Hopefully, this is the year people accept we must do more about sustainability. From the way we buy cars to what we eat, there’s no reason it shouldn’t also impact the way we view home improvements. These six simple home upgrades will improve your living space without you having to undertake any major projects. Not only are these all fairly easy to execute, but they are pretty sustainable in their own way too.
There’s nothing new or innovative about re-using old furniture, but many of us have stopped even considering it. In the past, furniture was built to last and could be passed down from generation to generation. Worn items were reupholstered, repaired, sanded down, and re-varnished. Nowadays, we’ve moved to a culture of buying new and then simply replacing them to keep up with each new trend.
But it’s time to return to the old ways. If you’re bored with your coffee table or in need of more dining chairs, then consider reclaiming them before buying new ones. Sites like OLX, Gumtree, and even Freecycle are bursting with used, high-spec furniture that people no longer need. If you’re not sure what to do with your new (old) furniture, just head online; there are countless tips and videos about ways to upcycle old furniture.
They’ve been around for a long time, but eco-friendly paints have finally landed in the mainstream DIY market, with more color choices than ever. This means you can redecorate your walls and give your house a little makeover without worrying about the environmental costs. These paints are typically made without toxic ingredients and with fewer VOCs. You can also use eco-paints to whitewash your reclaimed furniture.
Flowering up Exterior Walls
The fastest, easiest, and most sustainable way to improve the look of your external walls is to add greenery. Whether it’s the fence, the shed, or even the side of your home, plants make all the difference. Forget about applying toxic wood treatment, spending money replastering walls, or replacing split wood. Simply affix a trellis using a simple no-nails method and then get planting. Not only will this look absolutely beautiful, but it will also encourage bees and butterflies into your garden.
- Passion flowers
Bring the Green Indoors
Making your outdoor space more bug friendly is just the start; you can also think about adding more plants to your inside space. How is this sustainable? Well, even house plants can help in the fight against CO2. Every additional plant that is grown in the world helps combat the effects of climate change, even small house plants. Plus, they purify the air you breathe at home, and quite simply, they look nice too.
Creating a compost area in your garden is one of the easiest and most effective ways you can help make your home more sustainable. Plus, your garden will reap the many benefits of composting. Not only does composting prevent food waste from going to the landfill, where it emits a huge amount of methane, but the newly nourished soil in your garden will make it more fertile than ever. In turn, you can start growing your own veggies too, which is about as sustainable as it gets.
Moving to renewable energy is one of the most sustainable things you can do. And luckily, South Africa has a lot of sunshine. The ‘silent revolution’ may have been triggered by homeowners looking for a solution to power cuts, but it will have a huge ecological impact too. Solar panels aren’t cheap, but if you’ve got the money, it’s a worthwhile long-term investment. Additionally, they’re easy to install and will usually be up and running in just a few days.
These six hacks showcase a variety of ways you can improve or upgrade your home while keeping sustainability in mind. Whether you want to reduce your impact on the world, make your house more energy efficient, or welcome wildlife to your garden, every home project in 2023 should have some sort of nod to a more sustainable future.