in one!
With the switchover flap, which can be operated easily and cleanly from the outside, you can switch between heating and cooking / baking mode in no time at all. So you decide at any time what the majority of the heat should be used for.
Heating mode : Approx. 75% of the heat is fed directly into the heat exchanger, so that the heating output in the central heating system is increased to a maximum and the heat radiated into the installation room is reduced to a minimum. (low holding temperatures in the oven and on the stove top).
Cooking / baking mode: In addition to normal heating mode, enjoyable cooking and baking are also possible
If you would like to join me to discuss how our home environments can support our immediate ways of living to create elevated interior spaces then do come and join an impromptu FREE class next week, The Energy of Home, on Wednesday September 15, 2021!
Who else will be on the call: We will be chatting with Janette Vooren.
Janette Vooren is a licensed BGN Weight Consultant and certified Health Coach with the institute of Integrative Nutrition (IIN) in New York.
She will share her insights on why creating a supportive environment is vital for achieving weight loss and achieving your lifestyle goal. You need not do this on your own!
Janette says when she chats with her customers she may discuss the effects of dieting (usually not the most effective in the long run) or practical lifestyle methodologies (often the most effective) and together she says we investigate what approach works best for you!
Janette will also share ideas around how we can clean up our environments and breathe fresh air into the space to uplift it’s atmosphere! I don't know about you but I am looking forward to finding out her take on life.
As a company we start with the conversation and recognize that every customer home requires a tailor made brief.
P.S. I will leave you with this thought for the month:
East African Saying "Treat the earth well, it is not given to us by our parents, but loaned to us by our children”.