Creating a more sustainable home doesn’t have to hard—and it doesn’t have to happen overnight. Here are tips for ensuring your space becomes more eco-minded, whether you’re ready to take on big changes, prefer to make a few minor shifts, or simply need to start with smaller, bite-size steps.
IN THE LIVING ROOM
Major Commitment: If you’re in the market for furniture, consider gently used or vintage pieces, which can add history, character, and a unique look to the room. Another alternative? Recover your existing furniture with new fabric or coat of paint to refresh it and extend its life. If you need to buy something new, however, be sure to seek out makers who craft their designs using organic fabrics, latex foam, non-toxic adhesives, and environmentally responsible materials like renewable woods.
Minor Commitment: Accessorize with the earth in mind. Beautiful organic throws can add a touch of warmth without having to up the thermostat on chilly days. Thermal drapes can help, too—maximizing solar heat in the winter (and blocking it in the summer months). Decorative pillows and rugs in sustainable materials bring in color and style. And when you want to create a calming atmosphere, reach for non-toxic natural soy wax candles that are soothing for you and better for the health of your home.
Quick Tweak: Even when electronics like TVs, set top boxes, audio equipment, and computers are in sleep or standby mode, they can be using a large percentage their full power…and in time, it can really add up. Aim to institute a new rule in your home: if you’re not using it, unplug it. (This applies to battery chargers, too!)
Major Commitment: You spend a third of your life in bed—which is why it’s smart to give bedrooms a safe foundation with an eco-minded mattress. We designed our made-to-order version with sustainability and comfort in mind. Crafted with individually encased recycled steel coils with an organic latex layer and topped with a pad of soft organic cotton and cruelty-free Joma wool, it supports all sleep positions—as well as the health of the environment.
Minor Commitment: Let your bedding be eco-minded, too. Bring in basics (such as comforters, pillows, mattress pads and covers) made with certified organic materials—then add soft organic sheets, pillowcases and shams, duvet covers, blankets, and coverlets created with non-toxic dyes that both give your space style and make it more sustainable.
Quick Tweak: Freshen up a fresh bedroom with not only a pop of color, but a natural way to improve the air quality: a cheery houseplant. Check out for greenery like bamboo palm (known to remove pollutants such as benzene and formaldehyde), peace lily (goodbye, formaldehyde, ammonia, and carbon monoxide), and hard-to-kill spider plants (see ya, formaldehyde, benzene, and xylene).
IN THE KITCHEN
Major Commitment: Invest in updating older appliances. For example, if your fridge is an outdated model (10 years or more), replace it with an Energy Star certified refrigerator to save on energy bills while also helping the planet. P.S. Don’t forget to research your area’s options for properly recycling old appliances.
Minor Commitment: Up your waste-collecting efforts by placing food scraps in a countertop composting bin. No space in your kitchen? Contact your local recycling department about composting programs in your area. You can still gather food scraps (save them in your refrigerator or freezer) and deposit them regularly at the program’s designated collection site.
Quick Tweak: Think more cloth, less paper. Opt for washable and reusable rags to sop up stains or dry dishes more often than you use paper towels. And when dinnertime rolls around, choose organic cloth napkins. You’ll not only cut back on paper napkin waste, but you’ll make your meal feel more special…even if you’re just serving sandwiches.
Major Commitment: We’ve written before about the benefits of installing low-flow toilets and shower heads in your bathroom. But you can also save money and the environment by updating your water heater. Look for an Energy Star certified electric storage water heater, which uses less than half the energy of a standard model and can reduce the energy bill of a four-person household by up to $330 per year.
Minor Commitment: Indulge and protect your skin with bath towels, bath sheets, washcloths, hand towels, and bath rugs made with certified organic cotton, which ensures each item is free from harmful substances like heavy metals, GMOs, and carcinogens. Make your post-shower stylishly toxin-free, too: slip into our lightweight organic cotton robe or swing tank/tapered jogger combo to lounge comfortably without irritating chemicals.
Quick Tweak: Challenge yourself to remain on the lookout for eco alternatives to the everyday products you use in this space. Whether it’s your shower items (we’ve got you covered with our White Citrus & Lime Collection), hair and beauty products, toilet paper, cotton swabs, or even your child’s bath toys, you’d be surprised what’s available to help your bathroom become one of the most sustainable spots in your home.
IN THE LAUNDRY ROOM
Major Commitment: Updating your appliances with energy-efficient models is a wise choice in this space, too, especially if your washer and dryer are more than a decade old. But another alteration can create savings as well. Install a retractable clothesline in the room (or outdoors…or both) or use a drying rack to hang dry garments and cut down on dryer usage. The result will be fresh-smelling clothes, a lower energy bill overall—and less impact on the earth.
Minor Commitment:What you’re using to clean your clothing counts. Makeover your laundry supplies with detergent made from plant-based and biodegradable ingredients as well as stain removers that are bleach- and chlorine-free. (Bonus points if they feature reusable packaging you can refill at the store.) And if you do use your dryer, a smart upgrade to dryer sheets—which contain toxins that break down the fibers of clothes, bedding, and towels—is organic wool dryer balls, which are reusable and can reduce drying time.
Quick Tweak: Almost all the energy used to run your washing machine comes from heating up the water. But want an insider tip? The majority of your clothes, sheets, and bath towels can be washed in cold, even if the label calls for warm. So when laundry day comes back around, switch to cold…and save your pocketbook along with your planet.
SHOP CONSCIOUSLY WITH UNDER THE CANOPY