"The journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step" - Lao Tzu
There are a plenty of small changes, choices and decisions we can take to make our homes and interiors more eco-friendly, non-toxic, beautiful and good for our health. Always remember that with every purchase you are contributing your vote for your health, wellness, quality of life and climate change.
First Step - Where to start?
If you know the enemy and know yourself, you need not fear the result of a hundred battles. If you know yourself but not the enemy, for every victory gained you will also suffer a defeat. If you know neither the enemy nor yourself, you will succumb in every battle. - Sun Tzo
The first step could be asking yourself - what are you trying to change or replace, and the reason for it. For example, if you need to renovate you can choose from eco-friendly flooring options and if looking for a new bedroom look you can first start small by replacing bedsheets with organic materials like hemp, Fair Trade cotton.
To make a roadmap, you need this audit to guide you through the next steps.
Second Step - Do you need new?
Before buying, check if you can give a new life to existing products, Think if your favourite item might be transformed with a simple coat of finish or paint (low VOC, of course) or an updated textile or fabric.
There could be treasure abound in market stalls, and op shops if you are game for those!
Third Step - Suppliers
The last step could be finding the right suppliers for your needs. You may head to B-Corp directory to find companies selling furniture, building materials etc. that have been sourced ethically. Click here to visit this amazing directory.
You will also find an array of Fair Trade organisations like us which are doing a lot to preserve people, and planet all while providing a range of products and services to the community. A quick Google search would help you find a plenty of such suppliers who use upcycling, recycling and non-toxic dyes in a range of products from cushions, clothes, kitchen tools, decorative items, bed sheets, clothes, toys, soaps, rugs, stationary etc.
You may ask questions to your suppliers like "How was this product made?", "What does end of life look like for this product (e.g. can it be recycled or composted)?", "What recycled materials were used for making this product?", "Was the fabric organically grown?", "Is this coated in chemicals?", "Is this made from sustainably sourced wood?". Many manufacturers are happy to discuss this and provide details on their websites. Take the plunge towards responsible consumption and making better choices for home, fashion and your life.
Making an informed decision to give your home a earth-friendly facelift does not have to be a taunting and exhaustive process. A home is a place which provides comfort and warmth to us, and with some effort you can ensure that you don't compromise style or your well being. After all. your home is your sanctuary.