Interior design whether a complete renovation or adding a small simple decoration can totally transform a home - making it go from feeling like a house to feeling like your home and your sanctuary. With more and more of us becoming conscious and aware of how our products have been made ethically or produced with minimal impact on the environment we want to choose products that have people and the planet in mind while still looking amazing! Check out our guide to our favourite eco-friendly tips, tricks and products.
What makes something sustainable or eco-friendly?
The million-pound question! The word eco-friendly can be found on thousands of products these days and there are many ways an item can be considered to be mindful of the environment. You can read more on our easy and free ways to be more sustainable in your home here. At Honeste, our entire range is designed, curated and made with the planet in mind. Here are a few things to look out for if you want to buy sustainably:
Recycled and reclaimed products:
Items made from recycled or reclaimed materials are a brilliant choice for the eco-conscious. Using recycled materials means new materials are either eliminated or reduced whilst preventing used items from being wasted (either by going to landfill, saving plastic from ending up in rivers and oceans or by being burnt). So, recycled and reclaimed items have a double benefit.
You may think recycled/reclaimed items lack quality. Reclaimed woods can be of brilliant quality and can additionally have extra characteristics and interest you don't get from virgin wood. Recycled cotton and fabrics nowadays are generally of extremely high quality and more fabric and fashion houses are using them.
You'll find we have a large range of recycled and reclaimed items from lampshades to cushions, throws, vases, cards and garden products you can find here.
Natural sustainably sourced materials:
Not all-natural materials are eco-friendly. We've all seen documentaries on deforestation and logging (illegal and legal). Here are some top tips:
Go for reclaimed woods that save materials going to waste, has character and can be less expensive and reduce demand for virgin wood.
Go for fast-growing natural materials: if going for wood go for fast-growing wood species (pine for example) and avoid woods that are rare, endangered or slow-growing.
Look for certifications. Even fast-growing species can be unsustainable if coming from non-managed woodlands or are illegally logged. The Forest Stewardship Council (FSC) is a good certification to look out for when buying wood. They are a non-profit organisation and have a robust certification programme in place. For cotton and fabrics look for Oeko-Tex (different levels of certification), Better Cotton Initiative and Organic Cottons.
Look for information on how it was sourced: If the item doesn't have an FSC certification, look for information or reassurance on how the item was sourced from the retailer or manufacturer. Bamboo for example is not FSC certified as it is technically grass, not wood.
Buying items that have multiple purposes helps reduce our overall need for more...well...stuff! The added benefit is it takes up less space too. Some great examples from Honeste include:
Our throws made from 100% plastic bottles are suitable for indoor and outdoor use so can be used as a throw, a bed runner, picnic blanket, car blanket, outdoor throw or even an outdoor table cloth.
Our bamboo lunch boxes are great to use as Tupperware and storage.
Utensils: our utensil range is both pretty and practical so can be used as utensils and as salad servers/serving spoons.
Our glasses: this is one from our customers who loved our recycled glass tumblers and added they are not just great for water and soft drinks but work brilliantly for gin and tonics but also as stemless wine glasses too. Use the carafe for soft drinks, water and as a wine decanter - you can even use it as a vase.
Items that will last
We've all heard of fast fashion, but it can exist in interior design too. At Honeste, our entire range is designed to last - not just in terms of quality but in terms of timeless design as well. Try and choose items that will last you and the family a while (this doesn't mean it needs to be plain).
Items that can be recycled
If buying something that you know is only for a certain occasion or celebration (such as cards); buy items you know you can re-purpose or recycle. All our cards are made from 100% recycled card and can be recycled. There are loads of ways you can also repurpose cards - check out our guide here.
It is not just about the actual item but the packaging it comes in can have a big impact on the environment. At Honeste, we only use recycled natural packaging that is itself easily recycled, composted or is biodegradable. We also have an option at the checkout to use a 'recycled packaging' option where we re-use supplier packaging where we can (it may not look as pretty but it's what's inside that counts anyway :D ).
The retailer or manufacturer
More and more brands are introducing eco-friendly lines while others are eco-friendly brands where like Honeste, sustainability is at the heart of what they do.
Does the brand support any non-profit or charity organisations or give back in any way? We commit a minimum of 10% of profits to environmental, wildlife and charitable organisations each year. We also run our little business using 100% renewable electricity. Most websites have an 'about us' section where you can find our more information and see if the company's values align with yours.
