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23 Eco-Friendly Upgrades To Make Your Home More Sustainable

Consider eco-friendly home upgrades like using natural materials. Image from Carpetright

If you have been thinking more about the planet and the impact that humans have on it recently, then you might be thinking about what you can do to make a difference, no matter how small. 

Well, one of the best places to start, is actually with your home. Switching up your decor and making a few changes to the appliances in your home, can actually make a huge difference to your carbon footprint. Below are some of the best ways to make eco-friendly home upgrades right now.

1. Install Solar Panels 

A man installing solar panels on the roof of a house as an eco-friendly home upgrade

Installing solar panels in your space is like giving Mother Nature a big old high-five. Not only can you generate your own electricity, slashing your utility bills and your carbon footprint, but in some cases, you can even sell back excess power to the grid. The initial investment pays off in the long run and it’s a massive step towards sustainability. Result!

2. Bring Nature Indoors

Patch Plant's Bathroom Plants Collection

Patch Plants

I am so here for this eco-friendly home upgrade because you know how I feel about biophilic design. Indoor plants aren’t just a great way to add a touch of nature to your home’s indoor decor. They also filter out harmful pollutants, up the oxygen levels, and can even boost your mood. Whether you fancy a towering monster, a cute little succulent or a Chinese money plant, giving your home a botanical twist is a surefire way to green up your space.

3. Upcycle Unwanted Items 

Upcycles mid-century modern green chairs painted with chalk paint as an eco-friendly home upgrade

Green Mid-Century Chairs Painted In Chalk Paint from Annie Sloan

Before you chuck out that ‘old-fashioned’ chair or ‘tired’ dresser, think about whether it could be spruced up with a lick of paint or some new fabric. Upcycling is all the rage, reducing waste and giving your home unique pieces that have personal meaning. This is one of my favourite eco-friendly home upgrades!

4. Save Water with Rainwater Harvesting

Why let all that lovely British rain go to waste? Set up a rainwater harvesting system. The collected water can be used for your garden, cleaning, or even as greywater in your home. You’ll be amazed at how much water you can gather!

5. Choose Eco-Friendly Paints

Earthborn Paints

Eco-friendly paints are here, and they’re fabulous! Made with natural ingredients and free from toxic chemicals, they’re better for the environment and for you. And with a plethora of lush shades available, there’s no need to compromise on style.

6. Opt for Energy-Saving Light Bulbs

Swap out those old bulbs for energy-saving LED light bulbs. They last longer, use a fraction of the energy, and provide a lovely ambience to boot.

7. Choose Eco-Friendly Flooring

Camada cork flooring in a living room setting as an eco-friendly home upgrade

Cork Flooring from The Colour Flooring Company

Who would’ve thought? From cork flooring, which is sustainable and circular, to recycled carpet tiles, there are plenty of options to make sure even your floors have an eco-friendly touch.

8. Insulate your Home

A man fitting pink wall insulation as an eco-friendly home upgrade

A well-insulated home is a warm and eco-friendly one. Whether it’s loft insulation, double glazing, or draft excluders, every little bit helps to cut down on energy waste and keep the warmth where it belongs – inside your cosy home.

9. Buy Secondhand

Rather than buying brand new, why not seek out vintage or secondhand pieces? They add character, tell a story, and mean you’re not contributing to more stuff being produced.

Instead of heading to those high-street stores for new decor, try hitting up a local thrift or charity shop. You’d be amazed at the hidden treasures you can find there. And the best part? You’re giving items a second life, reducing waste, and often supporting a good cause whilst also making eco-friendly home upgrades.

10. Grow Your Own 

Three self watering planters on a windowsill containing herbs

Self-watering planters from Lechuza (affiliate)

Nothing beats the taste of fresh herbs in your cooking. And guess what? You don’t need a massive garden to grow them. A sunny windowsill and some pots are all you need to have fresh basil, mint, rosemary, and more, right at your fingertips.

11. Chose Water-Saving Appliances

A woman using an eco-friendly washing machine from Fisher & Paykel

Front Loader Washing Machine 12kg ActiveIntelligence WH1260F2 in White from Fisher & Paykel

From low-flow toilets to eco-friendly washing machines, there’s a host of gadgets out there that’ll reduce your water consumption. And less water used means a happier environment and a lower bill.

