29th May 2018
Improving the eco footprint of your home doesn’t have to mean installing energy-efficient windows and solar panels. There’s lots of little ways to reduce your waste, be more energy conscious and avoid plastic. And while it’s counterproductive to replace working plastic with new eco-friendly alternatives, once your existing items have worn out their use, here’s some eco-conscious options to consider.
AT THE TABLE
Where possible, look to recycled glassware. In the current issue of Image Interiors & Living, photographer and homewares buyer Daniel Holfeld takes us to Beldi Country Club outside Marrakech to see how their 100 per cent recycled glassware is made. Handily, you don’t have to travel too far to pick up their handblown wares, Article in Dublin are Verre Beldi stockists and prices start at €4.50 for a tumbler. For kids, opt for bamboo plates, cups and cutlery where possible, but do be careful when it comes to forks, as thin prongs are more likely to snap. Søstrene Grene are reliable, regular stockists of bamboo tableware.
Laundry is a big area for waste in the home. Air dry where possible, and while we’ve had some good drying days lately, Ireland has between 151 and 225 wet days a year, so you should really consider your indoor options. A traditional ceiling rack is ideal when floor space is at a premium and Pulleymaid (above left) have a good option that’s made from beech, and costs around €95.
Elsewhere, take a look at your detergents and the considerable plastic waste they often generate. A refillable liquid detergent is an easy substitute, and this pretty bottle (above right) from Terrible Twins is extra special because it’s made from soap nuts too. When it’s empty, head to your local health store and they should have refillable options like Dublin-based Lilly’s Eco Clean, or go full DIY with distilled white vinegar and lavender/citrus essential oils.
Another alternative is an Ego Egg, which claims to eliminate the need for detergent on most items, though stained clothing may need more TLC. You won’t get that freshly laundered scent, but that might be something you can live without. For pegs, opt over wooden over plastic, of course.
IN THE BATHROOM
While there’s lot of cosmetics with eco credentials out there, we’re loving Clonakility-based Warrior Botanicals. Created by Reidin Beattie, her deodorant cream is made with baking soda, essential oils, plant extracts, coconut oil and Shea butter, and is now available online for €7.50 and from Urban Outfitters. Also in Cork is Modern Botany, who have just released a natural antiperspirant, packaged in recyclable glass packaging, €25.
For teeth, BeeClean’s Bambobrushes (€15 for two) not only have a bamboo handle, but bamboo bristles too. I’ve been using one for about a month and it got my dentist’s thumbs up last week. When new, some bristles will come loose, which isn’t a pleasant feeling, and behind the head goes black with the damp, which is unsightly, but the benefits far outweigh the negatives.
ON THE GO
Reusable cups for hot drinks on the move are essential to any eco home. Smithfield coffee shop Proper Order offer cups made with the world’s fastest growing sustainable crop (bamboo fibre), topped with a silicone lid, €20. And when it does eventually kick the bucket, it’s fully compostable.
Elsewhere, Keep Cups, from €20, are made from cork and glass, but if you’re clumsy (like me), glass may be an issue. For lunches and food storage, try bees wax wraps as a replacement for clingfilm and tinfoil. A pack of 3 from Meadows & Byrne costs €19.95.
ON YOUR PHONE
Again, a necessity for the clumsy. If you haven’t already been haunted by these phone case ads on Instagram, you probably will soon be. Pela Cases are made of Flaxstic, which is made from compostable bioplastic and flax straw, and are available on iPhone and Android. They offer free worldwide shipping and mine arrived within a matter of days.
Featured image: Verre Beldi by Daniel Holfeld
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