Best eco-friendly home products
Eco-Friendly Soft Furnishings
When it comes to soft furnishings and eco-friendliness look for recycled, organic or sustainably produced fabrics, good-quality and design that will last.
All our cushions are handmade and made with a timeless design in mind. Made from blends of recycled materials, naturally sustainable jute and sustainably produced cotton.
Our throws are made from 100% recycled materials. Better yet they are all fairtrade and our throws made from 100% recycled bottles are multi-purpose and can be used indoors and outside.
Lighting has a huge impact on the ambience and feel of a space. From creating a cosy hygge feeling to a bright airy year-round summery feel. When choosing lighting look for sustainable materials and again designs that will last.
Many lampshades can contain a lot of unsustainable materials - from the lining to glues and unsustainably produced fabrics. If you've had a lampshade for years you may have found the plastic has become brittle and can crack. Our lampshades are made from sustainably sourced, organic or recycled fabrics and all are handmade. We are currently phasing out all PVC lining and have moved to sustainably produced card and wood pulp lining that doesn't crack with age. And, we use a non-toxic water-based fireproofing solution. Find out more about how we make these here.
Zero-waste sustainable Candles:
We love candles! Candles bring us joy through those cold winter months, they can create cosy and romantic settings and can introduce amazing scents into the home. Look for candles made from 100% natural waxes and oils. Avoid petroleum-based waxes that are not eco-friendly and can be toxic. If using beeswax candles; look for information on how the bees are cared for.
At Honeste, we handmake all our own candles; they are all 100% natural and made from UK vegan soy wax. Not only that but we are in the process of making them all refillable.
Tealight & candle holders are another great way of introducing lighting. Look for items that look great even when not lit. Our tealight holders double-up as great planters, made from 100% recycled fairtrade glass and look fantastic with or without a candle. You can now buy 100% vegan natural wax tealights too.
Eco Outdoor lighting:
Lighting doesn't just need to be indoors; create an amazing al-fresco dining space through good quality solar lighting and natural refillable outdoor candles. If using a fire pit purchase wood from an eco-friendly supplier or look for eco log alternatives. You can now find options made from recycled waste wood, sawdust, grasses, soy and used coffee beans.
Energy Efficient Lightbulbs:
Choose energy-efficient LED light bulbs. LEDs are generally the most energy-efficient light bulb option. While they may be initially more expensive, many come with very long guarantees and shouldn't need replacing for years. Low wattage LED lightbulbs don't mean they are dim though, they can be just as bright or brighter than traditional bulbs. Low wattage LEDs will also help prevent your lampshade and other soft-furnishings from fading.
Sustainable vases, trays and decorative items:
We love items made from sustainable natural materials as well as using recycled and reclaimed materials from wood and glass through to metal. Here are our top pics but you can see our full range here.
Handmade recycled glass vase - great decorative piece or for displaying stem flowers.
Handmade sustainable beechwood engraved tray - perfect for jewellery, keys, trinkets
Handmade recycled fairtrade dish - perfect for trinkets, keys, fruit, snacks
Handmade sustainable stars - perfect for a bedroom, kids room, bathroom or living room.
Eco-Friendly Prints & Artwork:
Artwork is a brilliant way to add personality and unique personal touch to a room. From family photographs to personalised prints and art. All our artwork is printed to order to reduce waste, printed on FSC certified photo paper and our ink cartridges are donated and recycled to raise funds for Whale and Dolphin conservation.
When adding a frame, look for frames that are made from reclaimed, fast-growing sustainable or FSC certified wood and materials; ours are made from fairtrade reclaimed teak.
Storage doesn't just have to be practical but can be beautiful and sustainable at the same time. Some of our favourites include natural jute and seagrass storage baskets & bowls (great for being multipurpose), our sustainable wooden pine boxes that look beautiful too and our bamboo lunch boxes that double as great easy-clean food storage. For more tips on how to have a great eco-friendly clear out and for easy storage and organisation take a look at our guide here.
Introducing Natural Fragrances:
Introducing a fragrance into a room or space can be a great way to help create a relaxing, de-stressing or uplifting environment. Go for candles, wax melts, oils, room sprays or diffusers that are made from 100% natural ingredients and are long-lasting. Even better if they are refillable.
Often the heart of the home, kitchenware can often be full of plastic. Below are some of our top eco-friendly kitchen picks.
Clay and ceramics are not always sustainably produced - from where the clay is sourced from to the glazing techniques. Check where the clay is from and how the item was made.
