Want to do your bit for the environment, but not sure if you have the time or money to make a difference? Well, with a quarter of the UK’s carbon emissions produced by energy in the home, there are some surprisingly simple things you could do that will make a difference.
Choosing Wood Wisely
If you’re buying new wooden furniture, check to see if it’s approved by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), or Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification (PEFC). Their stamp of approval will give you the assurance that the wood comes from managed sources and has no environmental impact.
Buy recycled or reclaimed timber. Not only will this work out cheaper than ‘new’ wood but it will add character to your property. Visit www.reclaimed.uk.com, and www.demolitions.co.uk to find out more.
Rather than buying new furniture, why not visit auctions or antique shops instead? You’re likely to find something with more historical interest and character, and you’ll probably save money too. Period furniture is often craftsman built and may prove better quality than anything that arrives flat packed.
Applying a fresh coat of paint is an easy way to brighten up your home, but the manufacture and disposal of paint can be an eco problem. But don’t worry, you don’t need to pack away the paintbrushes, just consider the following tips:
- Only buy the quantity of paint that you need; throughout the UK we have garages and sheds full of half empty tins!
- Buy paints with the European Ecolabel. This ensures they are manufactured in an environmentally friendly way and do not contain lead, mercury or other heavy metals.
- Look for labels showing the lowest VOC (volatile organic compounds ) content – which can be harmful to human, aquatic and animal life.
- Dispose of left-over paint carefully (check with your local council for the nearest site), but even better recycle it through Community Re-Paint scheme, a UK network which distributes unwanted paint, if suitable, to charities, community projects and other good causes.