With all the endless recycling, cramped public transport and meticulous carbon counting, making eco-friendly changes to your life often seems extreme - but it doesn’t have to be.
In fact, some of the smallest eco-friendly ideas can have the biggest positive impact on the environment - and it all starts at home.
From screwing in LED lightbulbs to creating your own cleaning solution, it couldn’t be easier to transform your living room into an eco-friendly paradise.
Let’s jump right in, shall we?
Sure, methodically turning off all the light switches is a great habit to get into, but we have a smarter way to keep those expensive electricity bills at bay.
Simply switch from halogen bulbs to LED alternatives and you’ll save a whopping 90% energy. What’s more, these bright beauties can last for 25 to 30 years, (brand and usage depending). It just makes sense – save money and do right for the planet. Your wallet and carbon footprint will be far better off.
And don’t worry about sacrificing quality for cost-saving; LED lightbulbs perform just as brilliantly as their halogen cousins. For extra savings, and to create a peaceful ambience, treat your home to dimmable LED lights – you’ll feel zen in no time.
Swap: Halogen lightbulbs
For: LED lightbulbs
Quick question: does your living room struggle to retain heat in the winter, leaving you shivering under a flimsy throw blanket?
If the answer is yes, then it might be time to change your curtains. After all, you don’t want to crank up the central heating, only for it to escape straight out of your double glazing. On the other hand, when summer rolls around, those thick curtains will retain high temperatures in your lounge – and leave you blasting the energy-guzzling air-con to keep cool. Not ideal.
That’s why, for the most environmentally-friendly option, you’ll need to change your curtains with the seasons. In the winter months, for example, we recommend a pair of thick and luxurious Shanghai curtains, while swapping in a pair of our Roman Blinds for the summer will keep you in Mother Earth’s good books.
Swap: Fixed curtains all year around
For: Seasonal curtain swaps
Not every eco-friendly idea is about changing your décor; you can go green just by tweaking the way you clean.
Supermarket cleaning products, for example, might appear harmless on the surface but they contain harmful toxins that pollute the air. What’s more, these products are typically packaged in unrecyclable plastic bottles, meaning they end up in landfill.
Thankfully, you won’t need to trawl the supermarkets (yep, no queueing for you) to find an alternative. In fact, your toxin-free, plastic-free, eco-friendly product is probably gathering dust in your kitchen cupboard; a simple mix of bicarbonate of soda, white vinegar and water will clear up spills and stains, no problem.
For more information about how to create a natural cleaning solution, check out our in-depth guide.
Swap: Supermarket cleaning products
For: Homemade cleaning solutions
Well, rather than buying a new sofa, you can hide all those unsightly stains with a made-to-measure sofa cover. Not only will this save you shelling out on a brand-new suite but buying a sofa cover will also mean you don’t need to shift your couch yourself.
Alternatively, if you believe your furniture is on its last legs, our reupholstery service can spruce up your sofa from spring to stuffing. All you need to do is pick your preferred fabric and our expert reupholsterers will do the rest!
Still got your heart set on a brand new sofa? Clear your conscious by reading our guide to buying sustainable furniture.
Swap: A new sofa
For: Sofa covers or reupholstery
Ready to make that eco-friendly change to your living room? To give your sofa a new lease of life away from the landfills, head over to the Plumbs website and browse our huge collection of sofa covers and reupholstery fabrics.
Sophie is a great granddaughter of the founders of the business - so fabrics and furniture are almost part of her DNA! Her interests include home interiors and upcycling, and her favourite show to watch after work is The Repair Shop. Some of the topics she covers on the Plumbs blog include sofa reupholstery and furniture protection.
We'll go through our fabric collections and offer advice on colour and designs. There's no pressure to buy anything.