We love our coconut bowls...ok we would say that...but our bowls are not only beautiful and practical but help stop waste from the coconut industry from being burnt. All our bowls come with a reclaimed organic wooden spoon. Made from leftover waste wood from the furniture industry. We also have a great selection of recycled handmade fairtrade metal bowls that are perfect for dinnerware as well as being multi-use items.
Did you know a lot of glassware cannot be easily recycled? If an item breaks, check with your local council on if it can be recycled and if not, how to safely dispose of it.
Our glassware range is made from 100% recycled glass that is fairtrade. They are all handmade adding uniqueness to each piece - better yet, the style is great for indoor and outdoor use.
Who doesn't like nibbles! You can re-use multipurpose items as a great way of serving nibbles or we have two brilliant eco-friendly handmade fairtrade recycled nibble sets.
Nibble Sets: our nibble sets are made from recycled metal and all ethically produced and fairtrade.
Multi-purpose nibble dishes: why not re-use other items to display your nibbles - some of our favourites include: coconut bowls, our recycled fairtrade oval dishes, our fairtrade tapas bowls, recycled glass tumblers and our bamboo lunchbox.
We have a huge selection of eco-friendly utensils and servers using eco-friendly materials. From sustainably sourced bamboo fairtrade utensils to recycled metal fairtrade servers to sustainable natural wooden engraved utensils. You can check the full range here.
Alternatives to disposables
Swapping our disposable throwaway items for reusable items are a great way of being a little bit more sustainable every day. Our top swaps include:
From disposable coffee cups ➜ To reusable travel mugs and tea/coffee cups
From plastic disposable bottles ➜ To reusable water bottles and infusers
From disposable or plastic Tupperware ➜ To bamboo storage and lunch boxes
From plastic cutlery ➜ To natural wooden reusable cutlery travel sets
From disposable single-use straws ➜ To reusable eco-friendly straws
Eco-Friendly Kid's Rooms
When choosing items for children's areas look for items made from materials that will last. Choose natural non-toxic sustainable fabrics and patterns and colours that have the best chance of working through their childhood tastes.
Nowadays you can find great eco-friendly sustainable wooden, bamboo or risk husk toys. Toy rentals, swaps and pre-loved items are also growing in popularity and help reduce the impact on the environment.
We have a great range of kids lampshades to last from nursery through to early years and childhood.
Whether you are lucky enough to have a full-blown home office or a simple little nook; more and more of us are working from home. Creating a space that is clean, organised and calming can really help how you feel while working. Always try and keep your work area separate (as much as possible) from your bedroom and relaxing areas.
We love adding calming or motivational artwork made from FSC sustainable paper, adding plants to support clean air and eco-friendly storage. See our gallery below for some of our top eco-friendly products that work well in any working space.
Eco Decor for outdoors and nature
Al Fresco Dining:
Outdoor dining whether a BBQ, picnic or garden drinks is a wonderful way to connect to nature and enjoy the spring, summer and even autumnal seasons. When choosing items for al fresco dining, try and avoid disposables and look for items that can be multi-purpose and reused. Check out our complete guide to eco-friendly al-fresco dining here. Our top picks include our indoor/outdoor recycled throw, our organic coconut bowl and our reusable reclaimed organic cutlery set.
Plants and Eco-Planters
Not only are plants great for adding a touch of nature to your indoor and outdoor spaces but they are great for nature (outdoors) and air quality (indoors). Your choice of planter, plant pot, terrarium or plant cover can really add to the feel of an area. Our top options include:
Natural sustainable fairtrade planter
100% recycled glass planters (can also be used as a tealight holder)
100% recycled glass and copper terrarium
100% recycled glass and reclaimed tear terrarium (can also be used as a vase, bowl or planter)
The full range of eco-friendly planters and terrariums can be found here.
Caring for wildlife
Adding a birdhouse, bughouse or bee hotel can be a great way to add a beautiful touch to any outdoor space while caring for and encouraging nature and wildlife. All our birdhouses, bughouses and bee hotels are handmade, fairtrade and made from sustainable natural or reclaimed woods and materials. You can see our full range here.
What about pets?
Nowadays pet care can also be highly designed and look just as stunning as furniture and decor designed for the houses human inhabitants. You can find a growing range of eco-friendly pet beds, cushions and toys made from natural sustainable or recycled materials. You can check out our bamboo wood duo cat/dog pet food and water bowl feeder here.
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