ECO-FRIENDLY CHOICES WE MADE DURING OUR RENOVATION

“Being more aware of how we could make changes – or better choices – to be more eco-friendly was a big consideration during our renovation.”

We all know climate change is happening. Right now.

If the bizarre weather this year hasn’t been enough of a hint that climate change is a massive factor that we need to address ASAP, then I don’t know what is. Experiencing 4 seasons in just 1 day is, as expected, not the norm.

Climate change and being more eco-friendly is one of those things that can admittedly feel overwhelming. There’s so much that needs to be done, and yet where do you begin?

The truth is – we can all start anywhere.

For us, making small swaps where we can has been something I’ve been conscious of for some time – from having a reusable water bottle, to choosing better quality clothing. So, being more aware of how we could make changes – or better choices – to be more eco-friendly was a big consideration during our renovation.

Hopefully the 4 choices we’ve made below may help to spark new ideas for things you could also look to change in your own home – whether renovating or simply re-decorating one room!

1. LED Bulbs

LED bulbs were, for us, an obvious and easy switch to make. We’ve now got LED bulbs throughout the whole of our house – and in all honestly, it’s a no brainer. Despite the slight downside that they’re more expensive in the first instance to purchase, they’re bright from the get-go (not ones that slowly brighten over time), and they’re set to last a hell of a lot longer too – which basically makes the higher price tag redundant.

Personally, we chose to have the majority of our lights with Tala bulbs – in our kitchen, dining room, bedroom, bathroom and downstairs w/c. It was an easy decision. They not only look beauuuutiful (we always get comments on them being a bit of a “wow” factor!) but they’re also engineered to last up to 30,000 hours! They have a 10 year guarantee on each bulb… yes, really. Ours also have dim to warm technology, and are of course, energy efficient. Perfect!

2. Instant Boiling Water Tap

At the very start of our renovation, one thing both Harry and I knew we wanted to incorporate into our new kitchen, was an instant boiling water tap. It’s one of those things that feels like a bit of a luxury (read: a lot of a luxury), but for us, it boiled down to (geddit?!) having everything in one easy-to-use appliance, rather than having yet another thing clogging up space on our worktops.

They’re becoming more popular by the day, with big brands like Quooker automatically springing to mind when on the hot topic of boiling taps. However, after doing some research (and trying to look for an instant boiling water tap that would look good and wouldn’t break the bank at the same time), we chose a Fohen tap.

It’s safe to say, we absolutely LOVE it. Not only is it super easy to use and saves time, but it’s also nice to know that it also saves energy and money long-term. According to energy provider N Power, the average kettle costs about 2.5p-3p to boil 1.5 litres. When you consider how often you’d have a cup of tea or coffee throughout the day, or fill up your pots and pans to cook in the evening, it makes complete sense to make the switch. The Fohen tap costs as little as 3p per day to operate!

We paid in full for our tap – but Fohen have since been in touch to very kindly share a discount with anyone else who chooses to purchase one! (AD – discount code) Simply input code MB21 at the checkout to receive £20 off the tap of your choice, plus a free filter worth £45. Go go go!

Eco-friendly carpet
Eco-friendly wool carpets fitted!

3. Wool Carpets

We’ve only just had our carpets fitted in the house, and the first thing I have to say is… What. A. Luxury.

After a solid 8 months of wearing shoes as soon as we got out of bed because the floors were that awful… it feels like the house is finally feeling more like a cosy home to relax in. Absolute bliss.

I always knew I wanted to get wool carpets in the house, but like with most things that are better for the environment, the increased price tag comes with it. After some serious research, CarpetRight came through with an affordable 100% wool carpet that didn’t break the bank, so we quickly snapped it up.

Not only does it feel beautiful underfoot, but it’s durable, naturally hard-wearing and is environmentally friendly. It looks pretty lovely too.

4. Eco-Friendly Paint

Having the choice of eco-friendly paints wasn’t something I was ever previously aware of – that was until I read Cate’s blog post on ways to create a more sustainable home back in 2018(!) and it’s stuck with me ever since.

I didn’t quite realise how bad paints can be for us – releasing toxins into the air we breathe every day, which can be harmful to our health and the environment.

So, when deciding on the paint we would use throughout our home, it made perfect sense to choose one that we knew would be better for us. After much deliberation, we chose to go with Little Greene.

In 2004, they were one of the first UK paint manufacturers to achieve the European environmental standard, and they have either oil based paints, or water based paints to choose from. All of their water based paints carry the industry’s lowest eco-rating, with VOC content at almost zero. To put it simply, this means you don’t need to worry about solvent contributions to the atmosphere or any respiratory issues, and they’re virtually odourless. Plus, their oil based paints have been reformulated using sustainable vegetable oils. Oh, and if this wasn’t impressive enough, their paint tins are made using over 50% recycled steel, and can be recycled again. Amazing!

The difference in toxicity really hit me when painting our downstairs toilet – a very small, compact space with no ventilation. I was in there for several hours and could hardly notice a smell at all. When I compare that to previous paints I’ve used, where I’ve had to open windows wide, and still struggle to ‘breathe’ in the room for hours after, I knew it was the right choice.

Going forward…

But this is just the start. We’re going to continue to keep an eye out for other swaps we can make in our home to live better and be more eco-friendly. If you have any other thoughts or ideas, please let me know! It feels so good to know we’re helping to make a difference – big and small!

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