Friday 18 October 2019

Being down to earth

Latest trend? Turning your home green, writes Jo Linehan, and she doesn't mean with a paint brush - it's all about sustaining the future of Planet Earth

This natural cocoon rattan chair is an eco-friendly and stylish home addition, €499;
This natural cocoon rattan chair is an eco-friendly and stylish home addition, €499;
Upcycled lighting, €250 Eoin Shanley of Copper Fish Studio in Wicklow uses natural and upcycled materials to create his lighting;
Salvage cutting board, €33.95 From Caulfield's 'Waste-Not-Want-Not' collection and made from salvaged off-cuts;
Rattan hanging chair, €350: This teardrop chair is made from durable rattan from FSC-certified forests;
Hive Active Heating, €299: Make the switch by installing their copper thermostat;
Smart garden, €160: Grow four herbs, veg or flowers with this compact kitchen planter:
Handmade soaps, €7.50: All natural soaps are earth friendly;
Ikea Odger chair, €80: Sit pretty in this renewable wood and recycled plastic piece;

If there's one interior trend none of us can afford to miss, it's future-proofing your home. Whether you're a minimalist or maximalist, live in a rented two-bed in Portobello or inherited the family pile in Louth, there isn't a person on this island who won't find something in the sustainable living movement that speaks to some aspect of their lives.

I'm talking, of course, about the move to a more sustainable and earth-friendly way of living. Everything from how we clean, heat and light our homes to how we decorate them is changing. There's no need to feel the weight of saving the world on your shoulders or feel guilty for enjoying the odd frivolous purchase. But implementing a few small changes now can not only make your home and living space look better but can save you money too.

Siobhan Elsom runs, an online store for all sorts of sustainable goods. She says, "There are some easy swaps that people can make in the kitchen to save a multitude of clingfilm and tin foil going to landfill, like the Stasher bag - a reusable Ziploc bag made from 100pc pure silicone that can be used for storing food in the fridge or freezer, can also be used for cooking, microwaving and packing lunches or for snacks on the go."

But one of her recommendations is particularly surprising. "I think the biggest and healthiest swap people can make to their home environment is to cut down on toxic cleaning products that aren't good for people or the planet."

Irish Mammies and Daddies whose worst fear is leaving the immersion on would be wise to research Hive Home's selection of products. By installing smart switches, you can control your lighting, heating and security settings from the Hive Home app on your smartphone.

This means less energy wasted and, instead, a sophisticated home energy system that makes sense for the environment as well as your pocket.

Many of the large-scale interior brands such as IKEA, H&M and new online store SODA are making changes to their production lines and manufacturing products that are more eco-friendly, but so too are smaller domestic companies.

Take Dublin-based interior shop Home|Lust, founded and owned by Diana Valentine: "I've made a conscious decision to move away from trendy, fast interiors and concentrate on sourcing versatile furniture made from durable materials, ideally products that can be recycled or re-purposed down the line.

"Some of our bestsellers are hanging and lounging chairs made from ethically-sourced Indonesian rattan harvested from FSC-certified sustainable sources."

When it comes to making more conscious choices for your interiors, look to natural materials, suggests Diana.

"Rattan, like bamboo, is a fast-growing, renewable, multi-purpose wood that is light, durable, flexible, and also suitable for outdoor use. It's like nature's plastic."

Whether you make energy-saving investments, clean up your act when it comes to detergents and bleaches or treat yourself to a new bamboo toothbrush, it's the small but meaningful changes to living that are really 'in' this season.

Sunday Independent

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