12. Opt for Biodegradable Fabrics

When updating your soft furnishings, look out for natural, biodegradable fabrics like cotton, silk, and wool. They feel lovely, are often more breathable, and won’t spend hundreds of years in a landfill.

13. Embrace Natural Light

Linen voile curtains from Thomas Sanderson in a dining room

Somerton Linen Voile Curtains from Thomas Sanderson

Rethink your window dressings. Light, breezy curtains or blinds can let in heaps of natural light, reducing your need for artificial lights during the day. Plus, sunshine is an instant mood booster!

14. Get Composting

A man scrapes food scraps into a composter in the garden

Easy Mix 2-in-1 Composter from Dobbies

Turn your kitchen scraps into gold. Set up a compost bin in your garden and watch as your waste transforms into rich, nourishing compost for your plants. No garden? No worries! Worm composting systems can be used indoors. Or you could try the Lomi Smart Kitchen Composter.

15. Install E-Ready Outlets

A close up of a plug socket that has usb sockets

USB Socket in Bronze Antique Finish from Focus SB

Consider installing outlets with built-in USB chargers. Not only are they super convenient for charging devices, but they can also be more energy-efficient, ensuring that your tech isn’t sucking more power than it needs.

16. Plant a Green Roof or Vertical Garden

Living wall kit from Chalk & Moss as an eco-friendly home upgrade

Living Wall Kit from Chalk & Moss

If space permits, why not consider setting up a green roof or a vertical garden? It’s not only a visual treat but also a great way to regulate home temperature. Plants naturally absorb sunlight, making your home cooler in the summers and retaining warmth during winters.

18. Choose Sustainable Kitchenware

Stainless steel kitchen storage containers from Black+Blum as an eco-friendly home upgrade

Stainless steel storage containers from Black+Blum

Swap out those plastic containers and utensils for sustainable alternatives. Think bamboo cutlery, glass or stainless steel storage containers, and cast iron pans. They’re durable, eco-friendly, and add a touch of class to your kitchen.

19. Opt for Natural Cleaning Products

Seep plastic free cleaning products as an eco-friendly home upgrade

Plastic Free Cleaning Products from Seep

Ditch the chemicals! Opt for natural cleaning products or even make your own. Essential oils like tea tree, lavender, and lemon not only have cleaning properties but leave your home smelling divine without synthetic fragrances. Also, opt for plastic-free cleaning accessories so that you save on the microplastics entering the water system.

20. Incorporate Salvaged Items

three salvaged lights hanging above a salvaged cabinet from Skinflint

Salvaged G.E.C British airfield taxiway lights from Skinflint

Incorporate salvaged wood for items like shelves, tables, or even wall accents. It gives a rustic touch to your home, and there’s something incredibly satisfying about repurposing old wood into something beautiful and functional.

21. Install Energy-Efficient Appliances

An eco-friendly fridge freezer from Fisher & Paykel as an eco-friendly home upgrade

French Door Fridge Freezer RF540ADUB5 in Black from Fisher & Paykel

When it’s time to replace or buy a new home appliance, look for those with an energy-efficient rating. They might cost a tad more initially, but the savings in energy consumption in the long run are worth every penny.

22. Reusable Shopping Bags Station

two reusable cotton shopping bags hang on hooks above a bench seat

Rose Collection Hallway Storage Basket And Tote Bag from Tori Murphy

Set up a little spot near your main entrance for reusable shopping bags. This little reminder ensures you never leave home without them, reducing the plastic bag menace one trip at a time.

23. Install a Smart Thermostat

A smart home thermostat as an eco-friendly home upgrade

Smart thermostats learn from your habits and adjust accordingly, ensuring you use just the right amount of energy to heat or cool your home. Plus, controlling your home’s temperature from your smartphone? Now that’s 21st-century living!

Remember, when it comes to going green every little change counts. Whether you’re going all out with solar panels or simply opting for a more sustainable dish brush, it’s all a step in the right direction.