By Cora Hilts
Since cofounding Rêve En Vert, a sustainable fashion retailer, conscious living has been foremost in my mind and this year it’s spilled over to many facets of my life. A year ago I gave up my gypsy lifestyle and got a place of my very own in London’s Shoreditch and since then I’ve paid particular attention to not only what I put on my body and in my body, but also how I keep my home.
Herewith a list of easy actions in any home to reduce your environmental impact:
1. When you’ve just moved in you’re keen to make your new space feel homey. Rather than jet straight to IKEA, look at local thrift shops for plates, cups, dishes, etc. You will be shocked at how many amazing (and inexpensive) treasures you can find. My whole kitchen is a hodgepodge of old porcelain dishware, funky mugs and huge, beautiful vintage trays.
2. Use cloth napkins instead of paper–getting pretty ones will make meals just slightly lovelier than before.
3. This is an easy one, but always turn the lights off when you leave the room. Did you know that just one standard light bulb left on for a daily average of 4 hours puts 63 kg of CO2 into the atmosphere yearly? Every reduction counts so when you can just use candles—such a better ambiance anyway.
4. Always turn the water off when you are brushing your teeth. Our oceans and rivers are facing a major crisis, too many stats to give you but for an example: if everyone around the world consumed water at the rate Europeans and North Americans do, we’d need 3.5 planet Earths to sustain current population growth. (I read this too! Keep it)
5. Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need to make the tea/coffee you’re drinking at the moment. Use excess for tea tomorrow or to water your flowers. (Obviously, let the water cool first!)
6. Do your laundry way less often for water efficiency. When you do wash set the machine to cold temperatures (always sufficient for cleanliness) and share loads with flat mates if you have them. Also: always line dry your clothes—they will last longer for it and save up to 40% on your energy bills.
7. Buy local and seasonal food whenever you can. If you can’t make the leap to a supermarket that buys and sells local products at least buy fruit and vegetables that originate as close to home as possible. Not only is it more environmentally sound, it’s also better for you. The shorter the time between the farm and your table, the less likely it is that nutrients will be lost from fresh food.
All of these tips are just baby steps you can take toward living a more conscious life. We are all striving to be better, take it one move at a time. Here’s to a sustainable future, x Cora.
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