EMBRACING ECO CONSCIOUS AS A CHOICE
Our ‘How to be Kind to Mother Nature: Embracing Eco Conscious as a Choice’ campaign focuses on how making small changes to our lifestyles, mindsets and our homes can significantly benefit our environment. Changes don’t always need to be extreme and drastic; they can be soft and subtle so they can be easily incorporated within our day to day lives. With the circumstances of this year, it has certainly shifted our perspective of the world we live in even more; to not take it for granted and to appreciate the beautiful things our planet and our environment has to offer. The ways we do this will vary for all of us and there really isn’t a right or wrong way as long as the outcome has a positive impact. One of the issues we face is that it can be perceived as difficult, unachievable or expensive to make those lifestyle changes and to fully embracing greener, cleaner living. That’s where the term ‘Eco Conscious’ has really changed my perspective and feel it will do the same for others.
WHAT DOES ECO CONSCIOUS MEAN & HOW DOES IT DIFFER FROM ECO FRIENDLY?
Eco Friendly is anything that is not harmful to the environment. Not just the item itself, but the whole process behind it from production to packaging. Or for upcycling, from sanding to painting to posting! So it can be quite misleading when a brand or business uses the term ‘Eco Friendly’ as it can actually be really difficult to achieve that from start to finish.
Eco Conscious is anything that is beneficial to the environment; with a considered thought process to ensure there is a reduced impact to the planet to minimise any harm done. This can cover a single element or multiple elements that are beneficial rather than the whole process.
So, whether it’s Eco Friendly or Eco Conscious, both undoubtedly have a positive impact on Mother Nature. By being Eco Conscious, it can be a softer, more subtle approach & easier to incorporate within our homes, our lifestyles & businesses. It’s all the small changes that really can make a huge impact.
HOW TO EMBRACE ECO CONSCIOUS AS A CHOICE
Being more Eco Conscious doesn’t mean we have to reinvent our lifestyles. It doesn’t mean we can no longer use our cars, no longer take a flight for an abroad holiday or never buy anything new. It’s about the small changes we can make, the slight differences in our day to day lives, being considered in our buying habits that really can make a huge impact on the environment. By giving a little more thought and making a conscious effort; we can have beautiful homes that benefit our purses and our beautiful planet. Here’s a few ways of how we can achieve this:
Out with the new, in with the old…
We are of a culture where trends for home interiors are coming and going as quickly as fashion for clothing. All retailers want in on the action and they’re in constant competition to offer the ‘best’ price for the ‘best’ quality. There are undoubtedly, some fantastic brands leading the way and do such an amazing job, but there are also a staggering amount of retailers who compromise quality to sell as cheaply as possible when realistically, it will probably only have a few years use. Some of the pieces we have upcycled have been around 80+ years old and are still going strong due to skilled craftmanship and the quality of the materials used. Safe to say, I can imagine most of them will easily last another 80 years! So why not choose to shop upcycled, vintage or antique items instead
of buying brand new. You can have unique pieces with genuine character. You own little snippet of history.
Boycott the Trends…
Whether you are looking for a new piece of furniture such as a sideboard, a chest of drawers, a pair of bedside tables or looking for a smaller, styling item such as a lamp, a vase, a piece of artwork, candleholders…some of the most commercial trends for mass producing retailers are: vintage, industrial, reclaimed and salvage. But why buy something new that looks old, when you can buy something that looks old because it is old with authentic character, with natural wear and tear rather than the ‘look of’.
Repurpose to Reduce…
A fantastically creative and cost effective way of embracing Eco Conscious as a choice in our homes is through repurposing. Not only does it reduce the amount of waste being sent to landfill by minimising the volume of discarded material, it can give us beautifully unique homes. The possibilities really are endless!
