If you're currently in the process of moving house, it's an exciting time: there's so much to think about and so much stuff to get for your new place. Sustainable living is on people's minds more and more these days, and there's no better time to implement sustainable practices than when you're moving house. After all, you'll likely be replacing a fair few things, or getting new furniture that you need for your home. Here's how to make your new house design kinder to the planet – and your wallet, as many of these tips will save you money.
Find many more sustainable living tips in our eco section.
1. Go for vintage furniture
Buying vintage furniture instead of new is the easiest way to make your new home more sustainable. It's also much easier than trying to find out just how sustainable a new piece of furniture is, as not all companies are equally forthcoming with that kind of information. We'll confess that we love getting vintage and upcycled pieces on Etsy (opens in new tab) – the choice of vintage furniture sellers on there is enormous.
2. Consider a recycled kitchen
If your new home needs a new kitchen, it is possible to get a second-hand or ex-display kitchen – and save quite a bit in the process, while getting a beautiful kitchen in great condition. There are specialist resellers who buy kitchens from individuals and companies, for example The Used Kitchen Company (opens in new tab).
If you don'n need a brand-new kitchen as such but just want to give the existing one a refresh, consider just replacing kitchen cabinet doors. It will cost you much less than a whole kitchen refurbishment, and there'll be much less waste.
Find out more about kitchen design in our guide.
3. Switch to energy-saving lighting
LED lighting is the future, no doubt about it. LEDs use 80 per cent less electricity than traditional incandescent light bulbs and they last much, much longer. And average LED lightbulb uses just six watts and costs about $5 a year to run; that's 74 per cent cheaper than in an incandescent bulb. So – cheaper, greener, longer- lasting, it's all wins.
4. Getting new bed and bath linen? Go organic
One of the biggest pleasures of moving home is getting new bed sheets and bath towels, especially if you match the colors to your new rooms. And there are compelling reasons for buying both bed and bath linens made from organic cotton. Using up to 80 per cent water during production than conventional cotton, organic cotton is also kinder to your skin and, in our experience, washes much better than ordinary cotton, which means it'll last you longer.
Find the best bed sheets 2020 in our guide.
5. Go plastic-free in the garden
Going plastic-free at home is actually relatively easy, with the range of plastic-free products expanding every year, from reusable drinking straws to plastic-free food storage containers. Plastic-free gardening can still be more challenging because so many plants in garden centers are sold in non-recyclable plastic pots. There is a way around this, though: buy your plants bare root in fall/winter months. You can get everything from roses to fruit trees; in the spring, look for bare-root strawberries and fruiting shrubs, too. You can also grow many plants from seed, which eliminates all plastic.
More garden ideas are waiting at our dedicated page.