Over 99% of scientific papers agree that humans are accelerating climate change. At the current emissions rate, we are heading for a world 3°C warmer by 2100, which would be disastrous for our planet.
So, what can we do? We can reduce our carbon footprint by changing how we travel, the food we consume, the products we buy, and how we design our homes to consume less carbon without sacrificing liveability.
Eco-friendly interior design is a fun way to protect the environment, and it can also improve your standard of living. Here are some top tips:
Use Eco-friendly Paints
If you’re changing the colour of your bedroom, get paints with the EU Ecolabel – these are made from clay, a natural material with zero VOCs.
Here are a few brands that produce EU Ecolabel indoor paints:
- Lakeland Paints
If you can’t find the colours you want, the next best thing is to choose a water-based paint with low VOCs from Dulux, Leyland, Valspar, or Farrow and Ball.
Buy Pre-loved Furniture and Décor
If you need new bedroom furniture, pre-loved is the way to go for maximum eco-friendliness. Head over to Gumtree or eBay to find second-hand furniture online, or see if there are any used furniture stores near you on Google.
You can pick up bargains on used furniture, with 20-80% discounts depending on when it was initially purchased and where you buy it from. Charity shops are an excellent place to hunt, with the British Heart Foundation a firm favourite.
Choose Woods Carefully
Some woods have a higher carbon footprint than others because of manufacturing processes, transportation, and CO2 absorption over their lifetime.
The more local timber is to where furniture is made, the better. Additionally, fast-growing species like pine trees are more sustainable than slow-growing species like oak.
Here are some of the most eco-friendly woods:
- White ash
- Black cherry
Choose Recyclable Materials
Woods and unsoiled metals are 100% recyclable, so you can safely purchase a wooden or metal bed without worrying about its recyclability. Problems arise primarily with plastics and foams, which are not always recyclable in the UK.
For example, PVC, LDPE, and Styrofoam are not widely recycled in the UK, and there are many more materials that aren’t recyclable.
Buy Décor and Textiles Made in The UK
Décor made in the UK has fewer transport emissions than décor manufactured abroad, and many products also use local materials. Buying local goods is one of the simplest ways to create a sustainable, eco-friendly bedroom.
Upcycle Furniture and Materials
You can refinish bedroom furniture with paint or dismantle it and use the smaller parts for something else. You can turn old curtains into pillowcases and old clothes into cleaning rags, so you don’t buy new ones.
Look around your bedroom for items you can give another lease of life. For example, if you fancy a new mattress, your old one might be fine for a guest room, old textiles can be used as comfort layers, and old décor can be spray painted.
Get Thermal Curtains
Thermal curtains can make an enormous difference in keeping bedrooms warm. If your windows are draughty or otherwise inefficient, thermal curtains will help trap heat and stop your bedroom temperature from plummeting.
Pepper in Natural Plants to Purify and Cleanse The Air
Avoid plastic plants like the plague! Plastic plants look nice, but they do not filter air and are not widely recycled.
Houseplants and bonsai trees are a brilliant way to cleanse the air in your bedroom, and they also give you something to nurture and grow. Nature is also known to benefit mental health, so this minor tweak could make you feel happier.
These houseplants best serve bedrooms:
- Kentia Palm
- Rubber plant
- English Ivy
- Peace Lily
If you prefer bonsai trees, you can’t go wrong with a Chinese elm, Ficus Ginseng, Bird Plum, or the Tree of 1,000 Stars (Serissa).