If you need to furnish your home or would like to make a change, here are some simple tips to save you money and make it more sustainable.
We already know the 3 R's of sustainability: reduce, reuse and recycle, which help stop climate change. So what better occasion than decorating your home to put these 3 pieces of advice into practice:
1. Reduce the amount of furniture: if your home is not very big, do not stuff it with decorations or unnecessary furniture. If you go for a minimalist style, your home will look bigger. Do not buy furniture if you do not need it! You will save money and help save the planet.
2. Going for second hand pieces is ideal for reusing furniture that other throw away and renovating for very little money. Do not rule out looking in those places, especially online and at local flea markets since many people get rid of old furniture; in addition, there are many people there who either through necessity or simply for a change of décor sell furniture in good condition offering real bargains.
3. Shops that sell items with a slight defect are also a gold mine for furniture and appliances. Make sure you check them first since you may find a pleasant surprise and save a good bit of money.
4. Recycling is another option. Many people have dived in recently to 'make' their own furniture and fixtures with a touch of imagination and by recycling materials, like the most famous example with pallets: sofas, coffee tables, bookshelves, a mini urban vegetable garden.... the possibilities are endless! Some wood, a little knack, cloth bought by the metre... you can make a small, cheap and sustainable piece of furniture with just this. These are just a few ideas but, let your imagination run wild! There is no better green energy than what comes from our own hands.
5. Another way is to make over the furniture we already have at home. Sanding, a coat of varnish or paint, a new covering... could also do wonders and make for a completely new piece of furniture.
6. Outlet shops are another great option since they have discontinued products or much cheaper items in stock. Go online and search for 'furniture outlet' in your city - you will see there are many shops that offer this service to sell off their excess stock.
7. Reuse materials: Use glass bottles to make original lamps, drink cans to make pen holders or small plant pots, car tyres to make stools, etc.
8. Exchanging is the oldest way to get what we need in exchange for something we no longer want. Go and barter to see if you will get what you want without spending anything and helping to care for the environment.
9. Support fair trade: go to fair trade stores and ensure that the producers of the items there have been paid a fair wage for their labour, meaning they have a decent life where their labour rights are respected.
10. Lastly, be careful with 'bargains' on products you will be using every day. Although getting something on the cheap seems great, in the long-run, it is better and cheaper to invest in a bit more quality. If not, you'll end up paying twice.
All these measures will save you money! In addition, you will be supporting a more sustainable lifestyle, reducing consumption and promoting reuse and recycling. In this way, we have a smaller ecological footprint. Do you have any other ideas for saving when furnishing your home?