Antique suitcases as storage like these from Retronovation -
Vintage chest of drawers as a vanity unit as shown in the stunning bathroom of Stacey Dyer from End of the Row –
Antique cinema chairs for your hallway or for your own little cinema room like these in the wonderful home of Hayley Stuart –
Using a pair of rustic chairs for a bedside table as a modern-meets-vintage interiors as shown beautifully here by Ingredients LDN Homewares –
HOW WE CAN ALL DO OUR LITTLE BIT
Got a piece of furniture that is in need of a refresh?
Why not have a go at upcycling it? If you aren’t confident in upcycling yourself, why not contact a professional who can upcycle it for you?
Have you got a broken, damaged piece of furniture?
Could it be upcycled? Could it be repurposed? Can you keep the elements that are working and only dispose of the sections that are broken beyond repair?
Can’t or don’t want to upcycle so you really want to buy something new?
Research into how you could source your new purchase. Buying new doesn’t have to be brand, spanking new. There are some great retailers out there who specialise in vintage, antique & modern items to suit any interior space. (Keep reading to find out who some of my go-to independent businesses)
Prefer shopping on the high street and supporting physical shops?
Why not try local antique centres, flea markets, vintage fairs, reclamation yards, charity shops or even the local tip shop. You’ll be surprised at some of the amazing finds you can stumble on!
Prefer online shopping?
Rather than opting for the quickest, cheapest options – give it a little time, research into different retailers and brands to see what’s out there. We are all guilty every now and then of going straight to our favourite main stream retailers when we are looking for something new. Or wanting something right away so choosing to shop with whoever can get our order to us the quickest (and believe me, as an Aries star sign, patience is not a virtue of mine!) But by embracing being Eco Conscious, it’s about taking a minute and making a conscious effort to make decisions that don’t just benefit our purses, but also benefit our environment.
SOME OF MY FAVOURITE ECO CONSCIOUS BRANDS & BUSINESSES WORTH CHECKING OUT …
Virtual Vintage Fair
Due to the restrictions we have been facing this year, there are some amazing Virtual Fairs on social channels. Virtual Vintage Fair was a saviour of mine over the Summer with their daily posts & stories featuring an eclectic selection of antique dealers. From furniture, lighting, décor, piece of art, mirrors – they offer a whole range of Vintage delights!
Check them out on Instragram @virtualvintagefair
Another favourite of mine for a long while has been Vinterior. We shopped from there before we became a seller because it fully supports and promotes independent furniture dealers who specialise in pieces for the home with real character whatever the lifestyle, budget or taste. It’s difficult (and probably not even possible!) to find the same thing twice so you’re guaranteed to find something that is beautifully unique. The hidden gem behind it all is you are not buying brand new, but giving furniture of yesteryear a new home! www.vinterior.com
Reclectic Vintage Interiors
Where do I start with Reclectic?! Tamara has the most exquisite decorative vintage & antique interiors at great prices. She selects all of the items herself & all of her pieces are authentically vintage and antique with genuine character. You can buy your own little snippet of history! This is such beautiful account to follow on Instagram, Facebook, Pinterest and Twitter or you can check out her website at www.reclectic.com
From beautiful French stoneware, stone bottles repurposed as lamps as well as making her own gorgeous linen light shades - Heather's items are stunning for homes that are modern or antique.
She has her on stall at Station Mill Antiques in the Cotswolds or you can shop via her Instagram page.
Hunt the Pearl
For rustic and uniquely, old interiors, Hunt the Pearl is a perfect example of an Eco Conscious brand that doesn't compromise our beautiful planet for a beautiful home. Her pieces have such a raw, romantic beauty that are styled so elegantly. Behind the scenes she makes sure pretty much all of her packaging materials for shipping are fully recyclable or biodegradable which makes me love this lady even more!
"When we choose old over newly, mass produced pieces we are bringing their unique character and history into our lives. Our homes become layered with stories of how our ancestor's lived."
You can check her out on Instagram, Facebook and Pinterest as well as being able to shop from her website www.huntthepearl.com
Thanks for reading!