In my research on sustainable home decor ideas, I’ve come across recommendations for eco-friendly (low VOC) paints, installing solar panels, or opting for energy-efficient lighting. While these foundations are absolutely important when furnishing a new home; in this post, I’d like to focus on small but meaningful home edits that you can do immediately for your current home, that will help you take the next step towards eco-friendly living.
Opt for natural materials
Rattan, wood & bamboo accessories (such as baskets, trays, table lamps etc) bring an organic feel into a room; are renewable energy sources that take less energy to produce, and are biodegradable as compared to plastic & metal options. TIP : Wipe & air them regularly to prevent accumulation of moisture and growth of mold, especially in Singapore’s humid climate.
Explore recycled fibers in home textiles
Rugs, throw blankets and cushion covers made from recycled polyester (PET) yarn from plastic bottles are surprisingly soft and cosy and are increasing in popularity as a sustainable alternative to synthetics such as polyester and acrylic.
Mindfully shop for reused / repurposed / vintage pieces
While it may take a longer time to find a piece that suits your style and is in good condition, checking out secondhand or reworked pieces adds character to your home and differentiates it from the cookie-cutter model home look.
Decorate with dried or preserved flowers
If you’re concerned about the environmental impact of fresh cut flowers, choose to display dried or preserved flowers instead. Bonus : they are also a lot lower maintenance.
If fresh flowers are your vibe, then by all means indulge! But try to visit local florists or buy in bulk so you can keep an eye on excessive plastic / paper wrapping.
Pay attention to chemicals in room fragrances
Skip the toxic chemicals and synthetic fragrances in air fresheners that may make you sick, and look for pure essential oils and natural ingredients in room sprays, diffusers or candles. My favourite pure coconut wax candles by Plural Supply smell so luxurious and are even safe for pets.
Sleep in linen
I personally dislike too smooth sheets that slide around and make rustling noises while I sleep. Ever since I’ve tried out these linen bedsheets, I’ve never looked back. Linen is a fantastic plant-based natural textile that is elegant, highly breathable, and has great thermo-regulating properties, making it the ideal material for bedding and sheets.
Invest in well-made, quality pieces that last
While your home textiles don’t have to be very expensive, do look out for quality materials and good workmanship. Our easy access to cheaply made, mass produced online sources means it’s really easy to purchase something pretty that may not last after a few washes.
If possible, check finishing seams and how well the piece aligns (e.g. are the edges of a throw blanket uneven? are the threads or tassels already fraying?). A well made piece should look put-together and feel substantial.
Reduce single-use plastic
“It is the single-use nature of products that is the most problematic for the planet, more so than the material that they’re made of,” says Claudia Giacovelli, Programme Officer of the UNEP Life Cycle Unit.
Consciously take steps to replace everyday single-use items with low or zero waste alternatives such as bamboo toothbrushes, powder or bar soap/shampoo, reusable snack bags & food wraps, reusable makeup remover pads etc.
Every item at byiroiro is carefully handmade using sustainable materials. If you’re looking to shop more consciously for home accessories, do give the shop a browse and feel free to contact me at email@example.com for any questions.